Tips & What to Expect in School Formal and School Ball

Guide to your Senior School Formal

Getting to know School Formal and School Ball
School Formal is a formal event held at the end of the year for Australian high schools. Depending on the schools, sometimes this event can held in early or middle of the year. In New Zealand they are called School Balls. Both School Formal and School Ball are similar to the American prom. The event is normally organized by either student committee or school.

Who attends School Formal?
Basically 16 to 18 years old students attend School Formal. Although School Formal in Australia is usually held for students in Year 12, some schools also have School Formal for Year 11 and Year 10 students. Basically they are called Year 12 Formal, Year 11 Formal and Year 10 Formal. The students are allowed to bring guests as partners. Sometimes some smaller schools will hold formals for all year groups together.

Since Year 12 is the final high school year, Year 12 Formal also serves as the place where students and teachers gather one last time. It’s the one last major event before the students go their own way.

Here’s a breakdown of the school year versus student age for Australia and New Zealand schools that attend School Formal/Ball:

School year vs student age in Australia
Year 10: 15 to 16 years old
Year 11: 16 to 17 years old
Year 12: 17 to 18 years old

School year vs student age in New Zealand
Year 11: 15 years old
Year 12: 16 years old
Year 13: 17 years old

Where is School Formal and School Ball held?
Formals are usually held at local reception center, ballroom, hotel, resort and spa or school area.

Who pay the tickets for School Formal?
No matter you’re a guy or girl, if you’re the one inviting, you should pay for your date’s ticket. It’s the only fair thing. Unless if your date is from the same school, splitting the cost is reasonable.

School Formal and School Ball Tips:
1. Partner/Date
Your partner can be your boyfriend, best guy friend, hang out buddy and you know what? It doesn’t have to stop there. You can invite your best girlfriend too. You don’t have to wait for the person to invite you, you can invite too. Formal is a place to have fun and enjoy yourself, so it’s better to bring someone you’re close to rather than have some random, anonymous person as date.

2. Attire
School Formal is a formal event therefore formal dresses and formal gowns for the girls and formal suit (tuxedo with bow and tie) for the boys. Shop early and remember to discuss with your partners so you and your partner can wear matching color outfit. The dress/gown can be short or long. If you’re not sure how formal the dress is going to be, it’s worth asking around first as school tradition differ from one school to next.

3. Shoes, Hair, Makeup, Nails and accessories
Once you’ve got hold of your dress, try to pair it up with matching shoes, hair, makeup and accessories. Get shoes that are comfortable since you’ll be wearing it for few hours.

Refer to teen magazine to get an idea what up-do you would like. Basically simplicity is the best!

If you’re good with makeup, try different shades to see which one suit you the best. You can also try getting help from family or friends. Don’t apply too many makeup. You’re young and beautiful so just show off your natural beauty!

Try not to get expensive accessories since the event will only last a few hours. For e.g. Forever new has very nice looking accessories. Remember not to over-accessorise.

Not to forget a nice manicure for your nail, perfume for your body and nice-looking teeth.

4. Transport
Arrange for transport like limo and go together with your date and friends. The more the merrier!

What to expect at the Formal?
1. You’ll have a pre-formal photo shoot... so make sure you don't wear SPF in your foundation as it reflects in photos. (also bring face powder for touchups during the night)

2. You’ll be placed with your date in vintage or unique cars that will bring you to the Formal location.

3. You’ll be arriving at the formal walking on red carpet feeling like star.

4. You will have great time socialising with your date and friends.

5. There will be a DJ hired and you will have memorable and embarrassing moment while dancing with your date.

6. You will spent most of your Formal night with your date.

7. You will get multi-course or buffet style meal so remember to eat and enjoy!

8. You will be photographed many times during the night.

9. There will be no parents at the Formal BUT your teachers will be there as guardians to make sure the students are not involved with alcohol, violence and drug.

10. You will be shocked when you see security guards hired by the school or parents.

11. You will be invited to post-formal parties.

To go or not to go?
Some students have doubt whether to go to School Formal.

Their reason: I don’t have a date, I don’t know many people, I hate dressing up, I think it’s a waste of time.

It’s your own decision whether you want to go or not. But I can tell you one thing, some people regret not going to their School Formal/Ball/prom many many years later.

So come on! Make some memories for these are moments that you will remember for the rest of your life be it your very best night or your worst! So go enjoy yourself.

For more tips on how you can look good for School Formal/Ball/Prom when you’re on a budget, refer to this helpful post.

If you want to learn more about being more socially confident, refined and a elegant young woman learn more in our Just for Teens workshops.