#AskHershey: Tips on Planning Your Debut

Turning 18 is an important milestone in every girl's life. For us Filipinos, it is a tradition to throw a "debut" or a party to officially welcome the young lady to the world of adulthood.

Planning your debut could be extremely fun, yet super stressful as well. If you're going to throw a big party, I recommend that you allot at least 3 months to prepare for it; if you'd want it to be small and intimate, a month or so would definitely do.

1. First, think of a theme.
Setting a theme is important, because from there, everything else will just follow.
Some girls opt to have the traditional, ball-like debut parties; some prefer to celebrate their debuts in party venues/ clubs ; some create a mix between traditional and modern. My debut, for example, was a mixture of both- it was traditional in a way that it had a program, that it was a formal event with gowns and suits and all, and that it had dances and such; the modern twist to it was that it was themed "Teen Vogue/ Fashion Week", and it focused more on the aspect of blogging.  The theme was very "me", because it embodied my character and personality.

(see THIS POST to know what I'm talking about).

(The fashion show portion of my debut, where I chose 18 of my girl friends to walk and dance with me.)

  • Tips on creating your own theme

1. Decide on whether you'd want your debut to be formal, semi-formal, "party-party", or a combination. 
2. It must show your character! Your theme would depend on whether you'd want to focus on your fun side, romantic side, party girl side, music lover side, etc.
3. Feel free to do some RESEARCH! Google and ask around!
4. Get CREATIVE! Remember, it's your debut, and it's all about YOU! So just express yourself!

Here are some themes of debuts I've been to/seen/heard about. These are just to help you get ideas. There are plenty other themes out there, all you have to do is research and think out of the box :)
  • Concert theme - it had a stage and everything! And yep, you guessed it! The debutante had a mini popstar concert/
  • Traveling theme- Eiffel Tower, Big Ben, Empire State, and other landmarks were seen everywhere!
  • Candy theme
  • Katy Perry theme (think candies, colorful set, cotton candies/ roar, safari, leopard prints)
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Disney theme
  • Pajama party
  • Swimming party
  • Neon Colors
  • Vintage 
  • Black and gold theme (everyone must wear only the colors black and gold)

Your theme doesn't have to be extravagant or anything. It can be as simple as color coordination !

2. Look for a venue and a caterer. 
The venue is one of the most important elements of your debut. Make sure that it is easy to locate (so that guests won't get confused getting there); that it provides comfort to your guests (check: airconditioning); that it has a plan B if ever that, on the day of your event, it rains (also check if they have a generator in case of brown-outs); that the soundsystem is good; and that most importantly, it's clean and has a pleasing atmosphere/ambiance.

> Make sure to book your venue EARLY because if you don't book at least a month before your event, the odds are that other people might have booked that date and time already.

> Check the capacity of the venue so that you'd have an idea of how many people to include in the guest list

*Nowadays, a restaurant could even be a venue for simple debut parties. My friend celebrated her debut at a beautiful restaurant with dainty interiors along Tomas Morato. 

A debut party doesn't need to be expensive. You can actually budget things out. You could look for affordable venues and get creative! RESEARCH RESEARCH RESEARCH!  

The food is also one of the first things the debutante must consider. In parties, people always come for two things: for the birthday celebrant, and for the FOOD, of course!! Usually, a venue is tied up with different catering services, so you can just choose a caterer according to your package. If the venue doesn't have partner caterers, then just google great catering services around the area! Some of the famous ones are Hizons and Juan Carlo (btw, my caterer back then was hizons hehe). But don't worry! Feel free to ask your friends and family for suggestions as well. A catering service doesn't need to be expensive! There are a lot of affordable ones too that offer great food. Remember, FOOD is important. Always have extra food just in case unexpected guests arrive. It is better to have excess food than to have a shortage of it.

3. Make a guestlist
The number of your guests will usually depend on the capacity of  your venue. Talk to your parents about how many visitors you could invite, and if ever, how many they will invite. (In my case, my venue could fit about 140 guests. 100 attendees were my guests, and 40 people were their guests).


Expect some people not to come on time/ to attend. Also, expect unexpected visitors as well :))
So if you're venue could fit only 100 guests, make sure to invite 120 people, because at least 20 of them won't make it. And hey, you don't even need to invite a lot of people. Remember, what will really matter at the end of the day is that you get to celebrate your 18th with the people you love most. :)

4. Don't forget to ask for help!
Invitations, decorations, set-up, program flow, photoshoots, etc (the list goes on and on!!!)
It's important to have your supportive friends and family by your side to help you every step of the way :) 

(Photos taken by Nice Print Photography and edited by me)


Btw, to Aezel, the reader who sent this message, THANK YOU for being so sweet. Hope these tips were able to help you out! :) Have a wonderful 18th! <3

Feel free to ask more Qs over at hello.hersheyneri@gmail.com. I will try my best to answer them as soon as I could! 

The Teenage Queen