The average family plans to spend $900 on prom. Let that sink in for just a little bit.
Prom and other fancy events can be super expensive. Here are 6 ways to save money on prom!
That beautiful dress can be the biggest bank breaker, in addition to dinner, flowers (if you choose), mode of transportation, and photos! Your parents may offer to help out, but if you want to foot the bill it can rip your savings to shreds.
The dress is the most important part of prom to a lot of girls. Designer dresses, like Sherri Hill, are very expensive. They can start at $350 and increase from there! A more affordable option is to find a ‘like new’ used dress.
Many sites offer discounted or cheap prom dresses that are just as good as full price designer dresses. Shopping secondhand, like at a high end consignment store, can also save a ton of money.
Apps like Poshmark, where people buy and resell used clothing, are always full of dresses. Check local Facebook groups and social media, where girls will resell their like-new dresses for cheap.
Be wary of ordering from online sites that ship from China, because those might not always look like the beautiful advertisement picture.
If you have a bridesmaid dress lying around you might be able to transform it with stones or alter it to make it prom worthy. Don’t try to adhere specifically to today’s style of prom. If you like a different style, go for what you think is pretty.
Accessories can be super easy to find. Secondhand and consignment stores are great places to find jewelry, and there are always good deals on Etsy, Amazon, and inexpensive stores, like Claire’s and Charming Charlie’s.
For the guys, it’s not too hard to achieve prom ready clothing status. If you want a simple tux there are easy rentals and they’re easy to piece together. Try secondhand stores and consignment stores. Now that the weather’s warming up, garage, yard, and estate sales are sprouting up. Any of these can be easy pickups for a one night suit use.
Hair and Make Up
For hair and makeup, things can get tricky. Lots of stores offer makeovers with a purchase or two, or can offer a service to give tips. You can also watch plenty of YouTube videos and practice until you get it right. If one of your friends is handy with a makeup or hair brush, ask them for some help getting ready for the day.
Local beauty schools often offer haircuts and styling for a discounted price done by students. Know that with either, you may not get exactly what you want. The day of a dance I went to, I got my makeup done at a local Sephora and has not happy. I had to redo everything once I got back to my friends’ house.
Here is a quick and easy pictorial for a style that can work on medium to long hair. So many styles can quickly be found on Pinterest, and easily perfected with practice.
This video only uses inexpensive makeup you can get from the drugstore. It works well for warm toned dresses and warm under toned skin.
This is another tutorial that’s a little darker and can be won with any dress as well.
Remember, that you don’t have to go out and buy super expensive makeup for this one occasion just use similar shadows you already have.
If you feel like amping it up, here is a helpful step by step video by CosmoByHaley on applying false eyelashes. It really does take some practice!
Ardell Demi Wispies in style 120 are my favorite lashes. They look super long and not too fake, and are lightweight to wear. They’re durable enough to be reused if you’re careful, too.
Transportation can get really costly. Limos, depending on how many people are riding, can be a good option. A limo seating 7 people can total somewhere around $70 an hour, plus tipping the driver. Driving yourself is the most cost efficient solution if you are old enough to drive. Having someone drop you off and pick you up is an affordable option as well.
Where I live, there aren’t very many ‘fancy’ restaurants close enough to the school or prom venue. A positive to driving to prom is being able to go through a drive through or eat in a fast food restaurant in full prom attire. Eating at home is a good option as well.
If you don’t think you should eat a ton to fit into your dress, or you don’t want your date to see you eat, a fun meal with friends is a good idea. Before every school dance, my friends and I will eat a salad or some chicken as a quick, easy, and stress free meal.
Flowers can get expensive, especially if prices hike up during prom season. Check out local florists for pricing on corsages. Many greenhouses also make them, or have someone crafty that can.
Don’t go straight for roses, just because they’re a classic. Carnations usually make cheaper boutonnieres and corsages because they can be dyed. If all else fails, get crafty! If someone puts effort into what their date likes it will be appreciated 100x more.
Here is a tutorial on making your own corsage.
A professional photographer could cost hundreds of dollars. Is it really worth it for one night? Almost every mom I know has a nice camera or can take pictures using their phone. If your parents insist on getting pictures, just smile and relax. Of course this will be much easier to do if you haven’t spent your life savings on a photographer!
These are the main areas where you can make a dent in your prom budget. There are probably more ways to save money on prom but this will get you off to a great start!
It really doesn’t matter how expensive your dress is or if you smudge your make-up a little at some point in the evening. None of those things will affect a great night unless you choose to let them. Remember to have fun, save some money, enjoy your friends, and dance the night away no matter what!