Launch your May Ball with style

Invitations and Menu cards

A May Ball is a ball at the end of the academic year that takes place at any of the collegesof the University of Cambridge.  Already the invitations will be going out and posters will be designed, not forgetting preparation of lavish menus and printing of menu cards.  Limelight Design and Print can get all your printed sorted.

They are sumptuous, extravagant and usually very formal affairs requiring either black tie or a white tie and with ticket tag ranging from £100 up to around £700.  Magdelene and Peterhouse insist on white tie.   It’s certainly the event of the year on the academic calendar.

Nowadays there are many double tickets bought – as guests or spouses from their own college are invited, whereas historically they would usually have to invited someone from an outside college.  The double ticket price is around £200 for these auspicious balls.

The tradition of the May Balls in Cambridge started way back in the 1830s with the First and Third Trinity Boat Club May Ball in 1866.

Survivor Photos

One of the traditions that are upheld is to go punting to Grantchester.  Another is the “Survivors Photos” which are taken of those that are still standing by the morning…perhaps a little worse for wear after their decadent night of drinking, feasting, romancing and dancing.

The earliest of the celebrations kick off in March with The Cambridge Union Spring Ball whose theme this year is ‘Chromium.  Then there’s the Cambridge University Charity Fashion Show.  The Girton Spring Ball 2018 is themed ‘Mortal Engines’ (Steam Punk) and also takes place in March. – a highlight of the academic year.

Trinity, St John’s, Clare, and Jesus still hold their annual May Ball.  These days they tend to take place in May Week, which usually starts on the second Thursday of June following the end of exams.

Clare has some of the most delightful gardens as a stunning backdrop for their May Ball.  Jesus is popular amongst first year students and Queens whose balls are renowned for discovering up-and-coming acts.  Many a new band has cut their teeth performing at these May Balls.   In previous years they’ve had various acts headlining such as ‘The Klaxons’ and East End punk band ‘The Rakes’ at these famous colleges this year many of the headliners are yet to be announced but ‘Zak Abel’ is performing at the Churchhill Spring Ball.

Robinson College May Ball ‘Suspicion’ will be one of the first balls of May Week and is also one of the least expensive black tie balls but still provides an extravagant and exciting start to May Week.  Homerton May Ball also takes place on the same evening of 15 June 2018.

Beats not Bollinger

However, many colleges have now spread their fun throughout the year.  Kings holds a ‘Beats not Bollinger’ event and guests are invited to wear any costume they choose…sounds like a load of fun to us!

May Ball Colossal banners

To help your fabulous event complete with its non-stop feasting of champagne, oysters and whole hog roast, amidst the sounds of a string quartet, salsa or a latest band then we can help you prepare with all your print requirements quickly and seamlessly and delivered to your door.  We can produce a colossal 1m wide banner and any length you wish to create.


Posters and Pavement Signs for your Spring Ball

Talk to us if you need any banners stands, signs, posters, chalkboards, pavement signs leaflets, invitations, menu cards, tablecloths, dynamic wallart – we can get it done quickly and help create your sensational event.

In the Limelight

Limelight Design and Print helping you with your May Ball requirements.

Let our friendly, approachable, expert team assist with all your design and printing requirements for your May Ball or Graduation Ball.  We can turn these around within 48 hours so you’re ready to publicize your event.  Just give us a call at Limelight Design And Print

References – Which May Ball 2018 


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