How-To: Prom Possible on a Budget!

(Photo by Lindsay O’Neil)

How-To: Prom Possible on a Budget!

By Maylin Rowe

Prom doesn’t need to be expensive to be fun. Some of us are on a budget and may be conscious of overspending however here are seven creative ways to make it more affordable!

The Dress
Buy your dress second-hand. Most prom dresses are only worn once, so getting one in good condition won’t be a problem. If you have trouble getting it to fit right, you can have it custom altered to your specifications and still end up paying less than a new dress from a name brand store. Also make your own dress. McCall’s offers patterns under $15, and you get to choose your own fabric so the color is just right. Selling your dress for cash/ consignment can also help you make a profit from your dress after you have worn it.

Some beauty schools offer lower rates for styling, try to find one in your area and get pricing. Or consider having a preparation party with your friends where you do each others’ hair! Find a style you like and have your friends recreate it. There are some great, easy styles you can achieve yourself.

For long hair, consider a plait, or else a high pony tail. Use ribbons or bows that complement your dress to make it more interesting, but also keep your hair under control.

For medium hair, an undo style can be easy. You can do a low chignon, or a high bun, but make it more interesting by first twisting the front sections of your hair before pulling it back.

For short hair, a fun head-band, or shiny clip work great to keep your hair back and also add sophistication.

Try finding an online tutorial for looks you like. A general rule for makeup is to accentuate only one feature – if you want to do dramatic eye shadow, choose a light lipstick (or skip it all together in favor of chapstick). If you want a bold lip, tone down your eyes and make them more subtle. Then try your look out in advance and get your friends’ input, and practice how to apply it, that way when the night comes you are confident in how you look.

Leave early, take your friends, and go to a local park or public area to take pictures. Find a brick wall or wooden fence and use that as a background, then just have fun posing! Take turns taking each other’s pictures, or else have a parent take them versus paying a professional photographer. Also, have some props to use for your group to enjoy such as a large empty wooden frame, hats, sunglasses, or boas. Backdrops are easy to make just pick some material that’s interesting and fun, hang it behind you and stand in front of it (should be the size of a twin blanket).

No one will notice if your pearls are real or just fake plastic beads! Prom night is a great time to use costume jewelry if you think your outfit needs accessories. Exercise restraint, though – too many items tend to drown each other out. Choose one piece to accentuate, like a necklace, and maybe have some accompanying pieces like a bracelet and stud earrings. If you’re wearing large earrings, though, you might want to consider skipping the necklace and wearing a bracelet instead.

Consider having your date make a corsage for you, and save him some money. Fake flowers can easily be sown to a hair-band to make a wrist corsage, or else hot glued to a pin.

You don’t have to go to prom in a limousine! Consider either splitting the cost of the limousine between a group of friends, or else having a parent, sibling or friend drive to and from the party. You can also save gas riding together and go halfers on gas.

Getting and splitting pizza between a group is fun, consider doing this after you’ve taken your photos. Or try Pieology, it’s a trendy pizza parlor where you customize your own pizza. You could go also go to a fast-food restaurant, which is always fun to do while in your normal wear. Or, because you’ve saved so much money, maybe this is the one place where you splurge and go to a nice sit-down dinner with your date and your friends (check online for ten best suggestions for fine dining in your area).