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

February 25, 2009
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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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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.
Amy R. said...
Jul. 14, 2009 at 8:02 pm
u have some really great points. grls should rent dresses or get them from goodwill or even make them. its betr than paying $400 to $500 for sumthing ur only gonna wear once. bsides tht having the prom in the gym makes it so tht school council wont hav 2 pay 4 a difrent location.i only hav 2 problems wit ur statements tho. underclassmen shouldnt hav 2 pay 4 sumthing they cant do. it would be nice of them to do but y should they? and whose parents really hav time to make sumthing 4 ur prom wit li... (more »)
J. Rae replied...
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.
Alex C. said...
Jul. 11, 2009 at 12:12 am
I see no problem with an expensive night. Just because the families subsisting on food-stamps and welfare are unable to spend money like this, are those families who can afford it supposed to shop for their prom at Ross so as not to make the poverty-level attendees feel separate? I am wearing an Armani tuxedo to my prom, and taking my date to a 4star restaurant for dinner, and you propose that all of this is excess? That is the only correct claim in your article. It is excess, but it is lavish f... (more »)
pictolover replied...
Nov. 6, 2009 at 12:42 pm
you have a point. and you can do whatever you want before prom. but how would you feel if you were the one in the 50 dollar tux while everyone else is in armani? i think we should make it to where everyone is equal and no one will get judged for having more or less than everyone else.
Logos not pathos replied...
Apr. 4, 2012 at 4:05 pm
So what your saying is that if a family has worked hard and earned enough money so that they can buys  these  things your going to tell them they should have what they've earned merely because you don't have something as nice. That has to be the most selfish, Jealous thing I've ever heard. Thou shall not covet. You want what he has get a job, save up and buy one. Just because he is enjoying the things that life has given him doesn't mean you have to pout that everyone else has nicer th... (more »)
Micheline said...
Jul. 7, 2009 at 3:11 am
I agree with you but only to an extent. I believe that its only one night if you decide to only go senior year, and you should live it up...maybe the rentals might work but wouldn't you want to treasure what you wore to that one special night??...other than that i totally agree=)
Clarissa R. said...
Jun. 2, 2009 at 1:53 am
I think there's a lot of pressure put on senior student council to make the best prom ever, so if somebody wants a cheaper prom, then that person has to get together with whoever's organizing prom and suggest new ideas.
rubiesrrare said...
May 29, 2009 at 9:07 pm
i completly agree. if people think that it's too "middle school" (yes, i did hear this) to just have the prom somewhere on school campus and get a "vintage" dress from the goodwill or grandma's closet, then they don't know the extent of the economy. personally, i didn't go to my jr or sr. yr prom b/c i would have had to pay for everything out of my own pocket and it just isn't really worth it.
Neble11 said...
May 13, 2009 at 11:04 pm
I Think this is redic! If it is that hard to buy everything fundraise! And If your only going your senior year save up! its one dance... And your last one ! Go all out!!
HOPEMVP said...
Apr. 29, 2009 at 5:24 pm
I agree in many aspects. the pressure on one to the other on is how much each other wants! (LIMO, FLOWERS, TIP, RESTOURANTS, etc.) It gets crazy!
liz H. said...
Apr. 27, 2009 at 3:15 pm
I agree with you. My school is under going major budget cuts and when I suggested that we go back to crepe paper and the gym people that the idea was ridiculos. Why not save money and have the same amount of fun.
logos not pathos replied...
Apr. 4, 2012 at 4:08 pm
Um, the prom is paid for by the tickets that are sold. No matter how many budget cuts there are. if only one ticket is sold at 75 dollars then the prom is going to cost 75 dollars to put on and none of that money will come from the school
forever_dancer said...
Apr. 14, 2009 at 12:41 am
that was extremely smart of you.. ps, i thought that it was funny that there ws a prom drees ad on the side! how ironic!
AKlore said...
Mar. 31, 2009 at 9:43 pm
I completly agree with what you are saying. My own Prom is coming up this month and I would much rather do something simple than have everything be dramatic. Eating in your kitchen with dollar-candlesticks is just as much fun as going to a resturaunt.
iTrumpet42 said...
Mar. 31, 2009 at 1:33 am
really good
My brother has his prom coming up, hes so xcieted but its gonna cost lik 1000 dollars!
i ttly agre wth u!!!
SmileyRiley<3 said...
Mar. 4, 2009 at 11:36 pm
that was rele good i liked your take on the subject
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