Saturday 25 October 2014

Harry Potter or Casino Royale ... welcome to the new debs

Elaine McCahill

Published 27/08/2014 | 10:09

Students from St Marys CBS Portlaoise DEBS night enjoy roulette at their Casino Royale-themed night in teh Red Cow Hotel
Students from St Marys CBS Portlaoise DEBS night enjoy roulette at their Casino Royale-themed night in teh Red Cow Hotel
Eoin Langford and Kellie Preston
Eoin Langford and Kellie Preston
Caoimhe Dollard and Liam Campbell
Caoimhe Dollard and Liam Campbell

With Casino Royale and Harry Potter-themed debs, it's very far from cold chicken and an 80s hits band that Ireland's débutantes have come.

Irish students want the night of their lives as they celebrate leaving school and heading to college and spare no expense to make their dreams happen.

Caoimhe Dollard and Liam Campbell
Caoimhe Dollard and Liam Campbell

Cormac Cashman, a Dublin-based promoter, who organisers a select number of debs told the Herald about the different themed balls he's organised during the summer.

"We build the debs from scratch, we don't like to go for generic themes, we offer a very specialised service," he said.

"For example, we recently built a Harry Potter debs package for a school that wanted it.

"We had actors playing Dumbledore giving the opening speech, tables and flags with the different school houses on them. It was brilliant fun for both us and the students.

"Circus-themed debs are also really popular. We have fire breathers, acrobats, face painters, jugglers … we really go all-out when it comes to a theme."

There are different trends when it comes to debs and Cormac says it can differ from school to school, saying: "Limos and Hummers are more of a Dublin trend.

"Schools from the countryside tend to travel for their debs so they tend to go in buses together."

Depending on themes, costs can vary but the standard price for a debs ticket hovers at around €75 and that usually includes a champagne reception, red carpet arrival, a three course meal, a band, a DJ until the early hours and a hot breakfast the next morning.

Elizabeth Gelera is the Conference and Events Coordinator at the Red Cow Inn and the hotel and venue sees hundreds of debs every year with her.

"Different schools want different things, themes and costs can depend on whether the students or the parents association organising it," she told the Herald.

"We have different themes here with the most popular ones being Casino Royale or an Oscars theme.

"On Monday, we had the debs from St Mary's CBS in Portlaoise and they wanted an elaborate Casino Royale-themed night with a cocktail reception for all the guests and a games table."

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