Planning a formal might sound like way too much of a task when it falls on you but if you keep certain things in mind it will be easy and a total blast! The biggest thing to remember is that it will be different than any other party that you have planned because of the details and extra touches to make it classier than a keg or other type of party.
It might help you to think of a theme first. Once you and the rest of the committee decide on a theme, you basically have a goal to strive for. Black and White, Celebrity Bash or Royalty Ball are a few ideas you might base your theme on. Anything that says fancy and takes you away from the day-to-day events can be a theme. After you decide on something then the next step is make everything about the formal match up with that ideal. Remember that you want to make your guests feel like they need to come to your party dressed in their best evening wear. You want them to believe that this event is the equivalent of walking the red carpet and that they should look and act the part.
When you start working on the venue to get it ready, it is key to pay attention to details. All of them. Don’t be so focused on one thing that you forget to get linens and end up with plastic table clothes or ones that don’t match. Simply having cheap looking decor will detract from your formal and make it way to everyday to be believable. Fresh flowers are also a good way to make a formal classy. If you can’t afford a bunch, then make the ones in your budget count by using them sparsely but elegantly. Maybe a single flower in a classy vase surrounded by well-placed but inexpensive candles to keep it simple but elegant. When in doubt you can adopt the less is more philosophy by going for quality over quantity.
Another way to tell if you are cut out for planning a formal is your attitude towards drinks for the event. Anything sparkling is the way to go and even if the glasses have to be plastic, make sure they look like glass. Apple juice can get dressed up by being in a plastic flute instead of a colored cup like you put beer in.
Remember details and the suggestion of expensive are the way to planning a formal.