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Prom - How much is reasonable?

(102 Posts)
niceguy2 Fri 08-Feb-13 12:58:05

DD has started to talk to us about her upcoming prom.

Obviously it's a big thing for her and I do really want her to enjoy it. I'm not adverse to treating her and whilst we are fairly comfortable, we don't have a magic money tree in the garden.

So far she would like a beautiful dress (obviously) but of course her hair doing, nails and she's not sure about what to do about the car or whom she will share with. Also she's asking about how much it will cost for someone to do her make up.

My fiancee and I have discussed this and think that it would be better for us to just give her a budget. Out of that she can prioritise herself and make up any shortfall out of her allowance/savings.

I've told DD that her budget is £150 and she's pulled a bit of a face because the dress she was looking at is over £100 so it doesn't leave her much for anything else.

How much do others spend on their child's prom? To me £150 + £35 for the ticket is just shy of £200. Surely that should be enough? Or am I being unrealistic and proms are just a very stupid expensive thing we've inherited from American movies?

athy123 Wed 26-Feb-14 19:18:58

For my DD, her dress was £420 which was the cheapest in the shop, £89 for the limo and about £150 for hair, makeup and nails. But only because this is one of the most important days of her life, finally finishing secondry school!! She knows she can't expect any of that ever again. Just one night to be spoilt so I wish you luck in spending under £200 it's very difficult nowadays!

lljkk Sun 17-Feb-13 10:31:55

Maybe Proms have spread because they are a great idea that the young people enjoy? Just a thought.

I think that I would budget about £200 for a y10-y11 prom, if I could afford it. I imagine one could pull it off well for as little as £50, too.

We have quincieneras where I'm from and £200 would be a pittance amount to spend on one of them.

BlatantLies Sun 17-Feb-13 01:27:30

My DD and I spent some time prom dress shopping this week and I was amazed at how many lovely but very affordable dresses we found. She is not buying one just yet but her current favourite is less than £40. (reduced from £190) If you are on a budget you should get you DD's to have a look around now as we found loads of heavily reduced dresses in House Of Fraser, Coast, debenhams etc.

We even found several pretty purple chiffon dresses in H of F (Oxford) for £3 (yes I typed that correctly '3') shock They were large sizes though.

itfcbabe Sun 17-Feb-13 01:12:09

My son had his prom last year,his tux was £60 to rent with tie,waistcoat etc,brought his shoes from ebay. My daughter who was leaving year 6 also had a prom,her dress was £10 from new look,shoes £5 from ebay,I'm a qualified beautician so i did her make up and nails for free. Some of the girls had very expensive over the top dresses , remember when my oldest daughter who us in year 9 now had her year 6 prom one of the girls had a dress that was £400 i looked at it to wear to renew my wedding vows in,that was ridiculous,what is going to wear to her year 11 prom?

jellybeans Sun 17-Feb-13 00:39:37

My DDs will be on a budget. 100 max for dress. I will buy bag and shoes from New Look or ebay. Hair accessories and jewellery cheap end. But not limos or hair and make up. DD does a great job of her own hair and make up. 150 sounds good to me. I don't understand those who pay hundreds.

zukiecat Sat 09-Feb-13 19:30:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

5Foot5 Sat 09-Feb-13 18:12:12

Do they wear seatbelts in a limo out of interest?

Don't think they have to.

When DD was 11 we hired a stretch Hummer so she could have all the girls in the class and we had them just drive around for an hour. I had to go in with them but the bloke said that seat belts were not compulsory.

The girls tended to frolic from one end to the other quite a bit so I just stationed myself in the middle to keep an eye on things.

Beaverfeaver Sat 09-Feb-13 14:01:07

I am going to a prom soon. The dress I bought was £30 in the sale. Will use old shoes.
Do my own make up and my own hair and share a lift.

Cost to me before drinks: £35

kickassmomma Sat 09-Feb-13 12:07:31

When I had my prom not so long ago I
Chose a dress from a shop where way parents paid on installments which really helped. I have a cheapish hairdressers anyway but missed two hair cuts to save the money to have my hair cut and styled for my prom. Make up? Surely she does her own everyday? So she can do it herself again! I didn't have to pay for a car but friends of mine shared a limo and it only cost them about £8 a head? Pretty cheap!
You don have to have a budget but think logically those things she can doe herself i.e makeup and nails she doesn't need doing by some over priced beautician! smile

landofsoapandglory Sat 09-Feb-13 10:19:48

Get her to look at Sexy Her (shit name but great dresses). DH is in the RAF so we go to a few balls, I refuse to pay a lot of money for a dres I will wear once or twice. Most of the dresses on Sexy Her are in our local bridal/prom dress shop that is now closing down.
This one was £159 in there and is now £89 in the closing down sale! The quality is great too for the price. If you are unsure of the sizing or anything you can ring up, and if you order it now they will usually make it in any colour for you.

Having a boy isn't much cheaper TBH. DS1's suit was £110, his shirt £25, silk tie £20 and shoes £45, haircut £10. He wouldn't go in a limo because it is the height of chavviness in his opinion. He wore his suit twice before he grew out of it.

DS2 is trying to persuade me to spend £190 on his suit before the shoes, shirt, tie, pocket square etc!

EnjoyResponsibly Sat 09-Feb-13 10:00:13

Check the student discounts. Most shops selling prom will increase as half term approaches. She'll need school ID usually.

Flobbadobs Sat 09-Feb-13 09:49:21

Proms are massivley popular here, full blown do's with big dresses, tuxedo's and it seems to be a competition as to who can arrive in the most outlandish way. Last year the paper reported fire engines, old coaches, coach and horses, the full whack. I'm dreading it.
DS had one when he left primary school but that was lovely, free and very emotional. The high school he's at now really go to town at prom time! And we'll be doing it 3 times! Wail.....

cheerup Sat 09-Feb-13 09:20:55

I'm nearly 40... I've never been to a prom. I've never been a bridesmaid. Not things I've ever thought of as rites of passage tbh.

