Prom facts and top tips for doing prom on a budget!

My son had his first Prom night this week. I say first because it seems his school holds one in Year 11, 12 and 13! This makes me very glad that out of our seven children only two of them are girls.

teenage boy dressed for promMy almost-16-year-old was happy with his outfit from a High Street store which we bought for a recent family event.  It's worth buying things they might wear again - easier with boys than girls!

We realised at the last minute that his smart shoes no longer looked smart enough for the Prom venue but a quick trip to our local supermarket netted black coated leather shoes for just £16. He wore his black school trousers so total outfit cost was under £50. The Prom ticket cost £30 which included a welcome drink and buffet at a nice local venue.

I know I am very lucky with this - recent research showed that on the whole the cost of Prom is creeping up and up as many British youngsters want an American-style experience which seems to involve lots of expense on outfits, beauty regimes, transport, hair, jewellery, shoes and of course the cost of the actual ticket to the ball!

To find out how much people spend on Prom in both the UK and US surveyed 18 year old school leavers-500 in the UK and 500 in the US. 
They asked those who had already been to Prom: “How much did you spend on your outfit?” and those who had not yet attended a leaver’s ball but were planning on, were asked: “How much will you be spending on your outfit?”
In the UK 25% spent up to £50 (that would include us then!) while most (30%) quoted £51-£100.  Another 25% spent between £201-£300+. In the US 30% spent up to $75 while the majority spent $76-$150. 15% spent over $300.
For girls who were planning on attending Prom, MyVoucherCodes also asked: “What would your ideal leaver’s ball/prom outfit be?”  The majority  (26%) answered designer, whilst 24% would opt for high-street. 22% would like to have a vintage dress, whilst 18% wanted a custom gown and 10% said they would hand-make their outfit.
The cost of hair, fake tan and makeup for girls could set parents back £100. For guys it’s a bit cheaper with the cost of hair being around £20.00.
Making sure they arrive in style lucky US teens have been booking the Midnight Rider, a 25-ton, 416-square-foot limousine which can cost upwards of $1000 per hour. 

In the UK teens can arrive at prom in a helicopter costing around £800. Luckily my son arranged a lift to his venue with friends and a shared taxi home! Total cost -£20.

In the US, Riff Raff, the rapper and rumoured ex-BF of Katy Perry will accompany wealthy teens to prom, at a cost of $28,000.  Included in that  is coverage on Instagram, a ride to prom in a Lamborghini and a hotel suite to party in. Nice!

Commenting on the findings, founder of My Voucher Codes Mark Pearson said: “For some parents it can get pretty pricy to pay for prom, however there are ways to still have the luxury without spending a fortune such as sharing expensive limo rides with friends, borrowing designer dresses and getting together with friends to do each other’s hair and make-up.”

These sound like good tips to me. With my eldest daughter's prom in just two years I have already lined up a couple of previously loved prom dresses for her to try - fingers crossed one of them fits and she likes it. She even has the opportunity to borrow shoes and all the accessories which were bought to go with the dresses.

Home spa days for potential prom queens will save a fortune - if they must have fake tan and nails done professionally see if you can get a bulk discount with a beautician who will come to your home a day or two before the party for your daughter and her friends.

teenager dressed for prom UKDon't be embarrassed to ask on Facebook or among your friends and family for pre-loved outfits or accessories to borrow or buy cheaply. Check out YouTube videos to learn how to create elaborate up do's and cute nail designs. 

For now I can breathe a sigh of relief as my third son enjoyed his prom with mimmim fuss while my Facebook timeline has been filled pictures of the more complicated preparations of the girls getting ready. They seemed to start at about 10am while my son had a shower and threw his clothes on in about 15 minutes before he needed to catch his lift!

You can read the full report on the price of Prom HERE.

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