Debut Programme, Flow

Crafting a balanced program for you dream debut party is not really as hard as it sounds. All it takes is a little imagination. There are endless possibilities in creating a program for your dream debut. A program can be as short as two hours or as long as until wee hours of the night. You can go as crazy as making everyone involved and participate in different aspects of the program.

The following is a basic Debutante’s program:

  • Introduction of the Debutante, her Escort and her Cotillion Court
  • Toast in Honor of the Debutante
  • Welcome Remarks (by the parents)
  • Invocation or Prayer
  • Dining
  • Father and Daughter Dance
  • Grand Cotillion Waltz Dance
  • 18 Roses Dance
  • Presentation of 18 Candles
  • Singing of Traditional Debutante’s Birthday Song
  • Blowing of the Cake Candles
  • Cutting of the Cake
  • Presentation of 18 Treasures
  • Games
  • A Word from the Debutante
  • Time to Party!

The debutante’s program can also flow like this:

  • Arrival and welcoming of guests – guests are ushered to their designated seats
  • Cocktails are offered to encourage guests to mingle – this takes your guests’ mind off waiting for your grand entrance
  • After everyone settles in their place, the host makes mention of important people who graced the occasion (if there are).
  • Drinks and appetizers are served
  • Parents talk briefly about the debutante (about her achievements, goals, ambitions, etc.)
  • Audio Visual Presentation of the debutante’s life from infancy to present
  • Grand entrance of the debutante
  • Parents talk some more about the debutante (optional)
  • Toast in honor of the debutant
  • The debutante makes a short opening remarks encouraging guests to enjoy the party
  • Prayer
  • Guests start their meal
  • AVP of well-wishers
  • Father and daughter dance (This may also be incorporated in the eighteen roses. Fathers are usually the first or last dance of the debutante)
  • Eighteen roses (audio of speech while dancing)
  • Eighteen candles (speech)
  • Singing of birthday song
  • Cutting of birthday cake
  • Games
  • Introduction of the debutante, her escort and her cotillion court
  • Debutante’s thank you speech
  • Party time!

Other variations may be the following:

* The host will have a talk, more of like an introduction and a short summary of the program, a little talk on what is in store for the guests so that they would be enticed into finishing and staying for the duration of the party and making the party a success. The host need not mention the juicy parts (those surprise numbers and whatnots)
* For parents who are shy to talk in front of a crowd, the host will do the introduction about the debutante. There will be a little talk before the debutante is introduced. Probably the host may interview some guests and probably ask them some unforgettable moments with the debutante.
* For the eighteen roses, each guy can give a note for the host to read while they are dancing. This can also be recorded and played together with the background music while they dance.
* Cotillion can be danced at the end of the program after which everybody may dance and which may mark the start of the dancing.
* The father or parents of the debutante will talk about the celebrant (you can make a Powerpoint or Flash presentation for everyone to see that has baby pictures or some important milestones of the debutante’s life)
* Father dances with his daughter as a separate part of the program.
* Escort/ bf takes debutante for a dance then everyone dance after some time
* Some also incorporate 18 wines, 18 treasures, 18 gifts as a variation so that most of the guests would be able to greet the debutante.
* Games are inserted on different parts of the program.

Here is a more detailed flow of program but the arrangement can be tweaked here and there according to preference.

  • Registration / arrival of guests / receiving of gifts / cocktails
  • Guests settle on their seats
  • Introduction of the 18th birthday celebrant by the emcee
  • Acknowledgment of the parents and other VIPs
  • Introduction and entrance of the grand cotillion
  • Grand entrance of the debutant and her escort (optional)
  • Welcome remarks and toast by the parents
  • AVP of debutante (pictures from infancy to present)
  • Grand cotillion
  • Invocation / prayer before meals
  • Meals and pictorial
  • AVP of well-wishers
  • 18 Roses
  • Father and daughter dance
  • 18 _____ (any 18s here – 18 wines, balloons or whatever you like!)
  • Games
  • 18 Candles
  • Singing of birthday song
  • Blowing of 18 Candles
  • Cutting of birthday cake
  • Debutante’s thank you speech
  • PARTY / Everybody on the dance floor!

So remember, in making your program, list first what part of the basic program you want to retain or delete and then you can make your own rendition according to your liking. Don’t make it too long but don’t make it too short either. Create a balanced program and be imaginative in adding your own flavor into it. A debut party well thought of is a debut party well remembered.

Link to Debut Technical Script

264 thoughts on “Debut Programme, Flow

  1. Hi Phanie,

    The thing that makes a theme unique is when the celebrant infuses her personality into it. The more your party reveals your personality, the more it will be interesting and unique. Infusing a beach theme with a Bohemian theme is really nice. A Boho inspired beach theme would bring your party up a notch. Ask your guests to wear Maxi dresses that is stylish and chic and then the craziest make up. Boho colors and earth tones would create a palette that is great for photo-ops. As for the party flow, it depends on what you need. You just would have to tweak it according to what you feel is appropriate. If you have 3 sets of 18s then games interspersed in between them would kind of break the ice a little bit and then obviously the dancing part would have more time because beach themes basically has that Ibiza feel to it. Hope this helps.

  2. I just want a suggestion from you, on how to plan a debut, or any suggestions for a party in 3 weeks time. I had a late confirmation from my parents about my plans so I must do it before the special day comes.

  3. I just want a suggestion from you, on how to plan a debut, or any suggestions for a party in 3 weeks time. I had a late confirmation from my parents about my plans so I must do it before the special day comes.
    Hope you read this as soon as possible. thanks.

  4. hi 🙂

    i am planning for a pool debut is on april 2012 and i want it to become amazing one!can you help me about the program flow?pls.thankyou! 🙂

  5. i just want to ask if it is fine to have 9 sets of 18s for debut program??since my relatives were broad one. thanks! 🙂

  6. Hi Ronelyn,

    You can of course, since it’s your party 🙂 But I’ll just warn you that it may become boring for your other guests to the point that some of them may go outside and chat with each other until the program is over. Just balance your time. If you want your relatives to have their own participation in your party, videotape brief messages from them then show it in your debut.

    Hope this helps!

  7. Hi Debut Ideas!

    Your site is amazing! Thank you very much for your patience and for painstakingly answering all the queries… More power to you!

  8. hi author two days from now ill be having my debut,,, please do reply if you read it now or tomorrow,, cause until now,, i cant think of how will fix the program.
    ill be including my 18 shots, candles, treasure, pins and roses…
    please do help me,, thankyou!

  9. Hi Ehla,

    I suggest you infuse the 18s in between the program like for instance 18 roses first, then games, then 18 pins (this is also considered 18 treasures), then AVP, then 18 candles, blowing of birthday cake, cake cutting, games, then 18 treasures. This will be such a long program so ask them to make the speeches short. Good luck and happy birthday.

  10. hi author couple of months ive been celebrating my debut but i dont have ideas yet please help me what should i do.

  11. hi author couples of months ive been celebrating my debut but i dont have any ideas yet please help me what should i do

  12. Hi Louisenn,

    Debutants always ask us the same question. It is hard to recommend a particular theme because we don’t personally know you. What you can do is assess what you are as a person, your favorite things, etc. We recommend that you visit the Debut Ideas idea pages here —

    Thanks and enjoy your day!

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