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Formal Themes for Your Next Greek Life Event

Check out these formal dance theme ideas for your next Greek Life event. Plan fun activities and lasting memories with your close friends.

By Hannah Purvis

Being on the planning committee in a sorority can be an incredibly exciting and rewarding position! Not only are you often in charge of making decisions regarding recruitment and fundraising, but you also get to plan fun social activities for your fellow sorority sisters like choosing the party theme for the fall formal!

The good news is that there are endless formal event themes to choose from and activities to host at each. To help you decide, we've narrowed down a few of our personal favorites, ranging from a classic casino night to a theme that's 'out of this world.'

10 Themes for Sorority Formals

1. A Night at the Masquerade

Everyone loves a masquerade and encouraging your sisters to lean into the theme and sport over-the-top masks will make for a night that no one will soon forget.

You can even expand this theme into a craft night social where people can meet up and decorate masks together before the ball!

masquerade mask
Photo by Izzy Park on Unsplash

2. Under the Sea

This classic formal theme is always a crowd-pleaser thanks to its colorful luminescent and eye-catching decor. One of the ideas we love to see when hosting an underwater bash is encouraging the guests to dress as mermaids or sailors!

Blue water
Photo by Sime Basioli on Unsplash

3. CLUE: Murder Mystery Night

This formal theme will involve a bit more pre-planning, but with the right amount of people and active involvement, will be loads of fun!

Start by ordering a murder mystery kit online and choose from a wide variety of themes. Then assign out characters in advance and have everyone dress the part! When the night of the formal arrives, it will turn into hilarious mayhem as the murder mystery unfolds and the case is solved!

clue mystery game
Photo by Alexander Lyashkov on Unsplash

4. Old-School Hollywood Glitz & Glamor

Old-school Hollywood glitz and glamor is perfect for upscale formals, as it will allow attendees the chance to arrive in style and show off their best looks! Some prefer to lean towards a Great Gatsby night and make it wilder in terms of entertainment, even hiring out a live band.

formal dinner
Photo by Kier… in Sight on Unsplash

5. Snowy Ski Lodge

Decorate the venue like a cozy ski lodge, or better yet -- throw the formal at a ski lodge if you live nearby! Dive into this cozy theme with a spiked cocoa bar or boozy drinks like eggnog and spiced cider for everyone 21+! If thrown in the fall or winter, this sorority formal will put everyone in the holiday spirit.

snow ski lodge
Photo by Joan Oger on Unsplash

6. Enchanted Forest

Find a venue with an outdoor area and host an enchanted forest garden party! String fairy lights, mix colorful floral cocktails, and host garden games like croquet!

enchanted forest
Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

7. Let’s Set Sail

Underrated among sorority formal themes is a cruise themed formal! Instead of dressing to the nines, have everyone arrive in their tackiest cruise wear and compete in cruise competitions themed to each 'port' for a grand prize.

cruise line
Photo by Elwin de Witte on Unsplash

8. Casino Night

Grab a drink, roll the dice and get ready to rake in some chips with a lively casino night formal! This sorority party is classic and will no doubt leave everyone entertained. Rent out different game tables and hire dealers so you can just focus on having a blast with your friends!

casino night
Photo by Kaysha on Unsplash

9. Adventure in Wonderland

An adventure in a wonderland cocktail party can make for a great formal! Dress in your wackiest wonderland attire, sample glittery themed drinks and hit the dance floor. When planning decor, you can rent colorful lights and a fog machine to make the space feel as mischievous and quirky as wonderland!

wonderland sign
Photo by Nicole Baster on Unsplash

10. Spacing Out

Send your guests out of this world with a space themed social event! Set the dress code to extra-terrestrial and hire a DJ to spin electric house jams until the early morning.

outer space
Photo by Graham Holtshausen on Unsplash

Who’s Ready To Party?

We hope you’re feeling inspired and ready to get planning after perusing our favorite formal themes! Tag us on Instagram so we can see what you came up with!

Set up an online registry with all of your party planning and decoration needs. This can help split the financing of the event and encourage everyone to pitch in to make it a night to remember.

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