10 Creative Sorority Formal Theme Ideas To Use This Fall

Themed nights are the best nights at most sororities, but if you've ever planned an event too close to the occasion and felt rushed and disorganized, you're not alone. Avoid the chaos, confusion and stress by using one of our 10 sisterhood-approved sorority formal ideas. At Greek U, we're the sorority experts and we have plenty of formal themes, prom themes and semi-formal theme ideas you can use to host the best formal of the year. Some types of sororities may be interested in specific themes. No matter what you're looking for, we have you covered when it comes to sorority formal theme ideas!

Sorority Formal Theme Ideas


Jungle sorority formal themes are some of our most popular. Fill the room with potted trees; add greenery on the ceiling. Put some stuffed jungle animals in the trees and accent with animal prints. When designing a jungle themed party, add animals like monkeys, chameleons, snakes, tigers, frogs, leopards and parrots to drive home the theme. Can you rig up a Jeep or Land Rover that looks like it is coming out of the wall for guests to sit in and have a picture? This may be easier outside. Animal crackers, and pretzels with a tag that says "Twigs," make great table snacks. Float rubber duckies shaped like jungle animals in the punch bowl. Encourage safari hats and old-fashioned safari dresses and jodhpurs. A scavenger hunt or a prize for a hidden item in the foliage always helps guests get in the mood.

Anchor's Away/Pirate

Pirate-themed parties are fun because there are so many costume possibilities. Your sorority sisters and your guests will really get into this theme. Set out items like ships wheels, anchors, spyglasses and life preservers. Use pallets (may need to add boards or modify for safety) to make a ship's deck. Rum and Cokes make perfect theme drinks for this event. Serve Goldfish crackers or candy that comes wrapped in gold paper as table snacks. Obviously, having guests dress in a pirate-y way while still looking formal is ideal. Set up a photo booth with eye patches, hats, toy pistols and scimitars, and pirate flags. Play any fishing type of game, and make the loser walk the plank. You can also focus on the Navy aspect of this theme instead. Make the theme specific by assigning a title (Ensign, Lieutenant, Captain) to every guest as they come in.


Vegas is all about the glitz and glamour! Use lots of glitter in your decor and plenty of gold! Black-tie is perfect for a Vegas-themed formal night. Decks of cards are cheap, and gluing them together in a fan makes an easy table decoration. Poker chips go great in the center of the table. Make a cheeseball that looks like a pair of dice, or use only red and black food, with hearts, spades, clubs, and diamonds as garnishes. Check with campus rules about gambling. Set up games like poker, blackjack and other casino games. If gambling isn't allowed, find out if using just chips to place bets (no monetary value), or even using candy pieces, would work. As a bonus, you can bring out your favorite sorority formal dresses for Vegas night.


You might not associate lumberjacks with formal parties, but it's totally doable. Big logs might be hard to bring in, but you could hold this event outside to make it easier. In fact, this is the perfect theme for an outdoor party. Use pretend axes and old-timey logging tools like chains and hoists around the room. Buffalo plaid table runners would work break, and silhouette pictures of bears and pine trees help get guests in the mood. Try using pinecones, too. Bacon skewers make perfect appetizers; you can also do cake pops decorated like bears. Any kind of plaid is a perfect accent for a dress at this event. Build a giant size Jenga game out of 2x4s. Any strong man competition would be fun.


Cruising is always luxurious, and there's no shortage of formal options when you start thinking about a high-seas party adventure. Use palm trees and big beach scene posters to make it more festive. Try turning up the heat in the room, especially if this is happening in the winter! A centerpiece with sand and seashells is perfect for this event, or a fishbowl with real goldfish swimming. Coconuts, palm leaves and tiny boats all add to the ambiance. Serve drinks with little umbrellas or extra fruit garnish to help guests feel they are in the Caribbean. Hire a coffee cart to serve made-to-order drinks in Starbucks cups! Waiters and waitresses could dress as lifeguards, with red swimsuits and whistles. Play squirt gun tag. Set up several stations of sand for a sandcastle building competition. (This can be a tabletop competition.)


No fall party theme list would be complete without at least one football-related option. Guests enter through a team tunnel, with a football announcer to introduce them. Set up a fog machine! Assign each table a team name and decorate to match. Tailgate food is a must for this event. Have little appetizers like wings (cut them and use toothpicks so dresses don't get messy), mini sliders, etc. Waiters and waitresses wear referee garb. For a mixer between fraternities and sororities, have the guys bring NFL hats or jerseys. Have the girls choose one, then pair up with the guy whose hat or jersey they chose. Set up tailgate toss games around the room with NFL team insignia. This is a lot harder to play in formal dresses! A photo booth with helmets, jerseys, hats, footballs and big foam hands is fun.

Toga or Black and White Party

Go ahead and be a little cliché by planning a toga or black and white party. This go-to theme is perfect for fall nights because it's flexible and fun. As long as it's white, any food fits with the theme, including white cake, whitefish if serving a plated dinner, or mashed potatoes. The sky's the limit! Everyone wears white to this party. Gather black and white photos of guests when they were little (you can Photoshop them to change them to black and white) and have guests guess who is who.


Does your school have an ROTC program or is it located near an army base? Either way, an Army-themed formal is always a lot of fun. Make signs that say "(name of your sorority) Strong" with a big star, and use Army colors. Camouflage is a great choice, too. Sandbag walls or big targets are perfect; cut out a helicopter silhouette to hang on the wall. Anything with a label that says "MRE: Meals Ready to Eat" works for this theme, especially if you hang a "Mess Hall" sign. Set up little green Army men and try target shooting at them with foam dart guns.


Rustic or country-themed formal events are very trendy right now, and you can borrow this theme for your sorority's next formal. Use burlap table runners and twinkle lights for decor. For centerpieces, use a slice from a tree trunk with candles on top. A buffet is an easy way to serve homestyle favorites like roast beef and mashed potatoes. For something more formal, have it plated, or make traditional comfort food into appetizers. Guests can come in cowboy hats and boots. Get small table games like the peg game. Hire a square dance caller to give a different vibe to the dancing part of the evening. Square dancing comes with instruction, so everyone can participate.


Put your patriotism on full display and have a U.S.A.-themed formal party around the elections. Flags are ideal for this party, or anything that is red, white and blue. Picnic food can turn into finger food easily. Stick little flags in deviled eggs. Potato salad and macaroni salad can easily fit in small appetizer cups and sandwiches make great mini sliders. Try specifying that guests can only wear red, blue and white or silver dresses or suits. If you can get permission, why not have a fireworks show at the end of the night?

A Reason to Shop

With these fun-filled sorority formal theme ideas, you can't go wrong. Once you've settled on a theme and have gotten the decorations and food in order, all you need is a dress to wear and you're ready to go. For more ideas, check out our website.

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