Prom was once a social event that while important in a teen’s life, was not nearly the gala extravaganza it often is today. Currently, prom is often looked at as the social event of the high school years, especially during a teen’s junior and senior terms. Keeping costs in check often falls to the parents, and doing this without alienating their teen can be a trial and error event. Included here are some tried and true ways to save money on all sorts of prom expenses, from the dress or tux, all the way to the limo ride there and home. One theme dominates this list, and that is group discounts. It is a great way to save even when no other price cut is an option.
A dress for prom is the number one expense for most parents. And while a tux rental is sometimes less expensive, it can quickly add up by the time all the extras are added in. For both of these must haves, look into alternate options.
If you have a teen who likes to be edgy or different from the crowd, possibly likes vintage clothing, or even is just the opposite and can only imagine themselves in the same styles gracing the red carpets at this year’s award shows, then check into local theaters to see if they ever rent out their costume wardrobes. Your teen might not be able to keep the dress they wear, but the savings to your pocketbook for a one of a kind outfit can be exceptional.
Second hand shops often have fantastic selections too, but getting a teen to shop them is not always easy. Go ahead and check out what they have in your teen’s size. If you find something you really think they might like, request to buy it on trial. Some second hand shops will allow you to bring such an item of clothing home for a test drive of a few hours. If you live close by, this can work out great.
If the shopping in your area is less than ideal, talk to a few other parents and see if you can put together a date for several of you to travel with your teens to the nearest shopping center. Once you have an idea of how many teens will be going, call ahead to the stores and see if they will offer some sort of group discount for bringing in a large group of out of town shoppers.
Photographs of the prom couple can rival in cost what you paid for your wedding photos just a few decades ago. They are a must though. If the onsite photographer is not up to par or outrageously priced, inquire with a few local photographers to see if they might be interested in offering some sort of discount package to a group.
Unless you or another parent are an expert, do avoid taking them yourselves though. No amount of dollars saved is worth bad photo memories. Leave it to the experts.
A limo ride to and home from the prom is something that will set not only your teen apart from the average crowd, but can also separate your money from your wallet just as exclusively. Consider the fact that some limo services operate as a chaperone service too, and fitting it into the budget can be top priority. Saving money on the ride would still be nice though.
Contact the different limo services in your area and ask them for their rates, and be sure to inquire about any specials. If you do not ask, companies will not often disclose them. Be sure to check the local papers around the time of area proms for advertised deals, and if one company is offering one rate, but you would rather use a different service, ask if they will honor a competitors advertised rates or discounts.
More than one couple sharing a limo is also a great way to reduce the cost. Services often charge per teen, but still will bargain when several couples are sharing the expense.