December 03, 2007
This past weekend I went to my sorrority's formal at Comerica Park, and it was my favorite date party yet.
Formal is like any date party in the sense that the activity is mainly dancing, but there is also a sit down dinner. This is nice because it gives everyone a chance to talk and actually spend time with each other.
In addition, formal is the dressiest date party of the year. Guys are expected to wear shirts and ties in the least, and suits are highly encouraged. Girls wear fancy dresses, long or short. Some people compare formal to prom, but personally I think prom is way dressier.
It took us about an hour to get to Comerica Park becuase the roads were icy, but it was about the same distance as nightclubs in Detroit (where many date parties are held). One of things I loved about this venue was that even though the weather was torrential, the location was still amazing. The actual location of our formal was held at a restaurant overlooking the entire field. The restaurant had the lights over the field put on, and we could see the entire field and rest of the park.
The dinner was served buffet style and was pretty standard. The main dish was chicken, and the sides were vegetables, potatoes, and salad. There was also a cheese tray for an appetizer, which was waiting for us when we arrived. For dessert there were various pastries. Dinner lasted about 45 minutes by the time everyone got their food and finished eating.
While I definitely liked this year's formal better than last, I wish that we were served dinner like last year, rather than having a buffet. Last year we were served dinner and it was better because everyone ate at the same time. Buffets can take a long time and some people were done before others.
Regardless of food though, I enjoyed myself. It was nice to have formal this past weekend because it landed right before finals, but not too close. For me, it served as my last night out before I have to begin studying for my finals. I was very happy to end on such a fun night and to see most of my friends before I lock myself in the library.
Overall, I liked this year's formal way better than last year's. Last year we had ours in a hotel ballroom. The venue was blah and there was barely a dance floor. The location made it seem more like a Bat-Mitzvah rather than a date party. In addition, the ballroom was so massive, it always felt empty.
While the venue and other aspects may make some formals better than others, formal is always fun because of the atmosphere. Whether formal is at the typical nightclub or even just a regular restaurant or hotel, everyone gets so excited for it and you can sense that energy the whole night.
November 02, 2007
This past weekend I went to my most casual date party yet. One of the local fraternities rented out Colonial Lanes, here in Ann Arbor, and took their dates bowling.
This was a refreshing twist on a date party because it didn't require anyone to get dressed up. In addition, it was nice to have a set activity at a date party. Usually it is implied you will mingle and dance, but if you are shy or don't know many people, that can be somewhat awkward. Bowling was great because it automatically got people interacting and was so much fun.
The bus ride was short and sweet, therefore we had the majority of the evening to hang out at the bowling alley. While the bowling alley may seem like an odd place to host a date party, it actually turned out to be really entertaining. There was a restaurant inside the bowling alley for those that wanted a break, and for later in the night when people began to get hungry. The bowling alley also dimmed the lights and had disco bowling, along with playing fun music to dance to.
I thought this date party was a great way to meet people as well. It was less focused on actual "dates" and more focused on the group. When I was bowling I got to meet people because we had to group up for lanes. Furthermore, it was easy to meet and mingle with the neighboring lanes.
The best part, though, was that you could wear jeans a t-shirt. Theme parties and more formal date parties are fun, but it's also nice when there aren't any dress expectations, especially this late in the year when there have already been many dress-up parties. Another nice party of this date party was that we got back relatively early, around 12:30am. Therefore, if not a lot of your friends were attended with you, you had the chance to meet up with them afterward wherever they might be. Or if you ended up having fun with your date, you had the chance to hang out afterwards.
Even when date parties might seem random, I highly suggest going because those can be some of the best ones!
October 28, 2007
This past Thursday night, I attended another date party at another club in Detroit. The club is called Bleu Room or Club Bleu, and is located on Woodward Avenue, right in the heart of Detroit. Club Bleu is across the street from Club Apartment, which I was at only a couple weeks ago.
This date part at Club Bleu was similar to the date party at Club Apartment. The guys mostly wore jeans and bar shirts (collared), while the girls wore anything from jeans and fancy tops to dresses and skirts. Because the weather was slightly colder this time, some girls also wore high boots with their outfits. No one really brought coats because you there was no guarantee of a coat check, and the last thing you want to do is have to carry your coat around all night or keep track of it.
While I had a great time at Club Bleu because I was in good company, the bar itself wasn't anything special. Club Bleu was only one floor and consisted of mostly a dance floor and a few places to sit. There were also two bars but they were mostly small and it was slightly difficult to get a drink. Kappa Kappa Gamma, my sorority, rented out the entire bar, but it didn't seem like it because of the wait to get drinks. It was also frustrating because there was practically no where to sit. The dance floor was lined with a few tables on a raised surface, but there weren't nearly enough for the amount of people at the party. While places to sit may seem trivial, it actually makes quite a differene. We were there from about 10:30pm to 1am, and it was impossible for people to stay dancing the entire time, hence the need for tables.
