the prom

artmomMarch 26, 2003

DS is going!!! I told him (forced) he is going this year. I don't want him to miss this opportunity.He was fixed up with a lovely girl and they have been crazy about each other for 3 weeks. Now I'm spending the big $$s for tux, flowers, pictures and dinner. I don't mind though, it's going to be worth it. The other 2 couple's parents won't pop for a limo and neither will I since they all have reliable transportation and there will be no drinking, they are not those kind of kids. The other couples want to go to Outback Steakhouse for dinner and DS and his girl are very disappointed as am I. They wanted to go to a fancy restaurant but the one girls parents will only pay for this place.

Anyway, does anyone have any money saving tips for the prom? How much should I expect the girls parents to kick in for the expenses?

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I guess things may have changed since I went to the Prom..LOL But the girls paid for absolutely nothing. Just like on a date. We bought our dresses etc..and were asked to go to the Prom and the boys paid for everything.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2003 at 10:06AM
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I read a letter in Redbook yesterday where a mom's daughter wanted to invite a boy from another school to her prom. According to current 'ettiquette' (?), since boy is from different school, the girl's mom will have to pay for the tux, limo, flowers.

I reread the letter twice in disbelief. Glad I have 11 more years to save up!!!!

I don't mind splitting the limo and buying the dress, but to pay for the whole limo and tux? Sheesh.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2003 at 12:19PM
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Kris, that is how it was done when I was in highschool too . . . of course that was 22 years ago! I figure it all "evens out" as the girls parents definitely spend more once wedding times hit. Other than her dress and attire, I think the rest falls on the boy (or if he's lucky, helpful parents!) Check and see if Outback is in an entertainment book or if you can find coupons. Personally I do consider Outback a classy restaurant, but that could just be because I've spent so many years doing the McDonald playland thing! We are finally almost out of that stage! If DS has a job, I would make him set aside a few bucks each week. Usually there are pictures at the school too which is another expense to plan for. I just had a thought . . . if enough of his friends went to the same tux shop, they could probably have it rung through like a wedding party. Usually for weddings the fifth tux is free. They could split that savings amongst them. Just a thought. As for limos, I can't believe how many kids do that now! I think it is overkill. They are kids, not royalty. We didn't even do it for our wedding. Just too spendy to justify. As with everything else, it seems like proms too are falling into the "have to keep up with the Jones" mentality. Boys used to be allowed to wear a nice suit or even dress pants and a dress shirt and tie. As for corsages, it sounds tacky, but grocery stores that have a floral department are usually about 1/2 the price of a regular florist shop and they look just as nice. We had to send flowers for a family death and the same bouquet that was $55.00 at the florist, was $27.00 at Safeway. Good luck!


    Bookmark   March 26, 2003 at 12:21PM
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wow, never the tux! People buy their own clothing! Bridesmaids buy their own dresses, dates buy their own clothes. I mean, if the guy invited her, he wouldn't be expected to buy her PROM DRESS!! If he can't afford the tux or a nice black suit, he could regretfully decline.

(ditto the bridesmaid--if the bride WANTS to help w/ that expense, that's very nice. But the default is, people buy their own clothes. Buying someone else's clothes is a little like having a "kept woman.")

I like the "you invite me, you pay" idea--it seems right, and it's time-honored. Though I think if it were something like the prom, and it was the girl's school, it would be very good form to offer to pay for part of the expenses of the night--the tickets, perhaps, and to split the photo cost, since both families will get the pics.

The reason some families spring for the limo is safety; even if they're sure their own kids won't drink, their kids might get sleepy. I know of a guy who fell asleep at the wheel, and he and his date died.

If your DS wants to go somewhere fancier than Outback, sounds like some real research is required. Exactly how much $ will it cost to go to the place he'd like? Figure in tax, tip, etc. And is there a way that the other kids will add $ to the amount the parent is contributing? Or could he and his girl go to dinner alone there? Might be a nice little romantic interlude before they plunge into the whole friends thing.

Hope he has a nice prom!

