Wild & Wanderful

Wheeling Young Preservationists Prom

Wheeling, PersonalKaty McKinleyComment

It started with an idea a couple of years ago.  I REALLY wanted to throw an adult prom.  The who was easy...we have a ton of friends in town that we knew would come.  The when, where, and how were a little harder.  I wanted it to benefit something, so there was more of a purpose behind my "let's throw a prom" idea.

Bennett is the current President of the Wheeling Young Preservationists (WYP) and the Steering Committee offered to let prom be a WYP event.  GAME ON.  We created a Prom Planning Committee, with people from the WYP board and some of our friends, who are just awesome and enthusiastic and wanted to help.  Best team of people ever.

We got to work.  Hashed out all of the details.  And invited Wheeling to come prom with us.  Then we held our breath...we were hoping people would get excited and buy tickets and sell out the event immediately.  Ha.  Who wouldn't?  

Ticket sales did start rolling in.  Of course, most people waited until the last week to get their hands on them.  However, the numbers were looking awesome.  I think our final-ish count on Saturday night was 160 attendees.  YOU GUYS.  That's amazing.  We didn't advertise anywhere beyond social media marketing, and some short bits on WTRF.  It was so much awesome that we had the crowd we did!

The last ten days leading up to prom were filled with silly checklist reminders, to help people have the perfect prom night.  We'd connected with a few local businesses, to give discounts on dresses/tuxes...as well as make dinner reservations for special before-prom meals.

We can try and pretend that I wasn't throwing a prom just to wear a fun dress.  But really...what's better than an awesome excuse to make a slightly over-the-top dress to wear to a formal event?  Um.  Nothing.  And I didn't just make a dress for me, I also volunteered to make a dress for my girl Alex!  There were two Katy-made dresses out on the dance floor on prom night!  Woot!

And then the day finally came!  Bennett asked me to be his prom date (really, he did) and even bought me a corsage to wear that night.  BEST. DATE. EVER.  Also, I was super rusty on pinning his boutonniere.  I feel like that never came easy to me and it still doesn't.  I even had to have Bennett's mom pin it to him after I faked it for some pictures.  Talk about a total throwback experience!

Since it was a WYP event, we wanted to theme prom to Wheeling.  The walls were covered in old Wheeling photographs and posters.  The tables were filled with books and nicknacks related to architecture and Wheeling history.  And even our King + Queen voting booth was fundraising to directly help a project that was happening in town, to relocate the Soliders and Sailors Monument (read more about project that HERE).

We also put together a "red carpet wall", had a traditional prom photo backdrop to get your pictures in front of, and hired Mr. Fancy Pants to rock the party...followed by a dj to bring the house down at the end of the evening.  Small details, big results.

I have issues and always want some sort of face-in-the-hole poster that can be passed around.  Guess what I did for prom?  I made a face-in-the-hole poster of course!  The "Wheelingram" frame made it's way around prom on Saturday...and I accidentally fell into my wedding-photographer mode and started taking pictures of people with it, with my big camera.

One of my favorite things of the night was the Prom Court nominations and announcements.  I'm not sure anyone past their teens ever expects to be on prom court, or prom king/queen.  So when it happens in your twenties and beyond...it's pretty stinking fun.

Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to present to you the 2017 WYP Prom Court.  Congratulations guys!

And now...here are some other shots from the night.  Hopefully this photo overload doesn't kill your browsers so you can see how much fun we really had on Saturday.  At prom.   (Can we do it again next weekend??)

Our photographer has just uploaded all of the formal photos from the evening onto his website.  Go check them out and snag another copy of your photo HERE.  And don't forget to search #WYPProm on Instagram to see the fabulous shots posted by our attendees! 

And here are all the links (that I can find) of when we made the news about WYP Prom!

PS.  Prom is SO happening next year.  Plan on it!