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CostHelper > Recreation & Activities  > Prom

Prom Cost


How Much Does Prom Cost?

 
low costTuxedo Rental: $50-$250average costProm Dress: $100-$400+high costTotal Spent: $696-$1,944 Average Nationwide

Prom is a formal dance celebrated by high school juniors and seniors and their dates. It is typically held in spring (March to May), although some schools schedule it for January or February.

Typical costs:

  • The total amount spent on prom can be $150-$2,200 or more, depending on what is included. Typical expenses include a dress or tuxedo, shoes, tickets, dinner, flowers, hair and makeup for girls and photos or mementos of the event. Families with teenagers spent an average of $1,078 on prom in 2012, compared to $807 in 2011, according to a survey by Visa Inc.[1] Regionally, the survey found Midwestern families spent an average of $696 in 2012, compared to $744 in the West, $1,047 in the South and $1,944 in the Northeastern United States.
  • Prom tickets typically cost $20-$250 per person, with higher-priced tickets generally including dinner or a more expensive venue, like a country club ballroom instead of the school gym. Some school charge less for prom tickets bought months in advance, and more for tickets purchased just before the event. For example, the 2013 prom at Porter Ridge High School[2] in North Carolina is being held in a nearby lodge and resort, and tickets cost $45-$65 each for seniors and $55-$75 for juniors, depending on the purchase date. The 2013 prom for Plainfield East High School[3] in Illinois will be held in Shed Aquarium in Chicago, and the $95 a person ticket price includes transportation, whale watching with refreshments, a seated dinner and dancing.
  • Prom dresses typically cost $100-$400 or more, and may vary from long and full to short and trendy. For example, 1st Prom Dress[4] has both short cocktail-style and formal floor-length dresses for $100-$300, while PrettyQuinceanera.com[5] has full-skirted prom ball gowns for $190-$275. Some schools have prom dress codes that ban skimpy attire; before buying a gown, check if there are any restrictions.
  • Tuxedo rental for prom typically costs $50-$250 including fees. The Men's Wearhouse[6] nationwide chain rents prom tuxes for about $60-$220.
  • Dinner for two at a restaurant before prom typically costs $40-$200 with tax and tips. For example, Legends Restaurant[7] in Southern Illinois offers a $30-per-person (plus tax and 20% tip) prom special in April and May. Some high schools include dinner as part of the prom ticket price.
  • It is customary for the student to buy flowers for his or her prom date. Fresh flower boutonnieres may cost $5-$25, while moderately priced corsages may cost $15-$45, depending on the flower choice.
Related articles: Corsage, Groom's Suit or Tuxedo, Limousine Rental

Additional costs:
  • Photos at prom typically cost $15-$175. For example, GraduationandPromPhotography.com[8] in San Diego offers prom packages for $20-$50.
  • Professional hair and makeup typically costs $70-$150, depending on the stylist's rates and status. Additional costs for prom attendees might include manicures, pedicures and tanning.
  • Renting a limousine for prom typically starts at $65-$100 per hour, or at least $400 for the evening.
  • Shoes for prom typically cost $20-$100 or more. Online retailer PromShoes.com[9] sells silver, mid-heel shoes for girls for $40-$70 per pair. Men may choose to rent shoes ($10-$30) or a vest ($10-$25), or they might be included in the tuxedo rental charge. Mr. Formal Tuxedo Services[10] in Texas rents formal shoes for $12-$25, depending on the style, but only with a tuxedo rental.
Discounts:
  • MoneyCrashers.com lists ways to save money on prom[11] .
  • Seventeen Magazine[12] shares a roundup of prom dresses for less than $100.
  • Used prom dresses in good condition can be found at online retailers like Preowned Party Dresses[13] and eBay[14] .
Shopping for prom:
  • Seventeen Magazine lists what to do three months before prom[15] and one month before prom[16] .
  • Be aware of all deadlines and requirements. In addition to strict dress codes, there may be a cut-off date for buying prom tickets, and student ID may be required at the time of purchase. If a prom date does not attend the high school that is holding the prom, usually the guest be pre-approved by the school administration and there is a deadline for filing a guest application. Often a valid drivers' license or other ID is required for admission to the prom.
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External Resources:
  1.  www.practicalmoneyskills.com/about/press/releases_2012/0413.php
  2.  prhs.ucps.k12.nc.us/StudentLife/seniorprom.php
  3.  www.psd202.org/PEHS/linked_pages/prom_cat_2012.html
  4.  www.1stpromdress.com/shop/2012PromDresses/2012-Prom-Dresses-185-1.html
  5.  www.prettyquinceanera.com/19/PromBallGownDresses/1
  6.  tuxedo.menswearhouse.com/occasionProm.do
  7.  www.walkersbluff.com/prom-dinner-legends-3
  8.  www.graduationandpromphotography.com/photo-packages.html
  9.  www.promshoes.com/silver-prom-shoes/mid-heel
  10.  mrformaltuxedoservices.com/faq.html
  11.  www.moneycrashers.com/prom-planning-ideas-save-money/
  12.  www.seventeen.com/parties/prom/hottest-under-100-prom-dresses
  13.  www.preownedpartydresses.com/used_prom_dresses
  14.  www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p5197.m570.l1313&_nkw=prom+dress+used&_s...
  15.  www.seventeen.com/parties/prom/countdown-to-prom
  16.  www.seventeen.com/parties/prom/prom-calendar
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