The Cost of Prom | CF graduates reflect on prom experience

Delaney Schaffner and Ethan Wander Wiel

Prom can be pretty expensive, but when Ethan and I went to prom, we did our best to make the costs fairly equal. I paid for my things such as my dress, hair and makeup. I did my own nails to cut out that cost. He paid for his suit. We also both wore a pair of shoes we already had, so we did not have to buy them new on top of the other costs. I actually wore a pair of Converse, which is just an example that your prom look can be whatever you want it to be. Then, we split the remaining costs that would pertain to both of us. I paid for the tickets to prom and post-prom, while he paid for the flowers, which evened out.

Costs of Prom:

Hair and Makeup: $80

Tickets: $40 

Flowers: $40

Dress: $200

Suit: $275

Ethan and I’s Advice for Taking Care of Prom Costs: 

Ethan bought a suit his senior year of high school because he knew he would need it for things in college, and he wanted to have one for events like weddings. Buying a suit is a little bit more expensive ($275 in his case) while renting is a little cheaper ($111 his junior year of high school). However, when you buy, you can get multiple uses out of it, which makes it very worth the price. 

My dress was $200. I looked for dresses in the $200 and cheaper range for both junior and senior prom. There are a lot of dresses out there that will make you feel beautiful, and they don’t need to cost an arm and a leg. It should not be a competition of who spent more on their dress as less expensive dresses can be just as beautiful. Also, for girls, we typically only wear them once. 

We also recommend that you try to split the costs such as one of you buy tickets and the other does flowers. We did this because we did not believe that all of those costs needed to be on just one of us. 

Prom Story:

Ethan and I got ready individually. Then, he picked me up at my house to take me to pictures with our friends, and we put on our flowers. Our parents followed us to pictures. 

We took pictures with a very big group of friends. We took group pictures, pictures together, pictures with family and pictures with smaller groups. 

Most of the group stayed to eat dinner together, but Ethan and I wanted to do our own thing. We went to his house for our own dinner together. We ordered HyVee Chinese, which is our favorite meal, and he surprised me by having a beautiful candlelit dinner set up. 

When we arrived, I was so surprised. It was a very us meal. Chinese food on beautiful plates with sparkling grape juice and flowers and candles all around. It was perfect. 

After our wonderful dinner, we drove to prom. Ethan opened the car door for me each time I needed to get in and out, which was very sweet. 

When we arrived at prom, we met back up with our friends, and we danced the night away. We stayed the whole four hours dancing like crazy to awesome songs and slow dancing in each other’s arms when the slow songs came on. It was our first dance together as a couple, and still to this day, dancing is one of our favorite things to do together. 

After the dance, we went home to change and then headed to post-prom. We had a lot of fun eating, playing games, watching the hypnotist and hanging out with our friends. 

We both won $100 at prom, which was so awesome, and we used it for future dates together. When the night ended, we were filled with so much joy. We had an amazing night together dancing and having fun all dressed up. 

Two years later, prom is still one of my favorite nights with Ethan. 

What We Plan to Incorporate Into Our Wedding: 

Ethan and I got engaged on June 3rd, 2018, one full year after graduating high school. We plan to get married in the summer of 2021 after college as we both currently go to different schools. We still look back to prom night and remember all those memories, and we intend to incorporate some aspects of prom night into our wedding. 

The biggest I would say is a dance floor. We both love dancing together, and one of the things we look forward to most about our wedding night is dancing all night at the reception as newlyweds. 

We don’t have a lot of official wedding plans quite yet since it is a couple years away, but we know for sure we will be having an epic dance floor. 

Another thing I personally would like to incorporate into our wedding is my dress. I absolutely loved my dress for senior prom. It has a very unique, white top with an open back and pearly beads all over and a red skirt attached to the top. I am hoping to work with a seamstress to get the red skirt detached and a white one attached to be able to have the top half of my senior year prom dress as my wedding dress. I want to do this not only because of the beautiful top but also because of the sentiment of wearing that dress to Ethan and I’s first and last high school dance together. 

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