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The Cost of Prom This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


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Every high school junior and senior dreams of attending the prom – the glamour, the glitz, the dressing up, and the memories – but the prom is ­becoming more and more expensive. Is this four or five hours worth the cost? Tickets range from $50 to $80, tuxedo rentals cost about $150, flowers are $40 or more, and prom dresses average at least $250. If you rent a limousine, there goes another $400. Your prom could cost almost $1,000! Is it really worth that much?

Most proms are held at locations that have catering and a DJ. Why don’t we go back to having the prom in the school gym? Attendees could go out for dinner beforehand. Underclassmen could decorate the gym and help pay for the dance. It doesn’t really matter where the prom is held; it is the fun that you have there and the memories that are important. High school students shouldn’t have to worry about going into debt to attend their prom.

Girls could consider renting dresses or making them. I was fortunate that my mother made my date’s dress. This saved her over $100. Since girls only wear their outfits once, why not rent them like the guys do with their tuxedoes? Dresses should not have to cost so much.

There’s no problem with renting a limousine to get to and from the prom as long as more than three couples go together and split the cost, especially with the price of gas lately. Yes, limos mean fewer cars on the road and make socializing more fun, but you can only rent them for so many hours and then you are stuck.

The prom could easily become less expensive if guys wore suits and girls wore nice long dresses. Having the prom in the gym and sponsored by the underclassmen would lower the ticket price. Parents could serve a special dinner at home to defer the cost of eating out.

In these tough economic times, with more and more parents being laid off, young people should not have to spend so much on a big fancy prom.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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TurtleShellTristani This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 30, 2010 at 2:12 pm
i agree. it makes classmates with smaller budgets feel really really sad to have to skimp on extravagances when it seems like everyone else can afford it. But secretly everyone has to make sacrifices to go to prom. it would help if schools had a fund or let students spilt the cost or even gave scholarships to help fund it. i love your article.
 
Tami T replied...
Apr. 4, 2012 at 3:33 pm
What is your guys problems. My prom is 75 dollars and It's going to be amazing. Instead of griping about the expense and saying they should tone it done and make it less enjoyable so you can go do what I did talk to the prom coordinators to see about either a payment plan or work in trade for a ticket. once you have the ticket learn a new skill and make your dress or why does it have to be new go to a thrift shop for you outfit. Need a corsage...hmmm where to get a flower for my wrist. I don't k... (more »)
 
Yeahright said...
Oct. 17, 2010 at 6:40 pm
WhY sHOULD THE THE UNDERCLASS MEN HAVE TO PAY? AFTER ALL WE ARENT EVEN ALLOWED TO GO, SO WHY SHOULD WE HAVE TO PAY, I AM ALL FOR VOLUNTEERING TO HELP DECORATE AND ALL THAT, BUT ACTUALLY PAYING? I DONT THINK SO
 
goodnightmoon replied...
Apr. 11, 2011 at 6:00 pm
At our school, the juniors put it on and also go. They raise money in the class to decorate, and then they also put on after prom. I think he meant something like this.
 
babygirlinthetardis said...
Oct. 17, 2010 at 2:49 pm
Totally agree - my school moved our prom offsite for the first time last year and loved it, but this year the price for that venue has gone up loads so that it's going to cost me £75 just for the ticket which I really can't afford. Whereas if we moved it back to the sports hall it'd only be £20 tops. Not to mention it's being held on my birthday this year so I really want to go!
 
LadyL said...
Sept. 23, 2010 at 9:26 pm
Well the reason why my school has prom off campus is because we have high school dances in the gym 4 times a year. Some of them are formal and some of them are not. However, prom is different, it's for the memories, but prom is also something I know I've dreamed about since elementary school. It's the celebration of being a senior. Honestly, my school prom is super expensive, but there are ways to spend less. My date ended up paying for my $110 ticket, $60 limo, and $10 flowers. I also bought a ... (more »)
 
BeckyAdele said...
Aug. 23, 2010 at 5:37 pm
My prom was so boring. Total waste of time.
 
theatercamper1212 said...
Aug. 6, 2010 at 2:33 pm
I liked reading this and it is very true. I know that my prom ticket was $50 dollars and my dress was over $250 and I did share a limo with a few friends. It was fun but I agree that we should just go back to the high school gym it just seems simple.
 
