Sunday, 10 June 2012

University of Birmingham Graduation Ball 2012

You may have spotted from my Twitter account that I have recently finished my degree this year, and the University of Birmingham decided to throw together an event for us to celebrate the end of university which was very nice of them! 

The event was called 'Grad Ball' which was a bit misleading to be honest as when I imagine a ball, I imagine something a bit like prom but even classier. I'd imagine a ball to take place perhaps in our university's Great Hall with all the ladies sporting floor length gowns, perhaps there'd be a band playing, a very nice sit down dinner with a pianist playing background music, a few ball dances and that would be it. Maybe my expectations were far too high for the event. Nonetheless, me and my friends did have a nice night, it was just a lot less formal than I would have liked...

There was actually a dinner on offer, but the tickets would have cost over £70 to go to the meal and considering the terrible reviews we'd heard from previous years me and my friends decided to give the dinner a miss. Instead we went to Jamie's Italian at the Bullring for a nice lunch and spent the early part of the evening getting ready and drinking wine. 

The weather was terrible and we were all having a nightmare because most of us were in floor length dresses or suede shoes, and we'd heard the event was to be held outside. This put a bit of a downer on the getting ready process as we were worrying that all the time we were spending on our hair would be a waste because of the rain, plus I was a bit concerned that all my mascara would get rained on so I'd be panda-eyed all evening. Regardless, I did my face as nice as I possibly could and hoped for the best...

*I used my Guerlain Lingerie de Peau foundation, shaded in my eyebrows as usual, used my Nars blusher in Orgasm with a coating of the Orgasm Illuminator over the top, created a basic smoky eye with my Urban Decay Naked palette and used my Topshop lipstick in Vamp with a No7 clear gloss over the top*

My friends all looked lovely, and some lads from over the road came round for some pre-drinks so it was a great opportunity to grab lots of awesome photos...

*You may recognize the red dress I have on as being my sister's prom dress... It was just too pretty to never be worn again, so I nicked it for the night! So sweet of her for letting me borrow it :)*

After rather classily strapping our vodka bottles to our legs with surgical tape so we could smuggle them in, we hopped into our taxi protected by our Poundland umbrellas, before walking the red carpet right outside the sky-scraping clock tower for which our university is famous.

*Red carpet looks nice, but the reflective jacket in the background lowers the tone somewhat...*

We headed straight into the bar marquee, holding our dresses up so they wouldn't brush the wet floor. The bar marquee was full to the brim of people I know from my course, from my work and from my past three years of accommodation. It was the perfect place to catch up with everyone and my friends all looked so brilliant. 

By this point we were all dying for the toilet, so we put up our umbrellas once again and headed over to the portaloos (yes, portaloos, at a 'ball'). Once we'd finished up, we spotted a photography tent, so went and had a couple of 'professional' photos snapped. Not sure how they'll turn out to be honest because the whole thing seemed a bit chaotic! After having our pictures taken we headed back to the bar tent, where the queue was about ten people deep just to get a drink. It was at this point when we realized Maverick Sabre was playing on the stage outside, but because of the rain (and the fact that there was now a queue to get back into the bar tent) we decided we'd have to give it a miss. Sadly, because of the weather (AGAIN) we didn't get a chance to have a go on the funfair rides, which was gutting as I love thrill rides!

*Wish I'd gone on this*

*And this...*

*And this. Stupid weather.*

After a little while, I heard Skepta performing so I headed over to the main stage with my umbrella and got a few pictures. The sound and lighting guys kindly let me hang out under their marquee for a little bit which was nice as them as the rain was torrentially pouring by now and although the staff were handing out free plastic ponchos they weren't long enough to protect my floor-length dress.

*Skepta IS IT???*

*There's too many men too many many men...*

I was a bit disappointed with the performers to be honest as in past years they've been much better known. For example, they had Ellie Goulding once! But Skepta gave a good show so I can't complain much. After watching Skepta I went to the Bandaoke tent which I thought was a great idea. Basically, there is a band and they know a set bunch of songs for the ball-goers to get up and sing. Me and my friends spent the rest of the night in Bandaoke and had a fantastic time dancing along to cheesy (and terribly sung) Eye of the Tiger, I Will Survive and more 80's tunes. It was a brilliant way to spend the last couple of hours to the night!

There was also a Silent Disco, but I gave this a miss as I was having too much fun in Bandaoke and I didn't want to brave the rain again, so stayed in the tent where I was. 

The night was a lot of fun and my friends and I really enjoyed it. Plus, the decoration and lights were beautiful. However, there wasn't enough planning regarding the weather and because of how bad the rain was there should have been gazebos marking the paths from tent to tent as the rain hindered us from making the most of our £45 tickets.

*Look at how pretty the building was lit up! I wish the ball had been in there instead of in the cold and wet outdoors...*

It was a great way to have our final hoorah before finishing uni for good. Results day is next Thursday and I think it was a good idea to have the 'ball' (which should have been a 'fest' instead as it would have been way more accurate) before our results come out because everyone was feeling pretty carefree. 

Have you had an end of year or graduation ball? How do you think they could have planned for the weather so that we didn't feel ripped off? How can I make my face not be shiny??? No matter how much powder I use I still shine a bunch! Grrr.

Love and snuggles


  1. your hair look absolutly gorgeous :D
    looks like an amazing night

  2. The weather is so damn annoying isn't it just puts a dampener literally on a good evening. Looks like you made the most of it though! That dress is bloomin gorgeous and loved the part about smuggling vodka in sounds like something I would of done in my student days :-)


    beckys makeup

  3. You looked lovely! I skipped my grad 'ball' because well, it wasn't really a ball! Just a night in a club I think. All the bigger universities got fair rides and bands but we didn't so I just went out on the town with my friends instead! Such a great idea sneaking in the vodka strapped to the leg! :P

  4. I'm so jealous your Ball had a funfair and Skepta, looked like so much fun!
    Your dress was gorgeous and you looked beautiful, even through the rain :) xx

  5. Great post, you look gorrrge and you can't beat a funfair in a dress and heels!

    Drea @ Drea's Junkyard

  6. You look gorgeous! That dress is SO amazing!! Where is it from? Had my Summerball last Saturday and we had the rides, portaloos and it TIPPED it down too! Still had loads of fun though :) Helen xxx

  7. Your dress is stunning, you look absolutely lovely! Shame about the weather though :( I went to my grad ball last year, I stupidly wore a cream dress, and then went and sat on the grassy floor! x

  8. Your dress is beautiful! Sounds like you had an amazing time : ) Shame about the weather though- gotta love England!

    Xx.emma -