In the Philippines, when a girl reaches the age of 18, it is considered to be a momentous point in her life. This is when the “baby turns into a lady,” as she is now legal and free. To celebrate this occasion, there is a traditional party which she can throw and it is called a debut. It is basically a coming-of-age party wherein all her closest friends and family are gathered together to celebrate her womanhood or something like that.
I had my own debut around four months ago, and I learned that it was no easy task to throw one. I searched the internet countless times to find pegs and inspirations so that I can incorporate them to my party. However, I noticed that there weren’t a lot of guides or tips on how to throw a debut, so right now, that is what I am going to write about.
Here is a guide on how to throw your own successful debut!
- Decide EARLY OR AS SOON AS POSSIBLE if you really want to have a debut or not. Ideally, you should already make this decision at least a year before you turn 18. This is because when you book a venue for your party, the rule is always first come, first serve. And if you cram to the last minute, it will be a lot more difficult for you to find the perfect setting that you want. And not just that, for you will most probably be hiring suppliers or what not, and some may not accept the job if they know they lack the time. I know that there are also some girls out there who don’t find the need to throw a debut, because let’s be real, it does costs a fortune. And they always say that the money used for the party could have been used for something more worthwhile, like shopping or travelling. But from my point of view, a debut only happens ONCE in your lifetime. On the other hand, travelling the world is something you can do at any point in your life. Well, that’s just my opinion. At the end of the day, it is still your life, your rules, your decisions. But if ever you realize that you actually want to have a debut, please decide early! 🙂
- Pick a theme. The more specific, the better. If you have a more specific theme, it will be easier to put fun and appropriate details on invites, the program, the stage, and the whole event itself! Make sure that the theme you choose really speaks to you and is something that you really like. Why not throw a Wicked themed party and dress in a gown like Glinda’s? Or maybe have a Cinderella themed one, and refer to your 18 Roses as your 18 Prince Charming’s? Go for something even as crazy as Harry Potter, or The Hunger Games, or why not even Adventure Time? Your guests will surely not forget your debut because it will be super unique and different from all the other ones they have already attended.
- Find pegs and save them to your phone! The internet is full of pictures to take inspiration from, and this will definitely make it easier for you to envision the party that you would like to have. Share them with your parents so that they also know the look that you want to go for.
- Check Instagram to find people/businesses/companies that you can hire for your special day! I think I found most of the people we hired on Instagram, because their accounts on that app also stands as their portfolio, and you will be able to see how they work and what their final products look like. I swear, there are A LOT of business men and women on IG, and one click is all it takes to find what you are looking for for your debut. Here’s a checklist of the list of people you may opt to hire.
- Fashion Designer
- Designer for Invitations
- Event Coordinator
- Event Stylist
- Photographer and Videographer
- Hair and Makeup Artist
- Or just find a company that can do ALL of these things! I’m sure there are some businesses out there who can cover most, if not all, of these for you.
- Event styling makes all the difference. At first, I thought that I can be the one to style my own debut, since I can come up with creative ideas sometimes. But what I didn’t realize is the amount of work it will actually take, as in buying numerous supplies and doing construction work, to make my dream debut come to life. We ended up hiring an event styling company instead, and they really impressed me with their design and I really loved the look of my party! However, I must warn you that to be able to hire such companies, you must be willing to pay a huge amount. But don’t worry, the money will all be worth it because they will for sure do a splendid job!
- Be careful in throwing a black and white party. I think this is the trend nowadays, and from my experience, the guests won’t really follow this. Most of them will just dress in black, because it can flatter any type of body. So then, your party might turn into just a black party. haha! Just be mindful of that. Oh, and don’t forget that one relative who still won’t follow the dress code. I swear every party has one, and I find it so funny hahaha!
- Two dresses are really all you need. The first one is the traditional ball gown for the program proper and the second one is the party dress for the after party, so that you can move more freely. If you’re tight on budget, you can even just wear a gown that can convert to a dress! You’ll be able to hit two birds with one stone.
- Ask some guests to perform during the party, or maybe even perform yourself. To keep the spirit alive during the event, ask some of your talented family members or friends to perform a song or dance number. If you can sing or dance yourself, why not perform too? The guests will surely love and enjoy it!
- Ask people who can’t come to your party to send greeting videos instead, so that it can be played during the event. This goes for relatives or friends who are living in a different country. Also, why not add in some birthday greetings from your favorite celebrities? If you know anyone who works in show business, don’t be shy to ask them that favor! In my experience, I was lucky enough to get greetings from my celeb crushes like James Reid and Andre Paras, since my ninong worked in the world of showbiz. It’s something you can look back at and smile like crazy at when you’re older! 🙂
- Prepare a trivia game about yourself and give away some prizes. This is a popular way to break the ice and also have some fun! I’m pretty sure your guests know you well enough to answer the questions you come up with.
- Prepare a playlist for songs to be played during 18 Roses, the dinner, and the after party. You can even ask help from family and friends if you are not up to date with the latest music. Just be sure that you personally like those songs too. Here are a few song suggestions for your 18 Roses. 🙂
- Can I Have This Dance – HSM 3
- I See the Light – Tangled
- Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran
- You and Me – Lifehouse
- I’ll Be – Edwin McCain
- You and I – John Legend
- ENJOY! Even if planning a debut is stressful, once the day for the party comes, RELAX! This is literally your time to be happy and be excited. THIS IS YOUR DAY! Don’t let the slightest negativity ruin it. Just be cool, smile, and enjoy every minute of your debut! ❤
For more debut pegs or inspirations, check out my previous posts!
xo, moira ❤