CottonKandi said...
May 14, 2010 at 7:54 pm

I'm attending an alternative high school and this will be my high schools final prom due to the fact that our distric is shutting our school down. We are lucky enough to have the fallowing

Dresses for girls: free from local nonprofit organization with very gentley used dresses

Accessories and shoes: same place for these and are also free

Tux: Men's Whare House is giving our guys a great deal of a $50 dollar tux rental

Prom Tickets: 25 dollars

Location: ... (more »)

 
NeverShoutLisa said...
Mar. 18, 2010 at 2:25 pm
Prom Tickets: 20 dollars
Dress and Shoe rental: 75 dollars
Dinner: 7 dollars
Hair & Makeup: Free
Photos: Free
The Memories: Priceless.
My prom last year was held in our High School Gym, which is where it is every year. Only a few girls buy the really lavish dresses, so we generally keep the cost low.
 
Corkyspaniel replied...
Feb. 4, 2011 at 8:29 am
20 dollars? X) You're lucky.
 
naturelover123 said...
Mar. 8, 2010 at 8:55 pm
I agree...people don't need to spend so much money on prom. It's just a dance, and the memories are what matter.
 
uhohitzfrans said...
Feb. 17, 2010 at 5:25 pm
Our prom tickets cost $65, that includes dinner, rent and music. people get dropped off by their parents and dessert is a collaboration of cookies brought by different families. guys wear nice shirts and some wear ties. some girls buy their dresses, others make them or get them from the thrift store. all the grades 9th-12th attend, and for one night we're all equals, no one cares where you're from or how old you are. there is zero to minimal drama going around about dates and who-dance... (more »)
 
Rosalinda replied...
Aug. 6, 2010 at 10:30 am
oooh I think a homeschool prom would be so fun...I'm homeschooled and each year we have a winter ball for whole families which is fun, but a prom would definitely be something to look into...
 
phoenixqueen said...
Jan. 4, 2010 at 2:50 pm
I think that proms, and other dances, should be something that anyone can afford. It should not be a popularity contest or a see-how-much-money-you-can-spend thing. It is only one night, so why not spend your money on something worthwhile, that will last longer than a memory. Think of all the things you could do with $1000! Also, it makes the people who don't have that much money to spend (me, for instance) feel really bad that they can't go all out.
 
Joey C. said...
Dec. 16, 2009 at 4:36 pm
This was a very good article, and it brings up a very good point. You have some good ideas for sure, although I doubt underclassmen would help pay for a dance they won't even be going to.
 
resilva said...
Aug. 10, 2009 at 9:28 pm
I agree, prom should not cost more than my entire high school education. I don't know if I'll go to prom yet, but I know I won't spend $250 on a dress I'll only wear once (and if I keep it it will only serve me in 20 years to remind me how thin I used to be). Last year I had friends not just spending several hundred dollars, but several months talking about how they were going to wear their hair. (It sort of made me want to stop talking to them).
 
Evelyn said...
Aug. 2, 2009 at 5:51 pm
i agree completely, you're totally right! :) good job with your writing composure! Very well put together!!!! XD
 
Abigail_W said...
Jul. 31, 2009 at 6:53 pm
Absolutely. I don't even like the way prom dresses look. I'd much rather go in my $40 sundress with big sunflowers spattered over it. I'll betcha it's ten times prettier than the mint green one my older sister has getting moldy in the basement from ten years ago . . .
 
Kayoung L. said...
Jul. 31, 2009 at 5:17 am
I also agree with this piece to some extent. Although I agree that proms may get very pricey, senior prom should be something that you can look back at an cherish. Senior prom is a once in a lifetime opportunity, so if it is something your school/family can afford, you should enjoy it to its fullest.
 
mensa4life said...
Jul. 17, 2009 at 9:49 pm
I think proms are stupid so yeah i dont really care about all that stuff.
 
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