Debut: The Basic Manual

Getting ready for your upcoming debut party? Basics first! Sometimes, debutantes forget even the simplest of things! So before anything, read these super simple guides regarding your debut essentials. This will definitely help you get a step ahead in your debut planning.


Still sticking to your motif, choose the invitation that is simple, elegant, and proper for the occasion. Do not rely on electronic invites such as the Email. If you are confident however that your guests check their email regularly, you may do so, just be sure to get a confirmation by calling them to ask if the invitation was received. However, a hard copy of your invitation is still the best way to invite people. After all, this is also where you can showcase your own creativity!

Inviting through SMS or texting may be quite impolite. Remember, you are the one asking them a favor to attend your party. Texting should only be used for confirmation purposes.

Carefully prepare the list of names included in your program. Make sure names are not misspelled. And be sure the people included in your program know what to do. Send your invitations at least two weeks before the event itself. This way, your guests will not set other appointments on your big day.

Your Motif

Motif is usually reduced to the color that will dominantly be used in the party. But really, motif is more than just that.

When choosing your motif, you may consider your favorite color, which is the conventional way of doing it, but to make your party much more interesting to become a real event to remember, you might want to think of a whole theme, rather than just a color.

A theme is a guide to what the most of your party will be about. It may range from something romantic like renaissance to something more magical like fairy tales. It’s all a matter of imagination and creativity, and of course, personality, that motif, which you think is you.

Once you have set your motif, everything else becomes easy.


Choosing your music is like choosing the mood of your party. Just remember that it should not clash with your theme. If you have a Pocahontas theme, the most suited music would be Pocahontas Original Soundtrack. But who’s dictating? You are always free to be creative! Don’t stick to conventions. Choose the music you love most. Wouldn’t you want to remember your special day with a beautiful music?

For your 18 roses, you may pick a song for each and every dance. The song should suit the man you are dancing with. You may request a friend to sing your favorite song during dinner or ask the dj to play your most memorable song while parading around your guests.

Program and Entertainment

The program of your party is important in keeping your guests entertained. Remember, it is your party. You’re the star! But you are also the hostess, you have the responsibility to make the night as enjoyable for them as it is for you.

Most often, the right performers, and emcee do it all. To entertain your guests, you can abuse your talented friends into making them sing your favorite song for instance. In this way, you are giving an opportunity for them to showcase their talents. Parts like the Cotillion de Honor require a great deal of preparation however. It may take months of preparation before you can produce a perfect Cotillion de Honor.

It would also make your event more interesting, if you include special segments, or the “not usual” segments. But always take note of your theme.


Depending on your motif, you pick the dress that you think will bring out your best, that which will make you feel confident.

Most of the time, we feel confident when we’re wearing something that we think brings out our best figure. So consider the whole design of your gown, more specifically its cut. Be sure that it fits you perfectly well.

Deciding if a gown fits you perfectly well or not is more than just checking if it’s tight or loose. It’s really a matter of feeling. When wearing it makes you feel confident and comfortable, then it must be good on you.

It is easier to choose an outfit knowing what you really want. You can shop for ideas and designs in the mall and gather them into a collective of what design suits your taste.

Hair and Make-up

Hair and make-up may be the most crucial little detail, because hair and make-up can definitely transform you.

It is very important that you feel comfortable and confident with your hair and make-up, because how you look would more or less direct your mood the whole evening.

It would be helpful to experiment with your looks before the big event itself. This way you more or less know what looks good on you.


Choosing the right accessories would come in easy as soon as you get your dress. Accessories play a big role, especially when you have chosen a relatively simple gown. Most of the time, the right accessories do it all.

If your dress can stand on its own, then simple accessories are best to be used to avoid overdressing and exaggeration.

Most well dressed people are the ones who keep it simple but undoubtedly elegant.


A bag is important to keep close the important things you need, those, which you think, you cannot last a single night without. However, carrying a bag with you during this very important occasion is just optional.

For some people, a bag is not an important detail. But you wouldn’t want a wrong bag to ruin your almost perfect debut, would you?

Your bag must definitely match your dress. If it matches, then it’s the perfect bag.


Your shoes may not even be visible during the whole night of your party, because of your long dress. But it still is important to have the right shoes, just in case.

In picking your shoes, the thing to consider, aside from style, is of course comfort. No debutante would want a hurting foot after dancing with the eighteen roses.

Your shoes should blend with your dress. It should be in harmony with your gown’s color or detail. If not, it should match your bag. Be sure to ask opinions from your family and friends about your whole outfit so that during your debut you wouldn’t worry about it at all.


Souvenirs are remembrance, memories, reminders of your event. To achieve the real purpose of souvenirs, do not just give away something that has always been given away. Pick something special that matches your motif. Pick a souvenir that you think will remind your guests of your memorable day with them. Think of something even more creative to give your friends or family who have helped you a lot in organizing your debut. They will appreciate this token so much that they wouldn’t get tired of helping you at all.

