Plus: Prom themes and party ideas
Don’t tell Duckie: Last spring, Northeastern prom-goers spent a steep average of $1,104 on the big dance, according to a Visa-conducted survey. That’s a lot of cash for a single night. Here are a few ways to save yet still enjoy in style.
How to save on the dress
Guys have been doing it with tuxes for decades, but gals are just catching on to the beauty of renting a prom dress rather than shelling out for a one-night-only outfit. Online formal-wear sites like Renttherunway.com and Lendingluxury.com have the latest designer looks (like the Marchesa Notte halter-back pictured here) for a fraction of the cost of buying. Promgirl.com lets you shop by price range, starting at $50 or less.
To stay on trend, check out designs with embellished or mesh bodices, or cut things off with a shorter hemline. Don’t care as much about 2015 silhouettes? Hit a local consignment shop for last year’s gowns. Click here for a list of readers' favorite area consignment shops.
How to save on hair, makeup & nails
Host a primp party the afternoon of the prom. Take the girls to your local Sephora or Ulta for a free mini-makeover (get on the stores’ email lists for offers and be prepared to buy a lipstick or two), then come home so they can paint their nails and (up)do one another’s hair, using YouTube beauty videos as a guide.
Prom tip: Comfort is key. Both girls and boys should break in their prom shoes at least a week before the big dance.
How to save on the ride
Limos are increasingly limited in appeal. Share transportation costs among a dozen-plus couples and rent a party bus that seats up to 30. Live within the heart of the Philly metro area? Book a group-accommodating Uber XL (shown at right) or Uber SUV for a superlow fare (the XL, left, starts at $3, plus 25 cents a minute and $2 a mile).
How to save on prom pictures
A single, on-site professional prom photo can cost upward of $75, but your camera phone’s more than equipped to snap a pic that captures the evening’s enchantment. Shoot some pre-prom
couple candids or gather photo booth–type props and let the kids get their kitsch-pose on.