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The Cost of Prom


Princess heads to her very first prom at the end of this month. She went prom dress shopping with some of her girlfriends this past week during her Winter Break. She took her credit card. (The three oldest kids are all authorized users are on my one credit card that was paid off some time ago.)

In my head, I had decided I was comfortable with spending up to $200 on a prom dress. But I didn’t mention a budget to her, just told her to send me pictures and call me when she found something she loved and we would discuss.

The Prom Dress Shopping Expedition

Hours went by…no pictures, no calls. I knew she was fine, I can track where she is via our phones. But it was silent. And I know from the last couple of times when I’ve dress shopped that 1) EVERYTHING looks good on her and 2) she tries on lots of dresses. But still silence…


I finally called her and told her to call me if she found something as I was not feeling good and was going to bed. And a text would not wake me.

At that point she told me she had found something she loved but it was $340 so she didn’t even bother to ask…

I was both proud and sad at the same time. Proud that she is naturally frugal and considerate. But sad that I couldn’t even consider buying a $340 dress for her. I got over it quickly and headed to bed. They were going to another store.

All of her friends, I think there were 3 or 4 of them together, had already purchased dresses.


Sometime later she called. She didn’t have a picture but she found a dress at Ross…the dressing rooms were already closed, but she had her friends surround her in the store and slipped the dress on. She loved it! Could she buy it?

I was groggy and sleepy and just said yes. I trusted her and didn’t really have the capacity to think about it.

The Cost of Her Prom Dress

The next morning I woke up to find a charge for $32.77 on my credit card from Ross. Guys, my daughter bought a beautiful prom dress for $32.77!!! She won’t let me share pictures of it anywhere yet, maybe after prom.

But not only does she love the dress but she is so proud of herself for continuing to look. And does not mind at all that her friends all spent upwards of $200+ on her dresses. She’s going to wear the same nude heels we bought for winter formal. (We had talked about that when I bought them.) And since she got such a good deal on her dress, I’ve decided to pay to get her hair done.

(I did see a picture of the $340 dress and it was beautiful. And a completely different style than the dress she purchased. But when I think of what will most likely be a one time wear, I couldn’t be more proud of my girl! She definitely has her priorities right!)

Costs for attending prom…

I did just receive an email from her school about the costs of attending prom. It came as a very pleasant surprise.

  1. All juniors and seniors attend the dinner and dance for free. Transportation is provided from and back to the school and all students are HIGHLY encouraged to use it.
  2. Juniors and seniors may invite a sophomore or non-school attending guest as their “date” for $100. Obviously, if they go with another junior or senior from the school, there is no charge.
  3. Corsages are ordered through the school…$30 and the boys boutonnieres are $15. (optional)
  4. Picture packages are available, and I will probably purchase a small package. (optional)

Evidently the location they hold the dinner and dance is absolutely gorgeous…up in the mountains and very well done. All in all, I am very pleased and pleasantly surprised at the cost, or lack thereof. How does this plan compare to the prom in your area?


  • Reply Not Beehive |

    My daughter found a gorgeous dress for $28 and her friends’ dresses cost quite a bit more and all looked like polyester nightgowns. LOL I can’t remember what any of the other costs were but I think the tickets for a couple were less than $50.

  • Reply jj |

    My prom outfit was $100, I think the bra and underwear for it cost almost as much! (it was very sheer) and i cannot recall how much the hair was. makeup was non existent, because my sister was not in the mood to do my makeup (she had just split with her bf, and i was not going to ask her)

    I am glad she found the perfect dress, and you are able to find the $$ for hair.

  • Reply Emily N. |

    That’s great that Princess was able to find a nice dress for such a steal!

So, what do you think ?