How-to: prom on a budget

Fourth quarter has started for CHS, and if that weren’t stressful enough, another important event is coming up: Carrboro’s prom. Prom can put a lot of pressure on students, especially in regards to expenses.

Many students don’t consider prom an option because of its notoriously high cost. There are students who can’t afford a new outfit, new shoes, hair and makeup, accessories and dinner reservations for just one night of fun, and there are others who simply don’t want to spend an obscene amount of money on a school dance.

However, I’m here to tell you that there are ways to save money and still feel glamorous on prom night.

One way to save is through Cinderella’s Closet, a national program that provides donated dresses and accessories to girls who otherwise couldn’t attend prom. Christ United Methodist Church in Southern Village hosts the Cinderella’s Closet for students in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, and it’s open to anyone. Similarly, borrowing a friend’s or older sibling’s dress or tux is an easy way to lower your prom expenses.

Many thrift stores also have unique options for dresses and men’s formal wear, and you’re more likely to find something vintage if that’s more your style. You can also find shoes there, as well as handbags, ties and bowties. Department stores or online shops will often have sales on prom outfits, although it might take some searching to find them.

Boutonnieres and corsages are another added cost for students. Local flower shops can give you nice varieties, but regular grocery stores such as Harris Teeter or Food Lion can also have cheaper options. Or, make your own out of flowers from a garden or local market. There are thousands of DIY tutorials online for this. Another idea is to just forgo the flowers altogether! You can still have a fun time at prom without flowers on your wrist or lapel.

Many students worry about how to style their hair and makeup for prom, but that’s an easy fix. Some opt to get both done by a professional, but there are less expensive solutions, including your own family! Have an older sibling or a parent help you with hair and makeup, or even ask a friend if they’ll do it for you. There’s no need to worry about looking good and saving money, because you can do both!

Finally, there’s the issue of food. Countless plans detailing dinner reservations, the amount of people in a group, who will pay, etc., can be frustrating and overwhelming. But, of course, there are simple solutions. First of all, going with a larger group of friends could mean you split the cost of dinner and save money overall. If that’s not your vibe, you can choose to go to a cheaper restaurant–who says you need to have a five-course, five-star meal before prom? Hit up Wendy’s, Chick-fil-a, Elmo’s or another more casual restaurant for an affordable meal. Besides, prom will have snacks and drinks, as well as plenty of dancing, so you probably won’t want to fill up anyways.

Although prom can be expensive, it doesn’t have to be! There are plenty of ways to make it low-cost and still have fun. This year, CHS prom will take place on Saturday, April 21, at the Governor’s Club. You can buy tickets online or at lunch, and there are scholarships available for them, covered by the PTA.


Posted by Chelsea Ramsey

Chelsea is Editor-in-Chief for the 2018-2019 school year. She is an avid reader.