For a lot of my audience, we’re coming close to that magical time of PROM!
I remember my prom as not being the most fun of my life, but most of that was because of the type of personality I have. Getting in large groups of people who are all dressed up didn’t appeal to me nearly as much as a good party in someone’s garage. I also remember the costs involved being way more expensive than anything for teens should be.
(REALLY REALLY) expensive dinner
and I’m sure a lot of other things that I forgot. There is no way around paying all of these things, but there are a few ideas for limiting the expense to be more realistic. Starting very early to plan and save definitely helps too.
Limo- If you have a bunch of friends who are going, consider getting a bigger limo (like a Hummer) and all traveling together. Nothing says going to the prom like a really long Hummer. You all can share the expense, and the night can be a lot more fun because you are with the people you enjoy hanging out with anyways. If you do this, make sure you personally carry cab fare to get home, just in case things don’t go well, and after the prom, re-deposit that cab fare into your savings.
Tux- Tuxedos are overrated. A rental tux never looks good, and there is all sorts of requirements for getting them back on time, and cleaning fees, blah blah. Buying a tux is overkill, since it will probably be a single use item. If you don’t already have one, consider instead, getting a nice suit. You can wear a suit to job interviews, weddings or other religious ceremonies, or just about anywhere you need to be dressed up. Don’t wear the T-shirt with the tuxedo front on it–those are never cool, and neither are those who wear them to prom. Guys, this is as much about the girl who bought a stupidly expensive dress as it is for you.
While we’re on it, don’t buy an outfit with the intentions of returning it the next day. Doing so lacks class, and is childish. Besides, there is an inverse correlation between your intent to do so and the likelihood you won’t spill something or otherwise ruin the outfit.
Corsage- There are flower wholesalers almost everywhere that will have very nice flowers, and with a little work, they can be made into very nice corsages. Be creative!
Dinner- Unless you are going out with “someone special”, do you really need an expensive dinner? I’m not suggesting going to McD’s drive-through in the Hummer, but if that’s your thing, why not? Food is food. Go to a decent place. If you are going as “just friends”, girls, consider going Dutch. Less expectations there (’nuff said).
Pictures- Figure out which you want more– One posed picture with the guy’s hands sort of in his pockets, and the girls holding their head on their arms, or hundreds of pictures taken with your camera of everything. Talk it over as a pair (couple). If one of you REALLY wants pictures, and the other is ambivilant, or doesn’t, then the one who wants them should pay.
I didn’t mention saving on dresses, because I am a man, and I know that anything I say here is automatically wrong to women who want to dress like a pretty, pretty, princess. If there are any women PF’ers out there who want to share tips, please do, and save me the embarrassment.
Overall, this is not the ’50’s or ’60’s, and I firmly believe in gender equality. Girls, that means you should take on some of the burden here as well. Just because it’s your night to shine, the guy shouldn’t have to blow his life savings for –ahem– a dance, especially if you and he are ‘just friends’. Send a clear signal, pay your way.
More importantly than all of that though– I know that it sounds really cool to get all drunk during the night, but it’s not cool to have a friend holding your hair as you throw up, and it’s not cool, to be puking all over your new suit. Don’t drink. It’s dumb, it’s illegal, and the only thing it will guarantee is that you won’t remember your special day.