Prom backdrops provide the perfect finishing touch to the year's biggest high school dance. No matter how great the centerpieces look or how many cardboard cutouts you've placed around the dance floor, if guests can see the gymnasium bleachers or a beige banquet hall wall, the mood is broken. Backdrops are essential for creating an immersive prom theme.
Ideas for Prom Backdrops
There are a variety of background choices for any decorating style and budget.
Consider the following materials for all-purpose backdrops:
- Metallic fabrics and papers - Add instant glamor and glitz with a metallic finish.
- Star-studded paper and fabric - Create an open-air feel by placing students next to a night sky, or just add a subtle touch of shine.
- Velvet - This fabric is a sumptuous choice, perfect for medieval themes or any decorating scheme aiming for a touch of class.
- Solid-colored paper - Prom backdrops can also be purely utilitarian. A roll of black paper doesn't have quite the same style as a shimmering night sky, but it does the job in terms of covering up unsightly walls.
Although rich fabrics and glimmering accents create a classy touch, sometimes you need a backdrop that really brings home your prom theme. Ideas include:
- Cityscapes - Whether you're celebrating "An Evening in Paris" or "New York, New York", the iconic outlines of the theme city are essential to any decorating plan.
- Decorative papers - Patterned papers can easily set the scene. For instance, rock wall paper instantly turns any wall into the outside of a castle and an ivy background transports dancers to a scenic garden.
- Beach scenes - A simulated walk on the beach is perfect for a luau or tropical destination theme.
Renting and Purchasing Backgrounds
Renting allows prom planners to use higher-quality prom backdrops without taking over the entire budget. Although it focuses on the theatrical market, Grosh Backdrops and Drapery offers rentals of everything from beach scenes to the circus. If there is a theater group in your community, ask if they have any stage backdrops available for rental. Party rental stores may also stock a few backgrounds, especially those that would be suitable for weddings and other occasions.
If you would like to purchase your prom backdrops, available online retailers include:
- Stumps and Anderson's are classic names in the prom business.
- PromNite and Harding's also offer large selections of prom decorating supplies.
- Although not a company solely devoted to proms, Shindigz sells numerous theme kits.
Making Your Own
Although pre-fabricated backgrounds are easy to use, in many cases a creative prom committee can make its own, saving money for other areas. Cut rectangular building shapes out of cardboard and spray paint the pieces black to create the silhouette of a city skyline. Add foil stars to black paper for a starry night. Paint a cloud-filled sky. The possibilities are endless. Set your artistically-inclined students free and see what they can create.
Tips for Using Backdrops
Keep the following tips in mind while planning and setting up your prom decorations:
- Store your supplies in a safe place. A leaky storage room or a crowded supply closet can ruin hours of effort or get you in trouble with the rental company.
- Know the rules of your venue. If your school rents a room at a local community center or hotel, you may not be allowed to attach materials to the walls, and you will have to think of more creative ways to use a backdrop. However, even if you're hosting the event on school grounds, the athletic director may have rules about what you can attach to the basketball hoops or the fire marshal may not allow paper backgrounds.
- Don't sacrifice safety for style. Make sure backdrops aren't covering fire alarms or blocking exits. In addition, flammable materials should be kept far from heat sources, such as the lights on the DJ booth.
- Backdrops create fun photo-ops, so make sure you leave room for posing in front of your decorative scenes.
Whether prom guests are walking the streets of Rome or embarking on an undersea adventure, you can take pride in knowing that your choice in prom backdrops made it all possible.