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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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PromDebt said...
Jul. 28, 2013 at 7:03 pm
Prom is 50-80 dollars? You should come to my school...our prom tickets are 175 DOLLARS EACH because they unnecessarily decide to have our prom ON WALL STREET. And at my school, everything is a competition and unfortunately every girl gets her hair, nails, makeup, etc. done. And don't even get me started on after prom!! I'm going to go into MAJOR prom debt at my senior prom this year.
 
mpuff said...
May 4, 2013 at 10:09 am
my prom costs 150..
 
ycd981110This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 17, 2013 at 9:39 am
I like your idea on how the cost on prom should be reduced by holding it in the school gym, renting outfits...etc. But I don't understand how you could assume that underclassmen would sponsor the prom if they could not attend.
 
d124816d said...
Apr. 11, 2013 at 4:40 pm
As an underclassman myself, I do NOT want to pay for a prom i can't attend, let alone care about
 
happilysavedmoney said...
Mar. 19, 2013 at 11:05 am
Wore my cousin's dress and knew that no one would have the same one as she was four years older--and I loved it. Held at the high school and decorations were made by a committee of us. Back In The Day there was no such talk of a limo and my date drove me in the nicer of his family's car to a dinner put together by classmates at one's house; fine with me.
 
worethem2 said...
Nov. 4, 2012 at 8:19 pm
my parents made me wear an adult size disposable diaper with plastic pants over it under my prom dress to prevent me from wanting to fool around with my date.
 
PrincessVoldemort said...
Apr. 30, 2012 at 5:15 pm
This year, prom was held at my high school, instead of an outside venue, so tickets were only $10 each. I bought my dress for $42, earrings for $18, and shoes for $29. I did my hair and makeup by myself with what I already had, had dinner at home, forgoed the mani/pedi and acrylics in favor of my natural nails, I didn't need to buy a boutonierre (I went stag.), and forgoed the limo. Overall, I spent around $100, which is so much less than many other people. All that matters is that in the end, I... (more »)
 
Piper S. said...
Apr. 19, 2012 at 1:41 pm
Your opinion is well written and you provide a good argument. However from a high schooler's perspective it's totally different. This article makes me want to write my own article about the cost of prom. Good article
 
lovingmom said...
Dec. 4, 2011 at 8:37 am
my daughter is 16 and went to prom last may.we are catholic and she received her sacrement of confirmation two weeks before prom.our parish is strict and all the the girls had to wear a white formal,poofy floor length dress with a veil,gloves and shoes.under their dresses they had to wear a white under shirt,cloth diaper,plastic pants and tights.my daughter wore the confirmation dress as her prom dress with the gloves,tights and shoes.to prevent her from fooling around,we required her to wear th... (more »)
 
SmirkingSkull replied...
Jul. 7, 2012 at 1:34 pm
WHAT ...? That's considered a prom? Wow, soooo glad not to be there.
 
candy said...
Aug. 22, 2011 at 5:39 am
pliz who told you such dumb stuff what a fool that person is
 
Alon_Freevoice said...
Jul. 26, 2011 at 8:13 pm
So true. And prom is not for fashion show! Prom is not a beauty contest or something like that! SO why spend thousands of dollars?

This is a greeat article!!! :)
Keep writing :)
 
logos not pathos replied...
Apr. 4, 2012 at 3:25 pm
While money is a big factor on prom, you also have to think about all the time and work that goes into making such a big event. What most people don't understand or even know is that the creating of prom is almost as important the night itself. Did you know that on average prom cost 40,000 the price of a large wedding. However look at the upside, it not only brings a community together that 40,000 dollars goes back into the economy by way of local caters, decorators, supply companies, florist, t... (more »)
 
logos not pathos replied...
Apr. 4, 2012 at 4:11 pm
Prom is a fashion beauty contest what the heck do you think prom court voting is about. The whole this is deeper than a big party it is a socialogical and cultural rite of passage.
 
PromMom2 said...
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.
 
goodnightmoon said...
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...
Apr. 11, 2011 at 3:02 pm
REALLY LUCKY!! My prom cost $110!!!!
 
Aspiringauhor said...
Mar. 20, 2011 at 2:04 pm
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!!!!!!!!!!!! :)
 
Corkyspaniel said...
Feb. 4, 2011 at 8:29 am
Good point. :) I had no idea how I'll pay for my junior prom this year, but these are great ideas!
 
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.
 
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