Saturday, April 25, 2009

Hollywood Red Carpet Theme

When my daughter and I started the real work of planning her Quince, we knew that if we found a great theme it would make the planning easier. Initially she did not want a themed event but we had seen how sucessful they could be so we did a lot of brainstorming. Over the months leading up to her 14th birthday we tossed ideas back and forth and finally decided on a Hollywood Red Carpet theme. Then I panicked, how do you do Red Carpet without spending tons of money? When you think about Hollywood and Red Carpet you think glamour, luxury, and extravagance. Of course by now she was totally excited about the theme. So I did a whole lot of Internet searching on the Golden Age of Hollywood, I looked at old photos just to get some ideas. What kind of venue would have that old Hollywood flavor?

The Venue

During my Internet research I had seen a lot of references to the old Chinese theatre in Hollywood. That was the kind of venue I would love to have, something historic and full of character. I remembered that locally we had a historic Fox Theatre that had recently been restored, they had refurbished it but had stuck to the original design and had restored the furniture, lighting and even restored the painted ceiling. They had modernized their technical equipment for sound and video, and reopened the theatre on a limited basis to the public. I decided to see if the theatre had a website so I could view some pictures and get some ideas. Then I saw it, a link for "Building Rental".

I promptly scheduled a tour and fell in love. The theatre was perfect. Building Rental included not only the use of the auditorium but the use of the entire theatre. I had use of the main auditorium for the Ceremony and Reception, (they could remove some of the theatre seating and place a dance floor) The lighting and sound could be handled by their technicians while allowing our DJ and Videographer to plug into theatre quality House sound.

Backstage we had dressing rooms with lighted mirrors for both boys and girls, and two individual Star Dressing Rooms. There was a green room with a Refrigerator where we could keep refreshments for the Court, for the guests the concessions were open for drinks and snacks. The court was given VIP access to the backstage that was restricted to just the court. And they would all arrive by limo to walk the red carpet when the Reception began.

And it was beautiful, everywhere you looked the theatre was beautiful, a wonderful backdrop for photos and video. And because it was a historic theatre it required no decoration. My only outside costs for the venue were the rental of a red carpet and the dance floor. It was perfect. And one of the coolest details was that they were going to put whatever we wished on the Marque for the Night of the Event, we also had the use of the poster cases to create custom posters for the outside of the theatre. Now I realize that not every city has a historic theatre that can be rented, and by having the theatre it made my job easier but I will list below some of the little details that can create that Hollywood atmosphere.

Making a Hollywood Entrance

What do you think of when you think of Hollywood? I think of Paparazzi, and Award Shows, and Movie Premiers and Walking the Red Carpet. These are all relatively easy to do at your event. You can contact almost any party supply place to rent a red carpet and velvet ropes to rope it off. Ask for a handful of volunteers to pose as paparazzi and take pictures. With today's technology and digital camera this will cost your guests nothing but to bring their own cameras and flash away. This is also a nice way to get additional candid shots of your event from those individuals that acted as paparazzi. This will be a lot of fun for them and a great way to make them feel included. Also guests will enjoy posing on the red carpet for their own photos throughout the night.

Now you are ready for the Red Carpet Arrivals. The easiest way to accomplish this is to rent a limo, if you are feeling extravagant you can hire a car club or multiple limos, but in my case we rented a single 10 person limo that carried about three couples at a time. The limo would circle the block and the chauffeur would open the door so that one couple at a time could get out. The court members would then strut down the red carpet feeling like movie stars, some even signed autographs. This part of the evening was very high energy we had music pumping in the background and the guest were going crazy taking pictures. The Quinceanera and her escort were the last to arrive on the Red Carpet, by then the entire court was outside with all the guests waiting for her big entrance. The crowd went crazy...

Souvenir Tickets

One of the ways to make a real statement is to create original invitations, posters, and programs for your event. Custom work does not need to be expensive, in fact it can save you money. For my daughters Quinceanera I wanted to create an invitation that was in keeping with the theme. I looked online for ticket invitations and found several at party sites, they were relatively inexpensive compared to traditional invitations but were not very original.

So I did an Internet search on ticket printing and found a professional printing service online, I contacted them with my ideas and they had a graphic artist create a design for me. I provided him with a picture of my daughter, a picture of the fox I had taken at night and he created this awesome invitation for me. I only had to pay for his design time which was only two hours. I purchased 900 tickets with envelopes and it cost me less than $200. If you are planning an event you know that traditional invitations with envelopes are usually about $5 an invitation. You can see the savings. The tickets also served as souvenir for the guests and court for a keepsake of the event.

Souvenir Posters

You can also have custom posters made that you create yourself using photo editing software like Photoshop. Or you can even create posters on the photo tab of the Walgreen's website under photo gifts. These can be simple or complex. My original idea was to recreate teen movie posters using my daughter and her Court as the movie cast members. With everything I had to do I never finished that project, but we were fortunate that our Photographer created some original movie posters with her as a star using some pictures he had taken of her a few months before.

Souvenir Programs

You can also create a souvenir program using a standard word processing software like Microsoft Word. These programs often provide templates for different types of documents that can be downloaded. Once downloaded you can edit the text and even the graphics relatively easily. Programs are a great way to give the guests a schedule of events as well as write some personal thank yous to everyone that has helped you bring the event together.

Grab Bags

Red Carpet events often include goodie bags for the guests and presenters. This is a fun way to give thank you gifts to your court. You can create Hollywood themed goodie bags that include a small gift and some memorabilia from the Event. Suggested contents could be Oscar trophies for the court, Bling for the girls like matching necklace and earring sets, movie candy, copies of the program, tickets and VIP passes. I included a Quinceanera soundtrack with music from every year of my daughter's life. Another idea is to give them a photo CD of pictures from the practices and events. You can put almost anything in the goodie bags.

Interviews & Photography

One way to make the guests feel special and have an extra treat for your party girl is to have the videographer do guest interviews. This is fun for the guests, and a great surprise for the guest of honor when she receives her video. Friends and family can also make videos statements and tell stories or just give some well wishes.
However you do it, your daughter is sure to feel like a Superstar! Have Fun!
If you would like to see a video of my event click on the video on the video bar.


  1. Hi
    thanks for this hollywood great party and decoration idea i like it so please provide me more information through your another blog

  2. what did you do for center pieces

    1. and where did you get the red carpet??