Formals are typically the most well-attended yearly event any club hosts. Many people even try to go to as many different club formals as possible before graduation. However, this can be a financial issue.
Because formals are so anticipated, most members have high expectations of the activities and the location. These factors make formals more expensive than any other function. To attend with a date, formals can range from $20 to $70.
Sophomore Reece Goudeau, a member of men’s social club Beta Omega Chi, has a couple of ideas on how to make formals less expensive.
“One way to cut cost when planning formals is to have more local venues hosting formal,” Goudeau said. “You could also do something different than a shirt like a hat or a mug.”
Senior Jackson Eldridge, a member of men’s social club Omega Phi, Eldridge has attended eight formals and is in the process of planning his club’s formal for a second time.
“Instead of trying to figure out total cost of individual expenses, I try to come up with a good estimation of how
many couple are going to attend and then figure everything as a unit cost per couple,” Eldridge said.
Both Eldridge and Goudeau have found either a bowtie or tie to wear for formals by asking members of their club. This has saved them money because it prevented them from having to buy new while still matching their dates.
For women, there are more expenses like buying or renting a dress and even paying for someone to do hair and make-up.
In 2015, a Facebook group called “Harding University Formal Dress Exchange” was created. This allows women on campus to post a picture of a formal dress and rent it to another girl, creating an inexpensive way to get a “new dress” for formal.
As a moderator on this page, senior Emily Hook believes the page is very beneficial to campus.
“I have seen these exchanges bring people together,” Hook said.“Girls go dorm to dorm trying on many dresses to find the perfect one, in turn meeting girls they may have never had an opportunity to. This process helps the renter build trust with those who are receiving their dress, as well as letting the recipient learn to care for another’s possession.”