It’s Not Like the Movies: My Prom Experience


It’s prom season and six years ago, give or take a week, was my prom. I’d like to say I had an awesome time and danced all night, but it’s not like the movies or tv shows you watch. Especially since Canadian proms are different from American ones- we don’t have a prom court where we vote for Prom King and Queen (maybe other schools in Canada do, but ours didn’t).

Prom is a rite of passage for finishing high school, so even if I don’t sound like I enjoyed it, I had fun with my friends and got to dress up for a night. It may not seem like it, but prom is expensive. You spend hundreds of dollars for one night. Now, I know what you’re thinking…a wedding is the same, you spend thousands of dollars for one night too, but at least at your wedding, you’re the centre of attention. At prom, you just get mixed in with the rest of your classmates. For my prom, I think I spent about $500-700 (or rather, my parents spent $500-700). I’m sure other people spent a lot more- some people spend that much on just their dress. The following is a list of costs that I racked up for my prom:

  • the dress (from BCBG)- around $300-$400
  • shoes- I had a hard time finding shoes, I probably would’ve spent more if I had found a brand name pair that I liked, but mine cost $30
  • earrings- I already owned
  • hair and makeup I did on my own (I’m sure a lot of girls spent almost $100 for their hair and makeup)
  • manicure- $15 (pedicure $20)
  • prom ticket-$100
  • limo- $45 (split 10-12 ways with a group of friends)
  • after party on a boat (held by the school)- I didn’t go, and I can’t remember how much it cost (at least $20…possibly $50)
  • boutonniere (my date chose not to wear a jacket, so I didn’t need to get one, but he bought a corsage)- $12-15

The search for the prom dress took a while, I dragged my mom to multiple stores for two months. Originally I got this black tulle strapless dress from Mendocino (pictured below), but it was a bit loose and I was afraid it would fall down. Also, it didn’t seem like my style, so I ended up returning it. We even went to a bridal store and considered getting a custom one, but by the time I started looking, there wouldn’t have been enough time to have one ordered. So we went everywhere else. I first saw the one at BCBG and I liked it, but wasn’t absolutely in love with it, so we kept looking. After a few weeks, we couldn’t find anything and it was cutting closer to prom, so we went back to BCBG and I bought the dress.

Back in 2010, promposals weren’t a huge thing like they are today. Originally I was going to just go with my group of friends, but it seemed like most of them were getting prom dates, and I didn’t want to get left out. Plus, I thought it’d be nice to have a prom date anyways. Like I’ve said in a previous post, I am most comfortable talking to people online and since I was shy and didn’t know if I would get rejected or not, I asked a classmate on MSN. I remember I was talking to KN and asked if I should ask him or not…she said to go for it, so I did. Either way, I would’ve been going with my friends, so it didn’t really matter if he said no. I found out that my prom date wasn’t planning on going to prom, so I decided to ask him. On MSN later that day, I asked him if he would go to prom with me…I told him that I understand if he wasn’t willing to pay for the prom ticket and didn’t want to go because he wasn’t planning to, but he said yes! My closest friends knew I invited him and when we got to prom, I think some people were kind of surprised that we came together. We weren’t in the same friend group, but we were in multiple classes together and we would talk on MSN every now and then.

On prom day, my friends and I went to get manicures and pedicures. I’m very ticklish, so I just got a manicure. I’ve always had the fear that I would get a pedicure and kick the lady in the face from being too ticklish. Everyone came to my house to get ready together and take pictures. I don’t have a pool like most prom pictures include, but we took pictures on my front lawn and porch which was good enough for us. Since we were a group of 9, we got together with another group of friends to share a limo. They all walked over to my house and we took more pics together. The location for our prom was really nice inside, and the food was okay. I think I was the only one to finish my plate. After all, I was hungry after the hair and makeup prep. We didn’t really dance that much at our prom, but we mingled with other friends and took more pictures. We got the professional prom date picture that everyone takes. A lot of people went to the after party on a boat, but two of my friends and I decided not to attend and have a sleepover. We watched some movies and played games. I think we had more fun than we would’ve if we had gone to the after party. From what I heard, it was a bunch of drunk classmates…I didn’t want to be stuck in the middle of the water with that.

Although prom didn’t meet my expectations (like I’ve seen in movies and shows), I still enjoyed myself because I was with my friends. So if you’re on the fence about going, I think it’s something that everyone should experience, even if it’s not what you expect.

-JenCat

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