Host a Pre-Prom Dinner Party with Ideas and Tips from AR Workshop

 In Design Inspiration, DIY Projects, Home Decor, Lifestyle

It’s that time of year–prom season! Many teens are choosing to buck tradition by foregoing the usual restaurant dining on prom night. They are opting instead to host sophisticated DIY prom dinner parties from home. There are a number of reasons to host a pre-prom dinner from home. Teens are vetoing stressful reservation-making (which can limit group size due to space and available restaurant options), skyrocketing fine dining prices, limited menus, long wait times, stuffy atmospheres, and complicated check-splitting. Maureen Anders, owner of Anders Ruff Custom Designs and AR Workshop, recently joined forces with her creative partner in crime, Adria Ruff, and recruited some help to plan and host an elegant backyard pre-prom dinner party for 30 teens. Come explore the beautiful photos and videos to see how they pulled off this moderately large event and created a memorable evening for high schoolers before heading to prom.

DIY prom dinner

This year’s high school prom theme was “enchanted forest”. Instead of imitating that theme exactly, Maureen and her team attempted to give a small, inspired nod, but create their own unique, streamlined garden party vibe for this pre-prom affair. I don’t know about you, but I’d definitely like to be on the guest list for this dinner party!

DIY prom dinner

Guests were greeted at the outdoor, poolside dining space with A DIY’d signature AR Workshop wood framed sign inviting all to “…get this party started”. The custom addition of “prom 2023” to the signage is just one of many extra special touches that helped make this event feel personal vs generic.

Creating the garden party feel was accomplished by pairing wood elements, neutral floral accents, and pops of fresh eucalyptus with a modern color palette of whites, tans, deep greens, and black. Incorporating black and white cabana striped napkins as an accent to each place setting with the striped pattern repeated via the paper party straws helped inspire a playful and youthful vibe, while maintaining an overall classy ambience.

Zooming in on the finer details of each place setting via the video snippets and imagery further reveals the gorgeous layers of texture used to create a magical dinner setting. Maureen used large wood slices from Rustic Wood Supply, and rattan napkin rings, eco-friendly silhouette birchwood cutlery, round water hyacinth charger-style placemats, and eco-friendly palm leaf dinner plates (which were also disposable and made dinner cleanup so much easier) that can all be sourced via Oriental Trading Company (literally Maureen’s near one-stop virtual shop for all things pre-prom-dinner party)!

DIY prom dinner

DIY prom dinner

Maureen’s objective was to style a prom tablescape for teens with that perfect balance of sophistication and fun! She set out to achieve this by incorporating centerpieces, candles, and glassware into the tablescape with an upscale, “mature” feel.  You can find candles and the gold geometric terrarium candle holders here. The clear hexagonal stemless wine glasses were an incredible Oriental Trading find, here. (Can you believe those are actually plastic and disposable? No worries over expensive broken glassware and easy clean up are a win-win in our book!) She also added one of our Anders Ruff custom designed printable menus and used cork stoppers to DIY personalized place cards. The fun, “surprise” element to the table was the addition of individual custom printable sparkler favors–a really great way to celebrate a milestone evening.

DIY prom dinner

DIY prom dinner

What details are your favorite so far? Leave us a comment!

DIY prom dinner

DIY prom dinner

DIY prom dinner

 

Pro Tips:

Tip #1: If budget allows, cater the meal. Most teens or their parents were planning to contribute big bucks for a nice meal out on the town anyway. So unless you love to cook for a small army, save yourself the stress and hassle by ordering a delicious and widely enjoyed meal from a favorite restaurant. For this event, an Italian meal was chosen and catered.

DIY prom dinner

DIY prom dinner

 

Tip #2. Don’t go “dull” on the drinks. Water and soda pop are the usual drinks of choice for teens. Put together an elevated prom beverage station, while keeping it teen-friendly, of course. With help from a custom DIY sign and tray from AR Workshop, Maureen and Adria styled an incredible “PROMosa” beverage bar, complete with signature (non-alcoholic)drink options.

DIY prom dinner

 

Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at how easy it is to assemble an on-trend beverage bar teens are sure to love. You’ll notice a variety of juices and sparkling lemonades, glass carafes with custom labels and ribbon accents, and plenty of party topped straws and beverage glasses. Add the cute custom AR Workshop tray and some greenery filled vases for a finished look.

Tip #3. Dazzle guests with a themed dessert bar for an after-dinner treat. We recommend focusing on a minimum of 2-3 specialty desserts (these can either be ordered from a preferred bakery or dessert artist and even homemade) and supplementing with candy and/or other sweet and savory snacks. Can you spot the incredible signature desserts on our menu?

DIY prom dinner

If you said a custom cake, cookies, and pretzels, you’ve got eagle eyes! We were so fortunate to work with some incredible dessert artists who put their mind-blowing culinary and baking skills to work designing the most stunning desserts. Lakenda Jones of Oh My Cake Bake Shop not only created the gorgeous cake masterpiece, but she also personally drove several hours to set it up for the event. Roni Plascencia of Roni’s Sugar Creations lives clear on the other side of the country, but that didn’t stop her from coordinating her meticulous design ideas and shipping beautifully packaged cookies and pretzels for the prom party. Don’t overlook the details on these signature desserts that definitely added the dazzle to the dessert table. To accent these lovely confections and fill in the dessert table, we used a mix of apothecary jars and glassware to serve a variety of color-coordinating candy from Oriental Trading Co. (Sixlets, rock candy, gummi bears, taffy). Plus, for something a little salty to snack, on we had to serve up some PROMcorn in black and white striped popcorn boxes. Our custom labels added another themed touch.

DIY prom dinner

DIY prom dinner

DIY prom dinner

DIY prom dinner

DIY prom dinner

DIY prom dinner

DIY prom dinner

 

DIY prom dinner

DIY prom dinner
DIY prom dinner

DIY prom dinner

DIY prom dinner

DIY prom dinner

DIY prom dinner

DIY prom dinner

We hope when prom rolls around in your area, you’ll be inspired to invite your favorite teens to dress in their finest attire and treat them to an elegant at-home pre-prom dinner party using some of our tips and styling ideas. Just one question remains. When is adult prom? Add us to your guest list!

We extend a special appreciation to many wonderful businesses who helped create a magical prom night for dozens of very grateful teens.

Vendor Credits:

Styling & Custom Party Printables: Anders Ruff Custom Designs

DIY Custom party signs and tray: AR Workshop

Pre-prom dinner party supplies (napkin holders, plates, napkins, cutlery, stemless glasses, gold terrarium candle centerpieces, candy, etc): Oriental Trading Company

Custom cake: Oh My Cake Bake Shop

Custom cookies: Roni’s Sugar Creations

Wood slices for dining tables, wood slice stands on dessert table, place card holders on dessert table: Rustic Wood Supply

Photography: William Nguyen 

 

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