2018 prom: Lots of planning goes into theme for a magical prom night

JANELLE PATTERSON The Marietta Times Washington County Career Center set up for last weekend’s prom held at the Knights of Columbus building in Churchtown.

The high school years are often filled with milestones but none perhaps more memorable than prom.

Over the years, themes have changed to reflect the times, while many stay the same. According to Seventeen Magazine, top themes this year include Mardi Gras, Hollywood, Carnival, Disney movies and the ever-popular Masquerade Ball.

“Our theme this year for Fort Frye is ‘Masquerade,'” said prom advisor Tracey Huck. “The junior class puts on the prom each year based upon a theme that seniors would like to have through an informal survey and discussion. Decorations are made by junior class prom committee.”

Fort Frye’s prom will be held May 5 at the Quality Inn in Marietta and falls later than most area proms, the earliest of which was the Washington County Career Center, held last Saturday.

The center’s prom was decorated in the lights and glamour of a night in Paris. Students and parents surrounded the Knights of Columbus gym with black panels, white and gold draped fabric ceiling and even a gold Eiffel Tower installation.

Marietta High School is among those that continues to hold its prom at the school.

Grace Arnold, president of the junior class at MHS, said the junior class student council holds weekly meetings to come up with theme ideas. The entire junior class is then given ballots to determine the final theme.

“To prepare, we hold weekly meetings to discuss fundraisers, such as T-shirt sales, decorations and all the details related to prom. Prom planning is definitely a long process, but it’s one that will be rewarding when we get to see everyone’s reaction to all of the hard work and planning we have put in,” she said.

While there are companies, such as Anderson’s and Prom Nite, that offer packages ranging from a couple hundred to a couple thousand dollars, many schools lack the funds to go all out and prefer to make the props themselves. Others rely on local vendors to provide props, tables, balloons, tulle, lights and more. Often, items are recycled from one year to the next.

“I’ve been doing this a long time,” said Roger French, a Waterford business teacher and longtime junior class advisor. “The kids have fundraisers and go out and borrow things from the community. It’s a good team building exercise and they are always excited.”

French explained that the prom committee is elected around November and they get together to decide on a theme, which is usually a surprise for the seniors.

“We do this all for them; I really enjoy the whole thing — I’m a big fan of dances and the whole getting ready thing. It’s just so much fun,” said Waterford junior Sydney Huffman, the head of the planning committee. “We pretty much have everything ordered and (the juniors) will get the day off school the day before to decorate. We’re good at designing and we’re a really artsy-craftsy group.”

For this year’s theme, Enchanted Garden, Waterford turned to Event Designs, an event planning company owned and operated by Chris Fouss, Tom Fouss and Michelle Miller.

“We do a lot of schools…it’s sometimes as busy as wedding season,” said Miller.

Most of the requests are for tables and chairs, sound equipment, pipe and drape and staging. Miller said sometimes the schools have themes in mind while others will ask for her advice.

“Every once in a while you’ll get something new, like Candyland or Alice in Wonderland. But you can’t beat the classics,” she said. “And the good thing is, you can rotate every four years.”

Prom dates

& themes

¯ Marietta High School: April 14 “Masquerade.”

¯ Warren High School: April 21 “Old Hollywood.”

¯ Frontier High School: April 21 “Once Upon a Time.”

¯ Waterford High School: April 28 “Enchanted Garden.”

¯ Williamstown High School: April 28 “Black & Bling 2k18.”

¯ Fort Frye High School: May 5 “Masquerade.”

¯ Wood County Christian: May 12 “Sunset Destination.”

Top themes

for 2018

¯ Masquerade Ball.

¯ Hollywood.

¯ Carnival.

¯ Great Gatsby.

¯ Paris.

¯ Neon Lights.

¯ Happily Ever After.

¯ Alice in


¯ Mardi Gras.

¯ Casino.

¯ Candyland.

¯ Under the Sea.

¯ Favorite Disney Movies.

Source: Seventeen Magazine.