I spent just slightly more on my wedding dress (cocktail - been worn since) than the OP's suggestion for daughter's prom. For my wedding I wore nice shoes, make up and nail varnish as well as washing and blow drying my hair. All by myself.

I will be delighted to see my two girls all dressed up for their proms (if they choose to go). I will buy them reasonably priced dresses and shoes (as I would for myself for a special occasion) but I will not be paying for professionally done make up, up dos, limos and especially not for false nails. They are only 3 and 6 so still hopeful that they will grow up not to aspire to the Towie lifestyle although time will tell!

cuillereasoupe Sat 09-Feb-13 09:13:30

My mum borrowed a formal dress from a friend of hers for me to wear to my leaver's ball (way back in 1992). I shudder at the memory - black velvet bottom half, ruched gold lamé top shock it was like something Bet Lynch might have worn to a wedding grin

In the end I got something from a charity shop and customised it with scissors until it looked like something Helena Bonham Carter might wear to the Oscars. Much cooler grin

Chandon Sat 09-Feb-13 09:00:09

grin I like it that you call me Cinders now, after what I wrote!

Sorry if it was a typo, I tought you meant it was a "right" to glam up. This whole Towie glamming up culture makes me so depressed.

HollyBerryBush Sat 09-Feb-13 08:33:02

Pardon my typos hmm, Cinders!

Chandon Sat 09-Feb-13 08:31:22

But it is not a right of passage, but a rite of passage, isn't it?

I never thought of it as a "right" to glam up.

And the whole idea that marriage is all about the wedding, and glamming up, makes me a bit sad.

Is it some kind of world wide Cinderela syndrome?!

HollyBerryBush Sat 09-Feb-13 07:38:04

For a lot of the girls, I suppose, it is the only opportunity they will ever have to get glammed up. With marriage being on the wane, its unlikely 50% of them ever will, or be a bridesmaid. Which is quite sad in a way, that events that you or I would have taken as common place and rights of passage are no longer with us.

worldgonecrazy Sat 09-Feb-13 07:12:11

That's quite interesting, reading the sub-text of this thread, Proms seem to be a bit of an anti-status symbol. That will eventually filter down and no one will be seen dead in a flouncy dress/limo. Unfortunately that inverse snobbery may take a few years to filter down ...

Adversecamber Fri 08-Feb-13 23:09:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

niceguy2 Fri 08-Feb-13 22:34:10

One of our best friends is a hairdresser at a 5* salon so she'd have done her hair for next to nothing or for babysitting. But she's working on that day but maybe she can squeeze her in cheaply. I'll ask.

I'll also suggest she looks at Lightinthebox and eBay before committing to a dress. I do want her to have a special day but obviously there has to be limits.

Wishiwasanheiress Fri 08-Feb-13 20:53:25

Don't let someone else do her make up. Can cost 50 and she will hate it. Ask her to book in at debenhams. Get them to do a look then take her to rimmells in boots for stuff to copy it.

Nails- 35 for set of acrylics/gels. Go to Chinese bar for cheaper by drills. Let her spend here if she wishes as these last a month if done well. Preferably do bio sculpture or gelish type which is like a thicker nail polish, usually without extensions, and is uv heated. Definately get a month out of those and are kinder to nails. Again approx 30.

Dress- where from? Coast 150. Top shop 150?! Here best to buy loads mags and copy a style maybe. She needs a bit of gok wan -ing. He's got website. Check it out on channel 4 and save £.

Dunno about limo etc... Hope helps....

marriedinwhite Fri 08-Feb-13 20:44:10

My dd is 14. Her school fees (Surrey) are about £15k per annum. What prom? Have just questioned DS - "oh yea proms, no-one really does them; they're some sort of crap for losers"

If there was a prom; she would get a 2nd hand or semi homemade dress, she might get her hair done at the hairdressers; I would help her with her make-up and nails. I cannot imagine more than £120 would be spent on it by any sane person.


HollyBerryBush Fri 08-Feb-13 20:29:50

Christ - we have limos for end of primary school - fortunately neither of my elder two were in any way fussed about the Y11 prom. Probably on account that it is so passe to them (having done the primary thing)

PeppermintBark Fri 08-Feb-13 19:00:18

Just be grateful the UK hasn't adopted homecoming as well! My two are in a US high school (we're all British) and it all came as a shock to me. Homecoming is when former students come back to the school and there are whole day events and separate evening events for students and alumni. These require new dresses also - and all the high school is eligible to go every year.

DD1 can go to Prom this year - it's for the equivalent of lower and upper sixth students at her school. We found a nice dress on sale, and I suspect that the evening will go as follows: dinner for a group of them at one of the parent's houses, with the other parents helping out. The dance is held at school, but there will probably be no limos as we are all lucky enough to have nice cars that we can take them in (and we're all pretty tight when it comes to unnecessary spending!). After there may be a sleepover for the girls, but definitely no after-parties. Obviously being the US there will be no alcohol involved - it's an expulsion occurrence if a student is caught with alcohol.

In terms of spending, her dress cost about $125, it was reduced from much more. She and her peer group are sporty and not really into make up so she won't need much in that department. For once I will spoil her and take her to get her hair put up - the guy who cuts her hair is begging her to have it done as she has tons of the stuff. Normally she just leaves it down.

What we have made sure of, though, is that every time she has been to a formal occasion, she has chosen items that she will get wear out of in the future. So we don't have to buy new shoes, for example. Her dresses are always cocktail style, not fussy or flouncy so they won't date.

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