Skip to main content

See also:

Prom 2014: Fun ways to ease Prom spending pressure

Wes Theriau and ABC's Nashville cast member Lennon Stella arrive together after attending Brentwood High School's Prom to attend St.Jude Country Music Marathon & Half Marathon Presented By Nissan - Post Race Concert on April 26, 2014 in Nashville
Wes Theriau and ABC's Nashville cast member Lennon Stella arrive together after attending Brentwood High School's Prom to attend St.Jude Country Music Marathon & Half Marathon Presented By Nissan - Post Race Concert on April 26, 2014 in NashvillePhoto by Rick Diamond

Prom is in the air. If you are a teen reading this, you are in the middle of getting ready for prom night, or wishing you were going. If you are a parent, you are concerned about the pressures of the night from how much money it costs to whether or not your teen will make wise choices to get home safely.

Really, getting ready for prom should be more fun than it is. Prom shouldn't be about tickets that cost hundreds of dollars, elaborate "promposals," dresses that cost an arm and a leg and are never worn again. Here are some ways to make prom unique without breaking the bank and turning prom night into fight night with your parents.

Cook a fancy meal for your friends. Plan a great menu, make invitations for friends, and ask your parents to help serve it in their formal dining room. This will definitely save. Going out to dinner is one way of feeling grownup and special, but it's only one. Making dinner and serving it is the old fashioned way a young woman showed off her skills. Just leave enough time to slip into your dress before your guests arrive.

Do your makeup at home. You can also get together with friends and do each others' makeup. You can also practice different techniques with your friends before the big night. That way, you will have some idea of what looks good on you.

Go thrift shopping with your friends for dresses or borrow one. No one will ever know it was last year's fashion. Sometimes a great dress can be altered slightly for the perfect fit. Some schools even sponsor events where girls can get a new or used prom dress. If there is nothing current, go vintage to make a statement. Part of your statement can be that spending big money on a dress you only wear once is a waste of your college fund.

Make your own dress out of unique materials. One Los Angeles area teen made a prom dress from pop tabs because she couldn't otherwise afford a dress. Some kids make prom dresses out of duct tape. There have even been gowns made from newspaper, cardboard, Doritos bags, and recyclable materials.

Enter the Duck brand duct tape "Stuck At Prom" scholarship contest. It's hard to say how much the duct tape costs compared to how much it costs to buy an inexpensive dress, but considering that the prizes feature decent scholarship money, it looks to be worth the effort. You can get inspiration for your designs at the Stuck At Prom page. Entries are accepted until May 23, 2014. You can enter as a single or as a couple.

Here are some additional resources to check out for saving on the big night: