The Cost of Prom | Teen Ink

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.

on Mar. 14 2016 at 6:39 pm
ScarletCity PLATINUM, High Ridge, Missouri
40 articles 4 photos 68 comments

Favorite Quote:
Anything that can be done, can be undone. ~Scarlet City

In this day and age there are places where you can rent prom dresses and bridesmaid dresses. The magazine, "Good Housekeeping" did an article on such a company, called 'Little Borrowed Dress'

Rynn750 SILVER said...
on Oct. 25 2015 at 6:29 pm
Rynn750 SILVER, Somewhere, Wisconsin
5 articles 0 photos 32 comments

Favorite Quote:
"A cynical young person is almost the saddest sight to see, because it means that he or she has gone from knowing nothing to believing nothing." - Maya Angelou

@AmyRose Honestly, it's not worth that much money, at least in my experience. I mean, you should go, but you don't have to worry about buying a really fancy dress or anything like that.

Amy Rose said...
on Jan. 19 2015 at 3:11 pm
The thing is, my prom IS held in the gym. There's no catering and tickets still cost £40-£50! My mum says I can still go, but where we'll find the money for the ticket, dress and transport I don't know. I'll probably walk! I can't get hair/make up/nails done as that costs ridiculous. At this rate i'm looking at asking for prom stuff for my birthday (3 months before) and putting a my birthday money into it. This is supposed to be for fun! What's more I probably won't be able to eat anything(allergies):(.

PromDebt said...
on 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...
on May. 4 2013 at 10:09 am
my prom costs 150..

on Apr. 17 2013 at 9:39 am
ycd981110 SILVER, Noblesville, Indiana
7 articles 1 photo 9 comments
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...
on 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

on 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...
on 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.

on Jul. 7 2012 at 1:34 pm
SmirkingSkull, New York, New York
0 articles 0 photos 8 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Sucking up to me won't spare you from my wrath." - Naomi Kimishima
"In the long run we are all dead"- Kenyes

WHAT ...? That's considered a prom? Wow, soooo glad not to be there.

on 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 had a ton of fun.

on Apr. 19 2012 at 1:41 pm
Piper Shaw BRONZE, Scottsdale, Arizona
2 articles 0 photos 5 comments
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

on 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.

on 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

on 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 things. Work hard until you can be that parents standing proud and able to say I can provide my family with these things  because I worked hard, got throught school and have a good paying job. That is the american dream, It's a horrible thing to say well don't enjoy life because I'm not as well off. Make yourself well off. My family had NOTHING absolutely broke, both of my parents put themselves through college got there masters my mother became a legal editor and my father started his own company which he sold and retired at 48 for 6.8 million dollars. I'm black do you have any idea how hard it is for a black person let alone their entire family to get this far. The american dream doesn't have to be a dream it can be a reality if you are willing to work for it just like every other living creature on earth has to make a living

Tami T said...
on 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 know, try growing one, I hear flowers do that now a days. some ribbon and a flower voila. Need a ride, carpool with friends. HMMM on average the prom I just described only cost 30 bucks. Instead of whining be resourceful!!!!

on 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, the venue itself and lets not forget the amount of money the children attending the event put in. Prom is actually an economic boost for a local community. For instance in a town of 10,000  three hundred and fifty girls will pay on average 250-350 for a dress, 30 for their nails, 50 for their shoes, 50 for their hair and not to mention tanning and makeup and waxing and limo service. Also the boys tux run between 150 and 300 dollars. So the truth is in this tough economy having such a large amount of money circulating keeps a local economy healthy there for more parents working and able to pay for prom. Lets not forget the great fun it provides for the creative kids who plan and decorate ;D GO Student Goverment, Art club, Design club and high school in general

lovingmom said...
on 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 daughter wore the confirmation dress as her prom dress with the gloves,tights and prevent her from fooling around,we required her to wear the diaper and plastic pants under the tights.she accepted it and had a nice time at prom.

candy said...
on Aug. 22 2011 at 5:39 am
pliz who told you such dumb stuff what a fool that person is

on Jul. 26 2011 at 8:13 pm
IAmWhoIWantToBe PLATINUM, Manila, Other
41 articles 0 photos 650 comments

Favorite Quote:
‎"I’m learning how to drown out the constant noise that is such an inseparable part of my life. I don’t have to prove anything to anyone. I only have to follow my heart and concentrate on what I want to say to the world: I run my world." - Beyoncé

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 :)