Coppell Observer: How to go cheap for prom


Cristina Gomez

With prom approaching, students are finding themselves set with an unrealistic standard of prom night being the “night of all nights.” People can spend massive amounts of money to make this standard a reality, however prom can still be an enjoyable experience with less money spent.

Wren Lee, Executive Design Editor

Coppell Observer is a humorous weekly column about life as a teenager. Please be warned that any and all sass is due to the writers’ similar situation as teenagers (even though we feel so much older). You, the reader, should not take any of the words seriously. Seriously. If this article makes you laugh, leave a comment.


Prom is the one night seniors get to de-stress simultaneously in a banquet hall filled with balloons and blackjack tables. For many, it is a night to remember. Sadly, prom ends up being more expensive than not.


Here are my tips to help cut costs for prom.


The Dress

Prom dress shopping is fun. What is more fun than scrambling to get a dress in your size before anyone else claims the same style or color?


On the other hand, dresses can be too expensive, so making your dress is the most financially viable option.


Some people have gone gaga for the do-it-yourself trend sweeping this nation. Therefore, a rise in duct tape dresses had occurred. Sure, it might be hard work, and too many rolls of duct tape might cost you a pretty penny, but it will be the perfect twist on the typical prom dress.

If only making a duct tape tuxedo was easier, your date might actually match you.


Another option is to take all of your college rejection letters and staple them together in a dress shape. This might be a very small dress (congratulations) or a very big dress (I apologize for their loss.) Either way, it is a quirky way to show off where you are not going.


Another quick and easy option is to just wear a skirt and a shirt. Even if they do not match, you will be making a statement about the insanely expensive prom dress phenomenon while also being comfortable.


To prevent wearing the same color as someone else, choose a color that only exists in the hazy memories of prom from the 1990s. That might mean dunking your dress in a can of neon purple or taping photos from your mother’s high school scrapbook (it was not like she was going to use them anyways) to your dress.


If you are adventurous, go back in time* and steal the prom dress from your mother. She was not going to miss it anyways.


The Photos

Photos are the best way to remember events, especially because memory fades as you age. Sometimes, though, you want high quality photos at a low price. Professional photographers cost too much money, but you can just as easily take your own photos.


Go to your local park (which is usually free) and take a few photos surrounded by flowers. If this triggers your allergies, do not worry because you will be suffering for the rest of your night. Do not forget tissues.


Or, go to Hobby Lobby. There is no reason you need to spend a lot of money on good photos. If a store has a floral section, use it. If the manager is screaming at to you to get out, make sure you give him your Instagram username, so he can see your photos later. Then he will understand.


At the dance itself, make sure your phone has enough battery to capture the moments you will (probably) remember.


Your phone will die by hour two, so make sure to ask one of your friends to take photos (even though they might forget).


The Restaurant

Fitting into your prom dress was hard, but fitting into it with a full stomach is even harder.


My suggestion is to stick to snacks.

If it is hard to breathe, a full meal would just make it worse.


Save your calorie intake for the day after the day after prom. Then, you can eat an entire pizza in peace.


If you do end up indulging, do not sweat it. You will be burning off this calories on the dance floor shortly after.


The Dance

The dance is too expensive. You do not have $85 to drop on a dance where the food is just OK and the people are way too noisy.


Instead, stay at home with your favorite television show and sob when your favorite character inevitably dies.


Or take time to practice sewing or cooking. These are necessary skills and can help prepare you for college where you will be sewing all the holes in your clothes because you are too poor to buy new clothes and cooking for yourself because your mom refuses to send you another ‘care package’ of her homemade meals.


Make sure to take all of my suggestions seriously and you will have the best night of your life.


Happy prom, everyone!


*If you are able to go back in time, can you go back to two days ago and make sure I do not forget to bring my laptop to school? Thanks.


Follow Wren @laurenwrenlee