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Planning a Fraternity Formal in Charleston

Putting together a fraternity formal can be a difficult thing to do, especially when you’re a college student. You’ve got classes, homework and projects, and of course, you want to be able to spend time with friends or maybe you work a job.

There are a lot of ingredients that go into planning a fraternity formal in Charleston, South Carolina. You want your formal weekend to be memorable, so obviously, everything should be planned out so you and your brothers have a fun time without any mishaps or concerns.

This means you’ll need ample time to get everything planned. You’ll need at least a semester to get all the details worked out, and it can be a challenge to get it all done when you’re so busy.

To help you get the ball rolling, we’ve outlined some tips below so that you can successfully plan your fraternity formal in Charleston!

1. Transportation: How are you going to get to your formal?

No matter where you live, the first thing you’ll need to do is get to Charleston, right? So, you’ll need to think about transportation.

If you and your fraternity live nearby, you might be able to carpool, which can be a lot of fun. Road trip!

The two things to keep in mind here are scheduling and parking:

  • What is everyone’s class schedule? If you’re aiming to arrive on Friday, do you want to do the drive in one whole day or split it up into two days?

  • As for parking, check what the parking is like at whatever hotel you choose. Can they accommodate a lot of cars? Most hotels charge for overnight parking, so how much is that going to cost?

If you don’t live nearby and potentially have a larger group, then looking at renting through a transportation company would be a good idea. These places usually have charter buses and other big vehicles that can transport your whole group at the same time.

You’ll also need to know your budget for this, and what the payment options are. How reliable is the company you’re researching? When checking in at the hotel, where are the buses going to be able to unload everyone?

These are good questions to bear in mind as you research, and we’d recommend checking out Black Cab Company if you need to rent transportation. They’re one of our Charleston favorites!

2. Hotels: Where are you all going to stay?

Once you get to Charleston, you’ve got to have a place to sleep! Charleston is an historic city with lots of hotels to choose from, so there’s no shortage of cool options for you and your fraternity.

There are a lot of things you’ll need to think about when it comes to your hotel, especially your budget. Whatever you and your brothers decide to do will come down to what you want to spend your money on. It’s best to know whether or not people want to save on a cheaper hotel or go ahead and pay for a more expensive stay.

Once you have your budget figured out, you’ll want to know who’s going to handle paying the hotel. Will you choose one person to make the payments, or will one of your fraternity chairs be in charge of scheduling payments? Is someone okay with collecting payments from everyone in the fraternity?

Additionally, the location of the hotel is important. Is it in a safe area that’s close to things your fraternity wants to do? Is it near the venue you’ll choose (more on those in the next tip), or will you need to worry about transporting everyone from the hotel to the venue?

Our personal Charleston favorites are these: Embassy Suites, The Mills House, and Courtyard by Marriott.

3. Venues: Where are you all having a night of fun?

Everyone’s favorite part of the trip: Dancing all night long!

Like we said earlier, Charleston is an historic city, so you’ll have a lot of great options for venues, too.

When it comes to picking the venue for your formal, there are a number of things you’ll want to think about, but the main ones are these:

  • Food: Obviously, you and your group are going to need to eat! But is this something you’ll need to contract separately? Or does the venue have an option for catering services, as well?

  • Budget: Everything comes back to your fraternity’s budget. How much do they want to spend on the venue? Will this be a larger purchase or can you all maybe save a bit here? Look into what the venue will charge for their services to help make your decision.

  • Occupancy: The venue needs to be big enough to hold your group. How many people can occupy the space? Will you need to book additional rooms if you choose a certain venue? Or would it be best to pick another venue that can accommodate everyone?

For recommendations, check out our favorite Charleston venues: The Charleston Place, Upstairs at Midtown, and The Gadsden House.

4. Adding those finishing touches.

Clearly, it takes a lot to plan a fraternity formal! Now that you have an idea of the most important things you’ll need to take care of, let’s make sure you get those small details so everything is finished.

Aside from your budget, which we’ve covered a lot already, the biggest detail fraternities miss? Giving themselves enough time to get everything planned and booked.

We’ve seen it happen often: Everyone in the fraternity is all excited when the school year starts, but then classes kick in; people have jobs; there’s social gatherings; and just life in general. Time gets eaten away, and before you know it, you and your fraternity only have 3 weeks left to plan your formal. It just isn’t enough time to get everything done.

Not to mention, you’ll need to make sure that money is being collected for payments. Is someone willing to do that for the group? Will you make sure the hotels and venues are paid on time?

Or is someone willing to negotiate prices and sales contracts to make sure you’re all getting the best prices and discounts? Or are there too many opinions on what you all should do?

As you can see, organizing a formal is a huge project that requires dedicated time. We do not recommend it for someone who is a busy college student because it can be extremely stressful to make sure all aspects of your trip are planned out seamlessly.

Using a third, outside party like BigDaddy Formals, someone who is familiar with the hospitality industry and knows just what to expect, can be useful for all involved. We’ve created relationships with hotels and other vendors in Charleston, so we’ll not only help you get great discounts and prices, we’ll help you plan the fraternity formal you’ve always wanted!

To get some amazing help with everything you need to do, then schedule a time to speak with BigDaddy Formals here to talk about planning your fraternity formal in Charleston, South Carolina.

Want to see exactly how we’ll help? Look at this video!

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