Planning prom with Ella Brooks


Each year many THS students attend the annual prom held for upperclassmen. It is a fun night spent dressing up and hanging out with classmates. There are dinner parties, photos, and dancing. The event is super fun and a great way to spend time with friends. However, amongst all the pros, there can be a few cons.

The event can be expensive, and challenging for many students. In total, students spend the bulk of the money on tickets, dresses or tuxedos/suits, accessories, corsage/boutonnieres, and dinner. The ticket prices are a non-negotiable $25, but there are more realistic and less-expensive alternatives for the other “necessities”. 

The cost of dresses can be extremely expensive, especially for girls who choose to go shopping in another city. The dress prices can range anywhere from $200-$800 in the shops and boutiques. These are often high quality dresses, but they are usually only worn for the one-night event and not worth the price paid. 

There are many online shops that offer the same quality dresses at a cheaper rate such as Windsor, Lulus, Revolve, Rent the Runway, Lucy in the Sky, and more. These are trusted shops that will come through with a quality dress at a lower price, and they are all very inclusive. 

Other options can include: renting, borrowing, or buying a dress that has been preloved by another student. Many girls sell their old dresses or are willing to rent or lend if asked. Many thrift shops also have prom dresses from time to time. For the girls, finding the perfect dress does not have to break the bank.

For people interested in suits or tuxedos, they can be rented from a few local businesses, or from online shops. Many guys who have been to prom in the past are willing to lend, rent, or sell their tux/suit as well.

For the smaller details such as a bow tie, tie, or hair pieces, Goodwill and other thrift stores have many options that appear brand new. Amazon and Etsy have a few sets as well that are great for finding the perfect match to your dress for only $13

Florals can be expensive depending on what you want, but there are many online tutorials for making your own corsage and boutonnieres. They also have pre-made false corsage and boutonnieres at Hobby Lobby. With their every other week discount, having beautiful flowers can have a very low cost.

One of the biggest expenses is the pre-prom dinner, especially with a group of friends. Maybe this year, try having a family member help you with meal prep, so the group can eat together at someone’s home, or make reservations at an Italian or Mexican restaurant since they are super popular in the area and can seat large groups with a fixed menu or extra added fees.

Many upperclassmen really focus on having a date to prom, but it is not required to bring a date. There’s so much pressure to have a date, but you can always go with friends and have a fun time as a group. There is nothing wrong with choosing friends as your date and in some cases can be less expensive. 

I have been to multiple proms, and each time I went with a friend and had just as much fun as everyone else. I have also borrowed and rented dresses multiple times to avoid paying large amounts of money for dresses, and last year I made all of my corsages/ boutonnieres. Having done a lot of things in a “non-traditional” way made me enjoy the small details and the event even more. 

The event can be overwhelming for new students who have never been to prom before. Especially with how expensive all of the “necessities” can seem. However, there are many alternatives for the many pieces and parts of prom, and the prices can fluctuate. No one should be discouraged from the price of prom.