The Purple and White Pawprint

The Cost of Prom

What's the real cost of prom? The time spent preparing, the money or the stress?

Faithanne Burgoon, Staff Writer

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Prom is a magical night where high schools teens dress in formal attire, take pictures with their dates, go to a nice dinner, and participate in a fun party after prom. With prom being only a week away, female attendees of the LHS prom hope that all the stress of preparing for the magical night will be worth all the money spent on it.

One very important part of preparing for prom is deciding on the dress. Dress shopping, though important, is often where the biggest cost comes from. According to many different sources, the average cost for a prom dress is anywhere from $100 to $600.  For many girls, the hunt of the perfect prom dress starts early. Some plan as early as Christmas break.

“I started looking for a dress in February. Making sure you like it and that it looks good is important because if you don’t like it, then you won’t want to go,” junior Karson Griggs said.

All girls going to prom are added to a prom group chat. In this group chat, girls submit pictures of their prom dresses. This is mostly to make sure there are no copied dresses but often results in many girls commenting compliments to each other. Girls avoid duplicate dresses to avoid embarrassment and not cause any more stress.

“[The group chat] has been a thing since I’ve been in high school. I think it’s a good idea, so we don’t have any duplicate dresses,” senior Ashley Chitwood said.

As prom looms closer, more and more dresses are submitted to the group chat. Students can be heard discussing prom plans during the school day. From what they are going to wear to how they are getting to prom, the excited chatter continues. Everyone who attends prom tries to plan everything perfectly- the dress, the nails, the corsage, the date, the dinner, and the photos. Every aspect of prom is planned and usually color coordinated. Girl expect their dates to coordinate with them usually by way of tie, bowtie, or cumberbun. Often times, the second biggest prom cost is on accessories- nails which range from $20-$45, corsage which range from $20-$45, and jewelry which range from $10-$100. These things are important parts of coordination.

The girls- after getting their dresses, plan what their nails are going to look like, who their date is and where they are going to dinner. Students of LHS travel by party bus or drive themselves to Overland Park for dinner. Some popular places are Raising Canes, The Cheesecake Factory, and Cinzetti’s. Dinner and transportation is often a $100+ cost.

“I think last year I spent $150 on both dinner and transportation. I took a bus last year.  I feel like if I have to spend more than that, it’s not worth it. I usually pay for myself and my date,” junior Jaden Armstrong said.

The girls attending prom aren’t the only ones prepping vigorously for prom, though. Prom committee, which consists of juniors, has had many meetings to decide on all the details of what prom should look like. The theme, “Once Upon A Time,” was voted on during a committee meeting. The group of students, along with sponsor  Ms. Katherine Siefken, are working to buy supplies needed for and set up prom. Prom committee spends roughly $5,000-$8,000 on all prom expenses. This years prom budget was $6,000. Prom tickets will cost all guests- except LHS seniors, $50. The prom committee must plan every decoration, set up the stage walk-in, and handle all music.

“The most important part of prepping [for prom] on the committee is making sure we communicate and that everyone has everything they need,” Griggs said.

With all these little details of the upcoming event, some might wonder what the most important part of prom is. Though prom expenses are as high as stress levels, for some, the most important part about prom is making another lasting memory with friends.

“It’s my senior year, so it’s about going with my friends and doing whatever makes me happy,” senior Jacinda Collins said.

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The Cost of Prom