Photo Credit: Google Images

Erica Suh, Staff Writer

   Going to prom means limousines, flowers, fancy dresses, tuxedos, dinner, and pictures. Let’s face it: you want to enjoy your last chance for prom, but this long list leaves you with a disappointingly lighter wallet. Countless couples spend hundreds of dollars on a three hour dance that quickly passes with the chime of a clock. In order to have a regret-less night, it is crucial to create a budget that will cover all expenses and allow you to make unforgettable memories at the same time.

  With prom rolling just around the corner, girls are on the hunt for the perfect prom dress; they want a dress that will outshine the others. However, the perfect prom dress does not need to be brand new. In fact, it can be rented from a store or borrowed from those of previous years. Plus, how many times will you be wearing that dress again? Considering that the answer is most likely never, a temporary dress is as appropriate as a store-bought gown. Try to be creative with the dress accessories you already have.  Seeing that your dress will probably be covering your shoes, aim for inexpensive shoes. Also, see if your mom trusts you enough to let you borrow her elegant jewelry set of pearls. If you truly want to buy a brand new dress, Jennifer Lerch (12) advises the girls, “Ask your boyfriend to pay for your ticket and ask your parents to pay for your dress. All you need to do is use old shoes that you already own and pay for the boutonnière. No date? Don’t go or gather cans around the house and recycle them for money.”

  On a more serious note, Michelle Park (11) recommends girls to “borrow a dress from a friend who went to prom last year if none can be found within the budget.” While it may be pleasing to have beauty treatments done professionally, Park explains that “there is definitely some wiggling room here. There is honestly no need for a salon because we know our own faces better than anyone else’s. Also, hair and makeup can always be done with friends before prom begins. Just make sure that your friends can actually do hair and makeup!”

  Transportation is perhaps another priority on the list. By now, your budget is probably wearing thin, so drop the limousine. Besides, spending time with your peers and more importantly, your date, should be the highlight of the night. As for dinner, the cost will almost certainly be split if you are with a group of friends. If anything, host a potluck and make sure that everyone contributes to the food. The boutonnières are probably the last item on your list, yet the most significant. These flowers show proper appreciation for your date’s companionship. You may be flat out broke at this point, but there will always be your mom to pick a few flowers out of the garden and make one for you.

   From the guy’s point of view, Ryo Tamada (12) states, “I coach a soccer team and I’ve been trying to save my money in my savings. Just make sure you do not spend too much money on useless things. All in all, as long as you have a good time with your date, that’s all that matters! But you don’t want to end up having your parents pay for everything, or even worse, your date!”

Tamada puts it together nicely: make sure you at least attempt to pitch into part of the cost, spend your money on the right items, and make sure you can look back at Prom 2014 with a smile.