Prom Expenditures

Updated on March 06, 2009
J.M. asks from Lafayette, CA
6 answers

Hi, It is that time of year for junior prom. Since my son is the first one in our family to go ta a prom, we are realizing the expense of this thing (tux rental, tickets, limo, flowers, etc). My son asked a friend of his to go and of course his friends and him set up a limo to take 10 couples. My question is, since my son asked this girl to the prom, are we still in charge of paying for everything? We added this up and it is close to $400 just for the one night. Just curious to know how everyone else is handling this. Thanks.

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So What Happened?

Hi, I just wanted to thank everyone who took the time to respond to my request. Since my son did ask this friend to the prom (who is not a junior), we felt it was best that he paid for her expenses, as in the traditional way. We did make him pay for both of their limo expenses though since that was what he wanted to do and not us. Now that we have been through this process, I now know what to expect next year for senior ball to set limits and when the time rolls around for my 9th grader. Thanks again!

More Answers



answers from San Francisco on

Hi J.,
What is it you want your son to get from this adventure?
First, its the junior prom , which a limo hardly seems in order, my son went in the family car for Junior Prom. My daughter and friends went in a Limo for Senior Ball. Both of my kids were disappointed in their evening(s). These things are advertised as "magical", but a lot of times the kids are disappointed. I think if they've spent $400 on the night it would even be worse. The girls dress alone can cost $400, then add hair, makeup, jewelry, and flowers for the guy, it's crazy! So who is actually spending the money for this evening? Does your son have a job, and has he been saving to take "that special person", or are mom and dad footing the bill? Is he going with a girlfriend that he knows really well and feels comfortable with? I think that makes a big difference in how much they enjoy the evening and what they learn from this experience. If you as the parent spent all that money on the evening and it was lousy, that is very difficult as well.

My daughter came home from Junior Prom very unhappy, she wouldn't even talk about it when she got home. There is often such a build up of events and they are so not what you thought they would be, and the disappointment is huge.

Another time my son was invited to a co-workers Senior Ball as her date, he was a good looking guy and she needed a date, he went to help her out, but after renting the tux and getting the flowers and dinner etc she took off and hung out with her high school friends, leaving him pretty much alone. He went as a favor to her.

I guess the biggest peice of advice is regarding the relationship he has with the girl he is taking. Is this their first date? If so, thats a lot of pressure and stress. You might be able to walk him through some things that would help them have a great time.
I hope this helps.



answers from San Francisco on

make him pay for at least half of it. if he wants all the frills, he'll have to sacrifice.

good luck!



answers from San Francisco on

This conversation should have happened before the issue came up.
As a teen, it was very clear that in our household we kids were in charge of paying for things like this- when I asked my dad to help pay for the dress and the flowers, his response was "am I going to your dance??"

As for having the girl pay for half the ticket- your son asked her to go to the dance. He didn't ask her to go "dutch". He could go back to her now and ask, but it seems less than polite.

Depending on when the prom is, there may not be enough time at this point for your son to raise the money on his own doing odd jobs like yardwork, car washing, babysitting, and neighborhood clean-up. Especially because of the rain. Because you didn't inform your son is that he is on the hook for things like this- you may need to share the cost with him, or have him pay you back, but going forward he should be aware that the burden is on him.

Also, be fair to your daughter if you do share or pay for this one- share or pay for one of hers too.



answers from San Francisco on

I'm going to sound a bit tradtional here but, your son asked her so therefore he pays. Getting a limo w/that many kids will make that part cheaper. When I went to my Jr & Sr.prom (granted it was in '84 &'85!) I payed for the pix. If he knows this girl very well, maybe they can talk about the costs the could share like the pix & limo.



answers from San Francisco on

Hi J.,

My daughter will be attending her Junior prom this month with her boyfriend of 3 months. Also MDUSD. He is paying for his ticket, his portion of the limo and his tux. We are paying for her ticket, dress & limo. With expenses of EVERYTHING being what they are today, I would not expect him to pay for her. Neither have jobs, they are full time students. Boyfriend or not, she would have gone to her prom with a group of girls and we would have paid her way anyway. It is costly, I agree. Instead of a dinner out on the town, our daughters group is doing a big pot luck, where each parent provides a dish. Hope this helps.


answers from San Francisco on

Prom shouldn't be such a financial burden....If the limo is for 10 couples, have everyone going pitch in a portion. No reason why even the girls can't help, but even if the guys are treating the girls, splitting it 5 ways should reduce the fee for each person. Also, this is the Jr. Prom.....A nice suit works, and costs the same or less than renting a tux...and the suit is his. You can rent just the fancy stuff from the tux place to jazz up a basic black suit. (tie, shirt and cumber bun to match his dates dress)That is what we did with our son. He even ended up using his suit for other things.....interviews, family special occations, etc. Think about year he will have the senior prom.

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