Thursday 22 February 2024

Planning a prom on a budget.

After finishing her GCSE's and leaving school Ellie went to her prom at school. I was dreading it, not because of the prom it's self, just the cost of it all. When you think of proms you think expensive but they really don't have to be, all in all we didn't really spend that much.

prom corsages

Prom night is a magical experience that many school leavers really look forward to but the costs that come with it can add up quickly leaving both students and parents stressed about the financial burden. The good news is that with careful planning and creativity you can have an unforgettable prom night without breaking the bank.

Start Early and Set a Clear Budget:
Begin your prom planning early to give yourself time to find the best deals. Set a realistic budget that includes all potential expenses, such as the outfit, hair and beauty, transport, any tickets and any extras.

The dress/suit/outfit:
Look for affordable dresses or suits online, at discount stores or even consider borrowing from friends or family. You can always rent an outfit from specialist shops but I really didn't want to do that in case it ended up ripped or stained. Potentially your teen might only wear the outfit once so don't go spending a small fortune!

The biggest expense for us was Ellie's dress. It cost around £20 from Shein which was a real bargain in comparison to her friends outfits. It wasn't the typical puffy, princess looking dress but it is what Ellie wanted.

Shop second hand by exploring charity shops or search online websites or apps for formal wear like Vinted or eBay. You might be surprised at the hidden gems you can find at a fraction of the cost.

Skip the expensive salon appointments and opt for DIY hair and makeup. There are numerous online tutorials and resources that can help you achieve a glamorous look without the hefty price tag. I did Ellie's hair, make up and nails and it cost hardly anything as we already had everything we needed. All Ellie bought was a set of false nails which cost about £1.50 and they looked so pretty.

Getting to prom can be a massive expense with teenagers wanting to arrive in style. If you get your teen to share the cost or renting a limo or fancy car with some of their friends it can cut the cost dramatically. If you know someone who has a fancy car ask them for a lift. 

My dad was going to take Ellie in his vintage kit car but ended up having issues when it wouldn't start on the day! Eek! My brother stepped into help and Ellie arrived in the back of his Luton Van. Ellie actually got the biggest cheer of the evening arriving with her grand entrance going down on the moving platform thing at the back. She had the time of her life! 

The only thing we couldn't save money on was the prom photos and to be honest I wished I hadn't bothered with them. Ellie is a shy girl so there was only 2 photos of her, one walking up the red carpet which I had taken myself anyway and another with a couple of her friends. If you have a confident child who loves being in front of the camera I imagine they would be well worth it but for us it wasn't.

Did you spend much for your teenagers proms?


  1. She looks beautiful

  2. I remember making my own prom dresses; my goal was to be a fashion designer one day anyway and lucky my mom was great with her sewing machine so between the two of us we came up with some awesome dresses and we absolutely split the limo cost 6 or maybe even 8 ways so it wasn't that expensive. Alec hasn't wanted to go to a prom yet but he does plan to go this year; knowing his friends I'm betting they'll all find a way to do it on the cheap and just focus on the fun. Though I'm thinking he might only be able to rent a tux because it's unlikely we'd find anything used in his size!

  3. I think you did amazingly well with Ellie's prom and she looked amazing! xx