    Bookmark   March 26, 2003 at 3:15PM
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Thanks, well we got a $20 coupon for the tux and it's still going to be $118 (shudder) who knows about flowers, and don't know about $ for pix. The other 2 couples seem intent on the Outback, so to keep peace, they are going. They just want to be all together and have fun. I told him I would help with the cost of a nice dinner some other time. Maybe after college, LOL. I was planning on $100 for a nice dinner, does that sound reasonable? I've been saving for this for a while and you always dream of your children's prom and wedding, so I would like it to be reasonable but I'm not going to be a tightwad when it comes to this, life is too short.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2003 at 5:08PM
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With no alcohol. $100 should be more than plenty for a party of two.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2003 at 5:48PM
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I went to many proms, 2 my own and several from various boyfriends/friends/future husband/etc.

I always paid for my own dress, and usually split transportation, picture, and dinner costs. I paid for everything that I owed because I had a job and my parents sure couldn't afford it.

One year a wealthy friend's family held a nice formal dinner for several couples and paid for the whole thing at their house. I believe it was catered, but could be wrong. It was nice that they offered to do that for such a large group, and were rich enough to afford it.

Another year a friend of my boyfried drove us in his car, then we met up with him and his girlfriend later after escaping the prom (long story). We ate at a decent restaraunt, Outback prices, before the prom.

I've also had dinner at my house with just the date (the one who I later married), had dinner at the boyfriends house, went out with friends, etc. All were very nice options as everyone tried to make the evening special. We even did a cookout with one family, then changed into prom clothes and went.

So there are lots of options for dinner besides Outback. You could probably make a nicer dinner for the couple or group in your home for less, and provide a more romantic setting with just some nice flowers.

If they insist on going to a restaraunt, each person should pay for their own meal, unless one has enough money to pay for both. Split the transportation as well. If enough people get together on a limo, it should only cost $30/person, if that much. A super strectch should hold 8-10 people.

I had forgotten how expensive the tux was, about the same as a dress, but at least you get to keep the dress if you want. I borrowed or my mom made my dresses. One enterprising date used his brother's rented tux from the night before and split the cost. So if your son knows someone who has a prom on the same weekend but different day, maybe he can make a deal like that.

I don't remember the flowers being all that expensive. You could probably make a corsage for less than buying a premade one if it hasn't already been ordered. Your son could check with the girl to see if she likes silk flowers (I prefer them) so she could keep the corsage forever if she wants. Silk flowers can be cheap on sale (Michael's is having a 1/2 price sale this week and will make the corsage if you don't feel comfortable doing that).

I guess my post was just a long way of saying that if you keep the options open, some money can be saved. Discuss the payment with your son in advance, so he can avoid the uncomfortable situation of being stuck with a check he hadn't planned for. I wouldn't assume the girl's parents are kicking in anything except her dress and his boutinere (sp?) without discussing it first. Mine never paid for a thing and neither did the parents of most boys I went with. We were all working kids and were expected to figure out the payment ourselves.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2003 at 10:54PM
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artmom, there is a store here in Ohio called either Value City or Shottensteins (depending on the city - same store) where you can buy a very nice looking black tux for about $60, and shirt for $15. If you have similar close-out type department stores that have men's suit departments, check them out - it may be less to buy than rent. DH is in an annual stage show every year where he has to rent a tux. We just discovered that it is less to buy than rent - wish we had found it 10 years ago when he started being in this show!

    Bookmark   March 29, 2003 at 9:39AM
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Sound good but he is fluxuating in size now. He is 18, 6'6" and just lost 40 lbs. and wants to lose more. He is 258lbs. so the purchase is not worth it. He still might grow. I bought him a sport jacket last summer that he is swimming in now. Don't know if it can be altered, it's so big. He is so motivated by this new girl, I love her!!!

