SparkNotes Blog

How to Save Money on Prom

After paying for the dress, the shoes, getting your hair styled, getting new makeup, paying for photos, paying for the limo, paying for dinner, paying for a new emerald tiara, and paying for your post-prom party…there’s not much money left in your wallet after prom. To help ease the financial burden of prom, we have some money-saving tips and tactics. It’s time to get crafty and thrifty!

1. Go closet shopping. Surely, you’ve got friends or friends’ sisters who have stellar dresses for you to borrow. So what if the frock is a few years old? As long as you like it, there’s no reason to spend a fortune. (Just say thanks with some delicious baked goods or cute nail polishes.) And if anyone gives you crap about wearing a used dress, tell them you’re helping the environment by recycling. They will (or should) thank you for saving the entire world!

2. Skip the limo.
After all, what’s the point of having your driver’s license if you’re not going to use it on the biggest night of the school year? Limo rides are overrated. The first five minutes are fun, but after that you’re just in a fancy bus. If you don’t want to drive, ask an underclassman to be your chauffeur and make him wear a silly chauffeur’s cap. Underclassmen are eager to be part of the elusive, mysterious prom night so he should do it for free. Just say thanks with some delicious baked goods or cute nail polishes…which he won’t want, but it’s the thought that counts.

3. Use the Internet for help on hair, makeup, and nails. Our YouTube makeup (and hair) gurus are Michelle Phan, itsjudyTime, and taliajoy18. Check out Nailed It and Nailside for ideas for your digits.  Then, practice your brains out so you’ll be prepared to execute it all perfectly on the big day.

4. Consider having your dinner at home. Ask your parents if you can have a few friends over for photos and food. This saves the headache of figuring out how to split the bill at dinner. (“Who ordered six sides of corn, guys?!”) You can make the dinner more interesting by choosing a ridiculous theme such as “Orange Foods” or “Foods of Delaware!” Have fun. Prom isn’t just about elegance. You can be goofy, too. And goofy is often cheaper.

5. If you’d rather enjoy the traditional restaurant pre-prom meal, then perhaps your place could be the after-party destination.
Have some light snacks ready and a few good movies on-hand in case people are too tired to chat and recap the whole night. Memories will be made if you stay home after prom with friends, or if you spend $1,000,000 on a flying chariot to whisk you away to France for an after-party. Either way, you get fun photos. But staying home will save you roughly $999,994.

6. If you really want to take your cheapness to the next level, plan to D.I.Y. your accessories and date’s boutonniere. With some planning, you can grow your own flowers and follow this tutorial to crafting your own floral boutonniere. If you and your date are a little more offbeat, think about making one of these non-floral ones. For your own accessories, making jewelry has never been easier thanks to bloggers like Mr. Kate and P.S. I Made This.

What are your money-saving tricks for prom?