planning your own prom expenses

We should be way past this girl/boy, man/woman thing, but we're not. People still aren't sure who pays for what…especially when it comes to prom. Not even I, the Party Girl, was sure. So I went out to the masses and asked the question. Here is what the majority said:

The Guy
  • The Corsage. For information on what type of corsage to buy, check out Corsage Etiquette. But by all means, this is a guy's responsibility.
  • Pre-Prom Dinner. This is, of course, up to the male half of the duo. For more ideas on where to go and other information, read my article on pre-prom dining.
  • The Prom. The guy buys the tickets, gets the tickets, holds the tickets and presents the tickets at the door! Any question?
The Girl
  • The Boutonniere. This is her responsibility…not only buying it but choosing whether it should be a red rose, a white carnation, etc. Talk to your florist and find out what he suggests.
  • Friday Night Dinner. If you are doing a pre-pre-prom dinner on Friday night (or whenever), this is the girl's responsibility.
  • After Prom. I am told that this is "Dutch treat." For those of you that have never heard that terminology, that means you split it between the two of you. Of course, it's up for discussion, but I think this is fair based on chivalry and other things that are obvious to anyone pursuing love.
However, one thing is certain. Whoever is paying is "in charge," so to speak, and should be allowed-- encouraged, even-- to choose the restaurant and/or other activities.
how to plan for prom expenses
According to, you're going to have to start saving now if you plan a "real" night out…

"The Stuff Proms are Made Of …"
  • Prom tickets ($25 to $200 per couple)
  • Outfit (her): dress, shoes, shawl/wrap, jewelry, bag, stockings, corsage ($50 to $200)
  • Outfit (him): tux, shirt, suspenders or cummerbund, shoes, socks, boutonnière ($75 to $150)
  • Gorgeousity (her): hair, makeup, manicure/pedicure, hair clips, ($50 to $250)
  • Gorgeousity (him): haircut, shave ($5 to $40)
  • Boutonniere (her): ($5 to $10)
  • Corsage (him): ($10 to $25)
  • At-Prom Photos: $40 to $150 (remember, families will want copies)
  • Candid Photos: disposable camera or extra film ($10 to $25)
  • Transportation: limo/rental split with other couples, gas money ($5 to $1,000)
  • Dinner (if not part of prom ticket): cook your own romantic dinner or go to a nice restaurant. If you're going out, bring $1 bills for coat-check ($1 tip for each coat) and valet parking (around $5 plus $2 tip) ($25 to $125)
  • Miscellaneous: Souvenirs, etc. ($10 to $40)
Hint: Once you add up all your expenses, divide the total by the number of weeks until prom and you'll know how much to put away each week to pay for everything.

So, if they are right, which I bet they are, you need to start now (unless your parents plan to ante up!)…
  1. A part time job
  2. Cutting grass
  3. Shoveling snow
  4. Babysitting
  5. Hosting parties for little ones
  6. Errand-running
Whatever it takes! Be creative, you’ll enjoy it more.