340 thoughts on “Debut: The Basic Manual

  1. hi debut ideas, 🙂

    i got a celebrating my debut on sept.10, 2011 and were running out of time… i decided to have a floral party.. is it okay even if its already september? and my mom choose Great Grand Hotel (aberdeen court) for the venue…can you suggest me anything about these which is less expensive

    -the design of the venue
    -my dress
    -songs should we play
    -18 something (roses, candles, treasures and envelopes)

    i really needed your help…thank you and godbless..:))

  2. Hi Tet,

    Sorry for not replying sooner. A floral theme would be easy to do because you just fill up your venue with flowers, most especially the stage and you’re all set. For 18s, you can have 18 roses (or daisies, malaysian mums, depends on your favorite flower). For 18 candles, you can have 18 bees and for 18 treasures 18 honeycomb, 18 honey. Hope this helps.

  3. Hi Che,

    Sorry for not replying soon. The color combination are usually what your favorite color is because the party needs to reflect your personality to make it uniquely your own. We have a list of songs that you may want to look into. Debut Songs Hope this helps.

  4. Hi Stefanie,

    Sadly we were able to reply to your query just now and I’m hoping that you’ve already done much of your preparation. This website is created for debutantes as a guide in their debut preps and pretty much all of that there is to know is basically here. Some nature themes that come to mind are Fairy’s Dream and Midsummer Night’s Dream themes, Hope this helps and happy birthday.

  5. Hi,

    My youngest sister is turning 18 this November and i plan to organize a debut party. Honestly, i have no idea how to do this…I didn’t celebrate my 18th bday so i wanted my sister will feel and enjoy a debut party…I dont know how to start…It would be great if you could advise me….please…

  6. Hi Rhea,

    It’s really great that you are organizing your sister’s debut party. That is really so nice of you. Since you know your sister well, you know what she likes pretty much right? Choose from among our themes and start from there. Does your sister love to party (rave theme, rocker chic theme, disco theme) or would she want the traditional type (fairytale, princess theme, butterfly theme, flowers theme, balloons theme). these are just some of the things to consider, so just pick a theme first and then go from there. Hope this helps.

  7. I’m celebrating my debut this December. I’m still thinking what the program flow will be. I don’t want to have 18 roses and 18 candles. So I’d like to know what’s the best replacement for that.

    I hope you could help me. Thank you and more power! 🙂

  8. Greetings to you,

    I see your website only now. We already have a theme which is “Hat Party”. We already advised our guests to come in their stylish hats. Please advise / share what we can do to make it more exciting, fun & enjoyable. For 18 roses/candles, what would be any idea with regards to our theme? Appreciate your immediate response. Thanks & regards!

  9. Hi Tess,

    A hat party would be awesome indeed. Games are what makes a party enjoyable so add some games in between programs. You can play Musical chairs but instead make it a Musical Hat, so that the hat will be the one moving instead of the players. You can also give awards for the Best Hat, Stylish Hat, etc. Hope this helps.

  10. Hi Ena,

    Well, we have a Debut Program Flow that I’m sure you will be able to find useful. Tweak the program according to what you like to have and not have. For instance, remove the 18 roses and candles and just replace it with games or an AVP of well wishers. You can ask your 18s to come to the stage and surprise them that they are going to participate in a game (this will eliminate hosts calling on participants for a game and then guests hiding). Hope this helps.

  11. Hi! I will be celebrating my debut on March but I still haven’t got any plans for the theme. The venue will be on a resort in Pangasinan. I’m wondering whether I should go for a tropical type of party (since it’s nearly summer)? or should I stick to the traditional one,wherein the guests would be wearing formal attire? Will it be okay if sa isang resort yung party then people are kinda formal? I need your help. 🙂 thanks. 😀

  12. Hi Mics,

    You’re right, sayang ang venue. No need for the formal debut just maximize your venue and create a theme that is in tune with it. I think your guests may even become more excited if you ask them to wear summer sundresses because not only are they much more comfortable, they are actually fun to move around in! A summer / tropical theme will be memorable not only for you but also for your loved ones! =)


  13. Hello!

    Well, I’m going to celebrate my debut on July, I’m having the awards night theme.. I just want to ask for suggestion for what design of the gown should I wear, coz I really want to stand out of course since it’s my party.. 🙂

    Thank You! 🙂

  14. Hi Anjelica (,

    The great thing about an Awards Night theme is that you can wear any stylish dress or gown you want and not worry about it complementing your debut theme. Check out the awards night pictures of celebrities and get some ideas from the best dressed list 🙂 Here is an article you can start from —

    This may be a cliche but we believe that as long as you feel comfortable wearing your dress, you will stand out because of the confidence you exude.

    Happy debut planning!

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