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The Expenses of Prom: Is it worth it?

Seniors+Andrew+Schmidt+and+Caleb+Carswell+wear++suits+to+St.+Joseph%27s+Academy+Prom.
Seniors Andrew Schmidt and Caleb Carswell wear  suits to St. Joseph's Academy Prom.

Seniors Andrew Schmidt and Caleb Carswell wear suits to St. Joseph's Academy Prom.

Janie Schmidt

Janie Schmidt

Seniors Andrew Schmidt and Caleb Carswell wear suits to St. Joseph's Academy Prom.

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It’s that time of year again. Instagram is filled with promposal pictures. The mall is flooded with teenage girls trying to find the perfect shoes to match their dress. Moms are dragging their son’s to get fitted for tux rentals. Money is being spent like crazy—it’s prom season.

There’s a reason that the cost of a prom ticket is much more than the average high school dance. The location, the dinner, the DJ, the photo booth; these things wouldn’t be found at the Homecoming or the Glow Dance. But, all the extra things that make Prom more significant than the other dances doesn’t come cheap.

“Overall, I will spend over $1000 on our Prom. I’m getting my hair, makeup and nails done, buying new jewelry and shoes and getting a dress. I’m getting it made so it’s a little more expensive. I usually order online, but I wanted to go all out because it’s my last year,” senior Bersabeh Mesfin said.

In a Pathfinder conducted survey of 40 girls, 45 percent spend $100-$200 on their dress.

piktochart made by Ellie Widowski

“I had to buy two dresses because I’m going to two proms,” senior Demi Ferretti said. “I only paid $100 for the dress I’m wearing to our Prom, but I paid $260 for the dress I’m wearing to my boyfriend’s Prom. Also, I have to get that dress hemmed so it is an extra $125.”

Though students attending two Proms may be having two nights of glitz and glamour, they also spend twice as much money.

“Even though I have to pay a lot more and go through a lot more stress, I’m really excited about attending two proms. I have a lot of friends at my boyfriend Zach’s school, Parkway Central, and it will be fun to see all of them. It’s also going to be interesting to see the differences in our proms. Theirs is at the Sheraton, so it’s going to be really nice,” Ferretti said.

If going to two proms sounds stressful, try going to three. Senior Andrew Schmidt is attending St. Joseph’s Academy, Nerinx and his own West’s Prom.

“I’m spending around $300 total on our Prom. I have to rent a tux, pay for a ticket for my date and myself and also buy a corsage. I didn’t spend as much on the other proms because my dates paid for the tickets,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt decided to have a little fun with going to St. Joe’s prom. He and senior Caleb Carswell ordered suits off Oppo suits that made them stand out from the rest of the boys attending.

“Caleb and I decided it would be funny to show up in crazy suits that we ordered offline. I wore a money suit and his was cheetah print. They were both $100. Everyone loved them, and we had a lot of fun seeing everyone’s reactions,” Schmidt said.

While it is common for student’s parents to pay for their expenses, some have to pay their own way for their special night.

“I think I’m going to be spending around $160,” junior Daniel Loaney said. “I’m paying for both tickets, but I don’t have to rent a tux because my brother has one so I’ll just wear his. I have to pay for everything myself. I don’t have a steady job right now, but I’m planning on using the money I’ve made from taking care of people’s lawns.”

Another prom expense could be an outfit for the after party theme.

“Since a lot of parties after dances have themes, I usually spend some money on that as well. A lot of times you can use stuff you already have, but sometimes you have to buy things. On Homecoming, the theme was dynamic duo and my date and I were Mario and Luigi. I went to Goodwill and I didn’t spend more than $15,” Ferretti said.

It all boils down to one question: Are the hundreds of dollars in expenses worth it for just one night?

“It’s definitely worth the money. Even though it’s costly, we only get to experience Prom a few times. It’s all about making memories and making the best of your last years of high school,” Loaney said.

No matter what the after party theme is or how much is spent on the attire of the evening, according to Mesfin Prom is meant to be about having a good time with friends.

“You take what you can from Prom. You can go to Prom and have just as much fun while not spending as much as I did. Prom is a really big deal especially because it is my senior year, so I wanted to go out with a bang. But it’s very true that all the extra spending isn’t necessary for having a fun night,” Mesfin said.

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The Official Student News Site of Parkway West High
The Expenses of Prom: Is it worth it?