The Cost of Prom MAG

February 25, 2009
By Matt Francisco BRONZE, Wilmington, Delaware
Matt Francisco BRONZE, Wilmington, Delaware
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

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.



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This article has 59 comments.


PromMom2 said...
on May. 13 2011 at 9:43 am
The meaning of Prom is to be together, not a Red Carpet Gala.  It is important to ensure as many people can go as possible right?  So, why on earth would you go to the expense of having it at a venue miles away, charge $100/pp, rent limos, buses, tuxs, buy dresses, to find out that a great friend can't go , cuz they can't afford the ticket.  That blow!  Have it at the Gym, have dinner before hand privately, then have a blast at the dance.

on 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.

on Apr. 11 2011 at 5:58 pm
Actually, at my school, we do a lot of what you said. The juniors raise money, decorate our gym, and have drinks and snack food. Everyone eats on their own beforehand (usually with their dates). This way, you don't have to pay to get into the dance. Most people just drive their own cars (or even carpool). Also, a lot of the guys just wear suits instead of tuxes. It all works out really nicely and fairly cheaply.

heenabeena said...
on Apr. 11 2011 at 3:02 pm
heenabeena, Brooklyn, New York
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference"
The Road Not Taken
by Robert Frost

REALLY LUCKY!! My prom cost $110!!!!

on Mar. 20 2011 at 2:04 pm
aspiringauthor_ BRONZE, Fairfield, Connecticut
1 article 0 photos 326 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that." - MLK Jr.

My mom bought her prom dress and wore it 6 times after prom as well... So I think that part is not necessarily true, but other than that, great article and great tips!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

on Feb. 4 2011 at 8:29 am
CourtneyHammett BRONZE, Spartanburg, South Carolina
1 article 7 photos 37 comments
20 dollars? X) You're lucky.

on Feb. 4 2011 at 8:29 am
CourtneyHammett BRONZE, Spartanburg, South Carolina
1 article 7 photos 37 comments
Good point. :) I had no idea how I'll pay for my junior prom this year, but these are great ideas!

on Nov. 30 2010 at 2:12 pm
HOPEfully SILVER, Clayton, North Carolina
6 articles 1 photo 30 comments

Favorite Quote:
My Cinderella. She is real. She exists. I pray for her constantly. May God satisfy the desires of her heart, draw her close, consume her. May He claim her passions, her identity, her refuge, her hopes, her strengths and weaknesses -Adam Young

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.

Yeahright said...
on 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

on Oct. 17 2010 at 2:49 pm
babygirlinthetardis BRONZE, Snaith, Other
1 article 1 photo 14 comments
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...
on Sep. 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 really nice but good dress for $75. I think having a big fancy prom is a once in a life time experience that is worth it's price.

on Aug. 23 2010 at 5:37 pm
BeckyAdele BRONZE, East Grinstead, Other
1 article 2 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
"Becky - you're amazing."

My prom was so boring. Total waste of time.

on Aug. 6 2010 at 2:33 pm
theatercamper112 SILVER, Lemont, Illinois
9 articles 0 photos 14 comments

Favorite Quote:
Do what you want to not what anyone else tells you to.

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.

on Aug. 6 2010 at 10:30 am
Rosalinda SILVER, Bend, Oregon
6 articles 0 photos 10 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Practice doesn't make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect." ~the director of one of the shows I've been in. Another director once told me, "Rosalinda, you're funny. Keep doing that."

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...

J. Rae said...
on Aug. 5 2010 at 8:54 am
I totally agree about the good will part! I got a really expensive dress that was like 100 bucks, for ten dollars at a secondhand store! Honestly, you don't need to blow all of you money on prom. And you can trade around accesories and shoes among your friends, instead of paying for ones you wear once.

CottonKandi said...
on 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: On a cruise ship called The Lady Mary

If people take a little extra time to look for deals such as these proms could still be fancy and exciting having a night to remember for the rest of your lives. I mean the dresses shoes and accessories for the girls are free and you get to keep them. On our cruise we get to have our dj and we get to have catoring. I'm with you though about it being rediculous about spending sooooo much money for one night but there are so many ways to have the Priceless memories as NeverShoutLisa said because she's very correct


on Mar. 18 2010 at 2:25 pm
NeverShoutLisa SILVER, Mountain Home, Arkansas
5 articles 0 photos 3 comments

Favorite Quote:
In Life, there are tears, smiles & memories. The tears dry, the smiles fade, but the memories last forever.

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.

on Mar. 8 2010 at 8:55 pm
naturelover123 BRONZE, San Francisco, California
2 articles 0 photos 50 comments
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...
on 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-danced-with-who. sound like your ideal prom? it sure is for me. some of the college kids even squeeze back in and celebrate another year--it's that great. is that what you're thinking of? you should check it out. it's the Homeschool prom :D

on Jan. 4 2010 at 2:50 pm
phoenixqueen GOLD, Idaho Falls, Idaho
10 articles 0 photos 30 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I cannot live without books."

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.


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