One thing I did like about this bar was the size of the bar. At one of my last date parties at Club Apartment, it was so big the dance floor never really filled up. At this club, since there was only one floor, everyone was gathered together on or around the dance floor.
Overall, this date party seemed pretty generic. The generic date party can be fun, just don't expect something new or exciting and make sure you are with your friends or a date you actually like! Also, since it was the weekend before Halloween, I would have preferred something with a costume theme to spice things up a little bit.
October 23, 2007
Last Thursday I attended Pi Kappa Alpha's date party. Unlike the other date parties I have attended, this one had a theme. The theme was cowgirl/cowboy and the location was at a local barn, Sugarbush Farm instead of a bar.
The barn, which was in Ypsilanti, wasn't decorated especially for the party, in fact it was pretty empty and basically just had a dance floor. Inside the barn were a few tables and a bar, and there was a DJ playing country music. Outisde were bonfires where people could gather around the fire. Besides dancing or sitting by the fire, there was also an option to go on a hayride.
So far, I like this date party the most because it was something different. First of all, it was fun to get dressed up in costume. The girls wore plaid shirts and Daisy Duke style shorts with cowboy boots or overalls, and cowboy hats. The guys wore plaid shirts and cowboy hats as well, but wore jeans instead of short jean shorts. People also accesorized with fake guns and cowboy neckties, called bola ties.
The DJ in the barn played country music, which was a fun change of pace. The fires outside were also really nice because it felt as if I was camping, but it also gave me a chance to socialize with other people besides my date. When you are at a bar you don't always have the chance to socialize, because that type of date party is more geared towards couples. The hayride also allowed me to hang out with my date along with other people, besides being so much fun. The people whose barn it was took us around the farmland and I got to enjoy the fall. The only con was that it was a little chilly outside.
While I loved this date party, I think one of the reasons it was fun was because I had never been to a barn dance before. I would definately recommend going to a barn dance if you have never been to one before, but it might get old if you have been many times.
October 21, 2007
The first date party I attended this year took place at Club Apartment, which is pretty new nightclub in Detroit.
We took buses from Kappa Kappa Gamma, and the ride was about 45 min (the typical amount of time it takes to get to Detroit).
The guys were dressed in either dress pants or nice jeans, and bar shirts (collared shirts, many times Lacoste, Polo, etc.). There were a few guys who wore ties but definitely no suits. The girls had more of a variety in their outfits for the night. Many girls were in short dresses, while others wore pants and a "going out top." I would say that generally Club Apartment was dressier than the bars we are used to in Ann Arbor, but at the same time, you could get away with almost anything you would usually wear out at night.
My sorority had rented out the entire nightclub so that there weren't any random people. Date parties at clubs are much safer when the sorority or fraternity rents out the entire place, that way it is just University of Michigan students. When the party is contained to just people the fraternity or sorority members know and invited, it is less likely for drink to get spiked and so on.
Club Apartment turned out to be a great location for a date party. The club had a sophisticated vibe to it. This sophistication was a nice change of scene from the college bars that we are used to in Ann Arbor. The club was two stories; the upstairs had a bar and couches to lounge on, while the downstairs had another bar and a pretty large dance floor. However, the dance floor was so large that it never really filled up and people were hesistant to dance at first. While the dancing never quite took off to the degree of other date parties, the club was roomy and fun, and the bartenders were very friendly, so I would definately recommend attending a date party in this location.
October 20, 2007
This year at the University of Michigan, there was an increase in the amount of students who joined Greek Life. This increase was so significant, the Michigan Daily wrote an article about it, "More join fraternities, sororities."
With this increase, my sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma, along with all the others, have huge pledge classes. Suprisingly, the questions I get asked most frequently by the 54 pledges in my house, pertain to date parties.
I decided to write this blog to keep new members in sororities informed on date parties by reviewing the ones I have gone to (and a few I haven't). Since date parties can vary drastically in location and theme, I hope my date party reviews will be helpful for new members deciding if they should go and what to wear.
While it is impossible for me to attend every date party, I also plan on finding out about the parties I miss. Living with 64 other girls, I am confident I can find out the neccessary details and information in order to report on date parties I don't attend.
Next time you are wondering what a bar in Detroit is like for a date party, or what to wear to a barn dance, look here for answers!