    Bookmark   March 29, 2003 at 11:22AM
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artmom - If you followed Momma Bird's recommendation and bought him a suit, it will still be cheeper than renting. And if he loses more weight, then you can have it altered. You aren't losing anything.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2003 at 2:39PM
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My prom was 15 yrs. ago. He paid for dinner & my flowers. I paid for his corsage. Each of us paid for whatever pictures we wanted. We didn't have a limo.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2003 at 1:08PM
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DS is paying for all as far as I know. We're not pitching in and he doesn't like it when his GF pays. Romantic or Chauvinistic I'm not quite sure which.


    Bookmark   April 5, 2003 at 9:51AM
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Hi again, artmom,

What's the chance of getting a tux made of lycra - could sort of change sizes as your son does?

Think it's mainly side to side, more than up and down, though.

But my experience with lycra is not extensive.

Give them the good wishes of everyone here for a memorable evening.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   April 5, 2003 at 8:04PM
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Thank you Ed. Hmmm, Lycra. Well, he would definitely stand out at the prom. Also might get beat up,lol.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2003 at 7:00AM
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Rent the tux/suit. I have 3 boys. Just bought 2 of them suits for DD's wedding, it was worth it because they will both be graduating from college this year and use them for interviews. If I would have bought them 5 years ago, they would have been worn once or twice then out of style or not fitting and would have had to rebuy!
Kathy G in MI
But then again, anything to get myself into "empty nest syndrome".

    Bookmark   April 6, 2003 at 10:20PM
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A thought on the tux: My husband's gorgeous tux was 25.00 at the Salvation Army thrift store and looks brand new and is beautifully made. Have you thought of going that route? The rental price is so high that even if he wers the tux just once, your son will save money by buying one. many tux rental places have outlets where you can buy the previous year's rentals. here at ours, the entire tuxedo including shirt, cufflinks, shoes, tie, cummerbund or vest, and jacket, pants and studs costs 50 bucks. Why pay for a rental?

    Bookmark   April 27, 2003 at 9:00PM
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Wow! I'm glad I still have a few years to deal with this! I have 2 boys and a girl, so it will be interesting. Artmom, I think it's wonderful that you encouraged your son to go to the prom. I did not go to mine, and I have ALWAYS regretted it (22 years ago...). My DH didn't go to his, either, and has regretted it. Turns out we went to the same high school (didn't know each other) and we met a year later. We still talk about how much fun we would have had if we had met a bit earlier and had gone to our proms together!!! I hope all 3 of my children go to their proms...expenses and all.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2003 at 2:37AM
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Well, the prom isn't until May 10 so I've still got some time and DS is still losing weight. Guess I'll stick with the rental. Many kids his age are still growing and with his size there is a lot of doubt I would find one used anywhere.He tried on the sport jacket I bought him last summer and he is swimming in it. Asked a friend if it could be altered and she said not without taking the whole thing apart. Know anyone who could wear a 52 long jacket?

    Bookmark   April 28, 2003 at 6:04AM
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I have nothing to offer, escept to say that I agree with Intherain. Mine would have been 23 years ago this month, if the school had had one. (Very religious, and didn't have a prom, so no choice.)

Every year i see the dresses in the store and still get that wishful tickle in my stomach.

I'm so glad to see that proms are still around, and I hope your son has a ***wonderful*** time! :):)

    Bookmark   April 29, 2003 at 11:10AM
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Well the prom was wonderful!!! I ended up saving a lot of money. DS didn't have pictures taken at the prom. We went to his friends house and took tons of pix that were much better than those taken at prom. Dinner cost half of what I expected, and he got a discount on the tux. Parking was free and they didn't rent a limo.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2003 at 5:12AM
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When I did prom I bought my dress out of a clearence catalog and the second out of second time around shop at school where any one who wanted to buy, sell or trade a dress could get one. The most I paid was $35. I never even considered a limo or the pictures at the prom. I thought prom was over done then and still do. But then when I got married I didn't rent a hall or have booze just had the reception at the church. If I knew then what I know now I'd elope!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2003 at 8:59PM
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Hi nutty nursey over stitching,

With your name, I'm surprised that you didn't make your own from scratch ...

...or is that only for post-surgery?

I thought the docs had to do all that.

joyful guy

    Bookmark   June 19, 2003 at 7:15PM
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