Patch Poll: Are Proms Just Too Expensive?

With the average prom costing upward of $1,000 these days, have things gotten out of control?


With my youngest child’s senior prom now behind her I’m relieved to say I’m done with high school proms. No more nail biting over whether we’ll find the right dress. No more arguing over how much is an appropriate amount to spend on shoes, hair styling and accessories.

And no more fretting over whether the gown she picks out will make her look like a princess or a porn star.

When my husband found out last year how much her dress for the junior prom was going to cost (nearly $450, with alterations), he was apoplectic.  He was speechless when I pointed out that the entire tab, including hair, prom tickets, shoes, earrings and other sundries (including an $80 underwire, strapless bra) would push that price tag to nearly $800.

I had to explain, patiently, that for girls, prom these days is really a dress rehearsal for a wedding.

This year we did better, but still didn’t get out completely unscathed. All told, prom this year was about $600.

According to an infographic on the Huffington Post, we got off pretty cheap. The average price of a prom is more than $1,000.

I’ve gotten used to these costs, but I still think it’s crazy.

How much do you think is too much to spend on prom?

Pat May 12, 2012 at 03:44 PM
It doesn't have to be that expensive if you use your head. There are plenty of beautiful gowns out there for much cheaper than $450! We found one at Macy's on sale for $140!!!! Beautiful Grecian inspired fushia gown, very glamorous and have seen it at other stores for much more money. You have to really shop around, put your foot down a little, and make the kids realize that spending over $200, or $250 if desperate, for a prom gown is ridiculous and not at all necessary. Same goes for the shoes and accessories.
pattie May 13, 2012 at 05:00 AM
All proms should be canceled. They canceled the proms forever at my daughters school because of cost and irresponsible actions after the prom. Plus parents who aided such situations! They currently have a senior send off, no limos, no gowns, evening wear, or tuxedos. Senior class only, no dates! They take a 4 hr cruise ship around Manhattan. Dinner, dj and memories THE KIDS LOVE IT!
Sick-n-Tired May 13, 2012 at 06:20 AM
Did you go to your prom Pattie? For crying out loud let the kids have fun. If they pay for it let them enjoy it. If the parents pay for it then who cares. It's their money to spend as they please. There are more important things happening in the schools for us to worry about.
no alcohol May 13, 2012 at 11:17 AM
the "let the kids have fun" argument is very weak. proms ARE NOT fun for anyone. like pattie said, the "senior send off" they have instead of prom is a lot more fun. what my daughter's school (CHSN )did for grad night, for example, was a million times more fun, she said, than prom, without all the pressure, drama, expense, etc, just good clean fun. Grad night committee sponsored a bus for EVERY MEMBER of the senior class (not just those who fit the prom mentality and social class) to a place where they had sports activities and dancing all night long. She said it was great for the class to have one last time together and she will cherish it forever. Prom, on the other hand, is mostly about kids being excluded and parents and kids trying to outdo each other with the spending and trying to prove to themselves that they are better than someone else.
Sergio Betancor June 13, 2012 at 04:42 PM
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