How much does prom really cost? Read on and I’ll tell you the real cost of prom for us…
As you might already know, last week was Miss Frugal’s prom which is a night she’s been looking forward to since she was in junior school. Whatever you might think of prom personally, to your average teenage girl, it’s a big deal. A huge deal and I wanted it to be a special night for her.
It’s wasn’t cheap but I didn’t expect it to be really as I read last year that the average spend on prom was somewhere between £500 and £800. That’s way more than I had any intention of spending at the time but reading that did panic me into setting up a little savings account last year to make sure that we could afford to splurge a little bit when it came to starting thinking about Miss Frugal’s prom.
I started saving around this time last year when prom season was in full swing for last years school leavers and even though I didn’t put much away each month, it was enough that I didn’t have to stress too much about the costs this year as they do add up VERY quickly.
Dress – £275 + £25 to get the hem taken up at the front.
This was the cheapest dress that she tried on and I’m so relieved that this was the one she chose. I had saved some money up so she could have actually spend a little bit more on her dress but she loved this one so much. I must admit that when she chose this one, I actually breathed a huge sigh of relief as the other ones that she tried on went up to £700 which would have been ridiculous and obviously I would have put my foot down. She probably had one of the cheapest dresses at her prom if I’m honest but that wasn’t because of the fact we had a strict dress budget -more that she fell in love with the relatively plain style of this one – she’s not a petticoats or ruffles kind of girl and the simple style of this suited her perfectly if you ask me. And yes, I know I’m probably a bit biased. 😉
There are options to hire a dress for around £150 but she’s so slim that none looked right on her and they wouldn’t alter them to as small as she is as they would have trouble hiring them out again if that makes sense.
£300 on a dress that will only be worn once is a lot, I totally get that but there are ways you can absolutely save a lot of money on this. When we were prom dress shopping, we looked at dresses in places like Debenhams and even our local designer outlet but there was nothing that either of us loved. There were some dresses that could easily be suitable for prom at around £100.
Also, lots of people sell their dresses on Facebook in the local selling groups afterwards so there’s definitely a chance to save money if you buy a second-hand dress. Selling ours is actually something I’m really tempted to do – the ones I’ve seen are selling for about two-thirds of the cost to buy and I’ve seen plenty marked as sold so I think we could get around £150 to £200 for ours which would obviously be fantastic and will really reduce the cost of prom. At the other end of the scale, I’d also really like to find some sort of prom charity to give it to though as Miss Frugal felt like a princess in it and I’d love to pass that on to someone else. Decisions…
Shoes and Bag – £30 + £21
We got her a matching pair of shoes and clutch bag in a rose gold colour on sale in the Faith concession in our local Debenhams and I think they compliment the dress lovely. They were reduced by about a third in the sale and they’ll be able to be used for some special occasions that we have on over the Summer so at least they’re not a one time only thing.
Hair – £25
Neither of us are great with hair so after a few experiments to see if we could do it, we decided that we needed help. We booked an appointment with a local hair salon who did an amazing job although this is possibly the worst photos ever!
Nails – £20
She’s been growing her nails for months in anticipation of her prom manicure and they look fantastic. Totally different to how they used to look when she used to bite them – I just hope she keeps them looking this nice now!
Make-up – £30
This was a last minute treat for her after I discovered that one of my friends had started to do bridal and prom make-up. I thought it would be a nice treat and we even used the free make-up trial that you get with it to get her make-up done for a family party.
Limo – £60
This was my most hated expense because it just feels like such a waste but she’s going with the same group of girls that she’s been friends with since Year 7 and they all wanted to arrive together in style so a limo it was. Split between them it wasn’t a ridiculous amount but still, I could have just dropped her off in my Fiat 500 for nothing. 😉
Also, it was going to be a fair amount less than this but a few people dropped out after we’d paid the deposit so their costs had to be split between the rest of the girls.
Prom tickets – £20
I didn’t realise we’d have to actually buy a ticket for prom but it’s obvious when I think about it.
The total spent was £506 which is an awful lot even though it is at the lower end of the national average spend! I have to say that’s way more than I expected to spend but it did add up when we took into account everything that seems to be a prom requirement these days but it was worth every penny in the end.
We went to her friend’s house beforehand for photos while we waited for the limo to come and pick up her and her friends – it was really emotional to see the group of girls who have been best friends since year 7 all grown up and I just wish I could show you all of the photos. My favourite is a shot of them all facing away from us so we could get a picture of the backs of their dresses as something made them laugh and I took a photo that to me, represents everything that friendship is.
Once the limo picked up the girls, all the parents headed to the venue to watch them arrive and take more photos before the kids headed inside for what turned out to be an amazing night where so many memories were made.
PS – I thought long and hard about whether to post this real cost of prom breakdown as I’m well aware that spending so much money on one night is ridiculous but some things are just worth the splurge. If I hadn’t have started saving last year then it might have been a different story!
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