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Great 'Prom' Hunt

19 replies 11.4K views
Former_MSE_PenelopeFormer_MSE_Penelope Former Editorial Assistant
536 posts
Great 'Prom' Hunt

The US prom phenomenon has hit our shores in a big way, with parents' wallets impacted by the cost of flash limos, hair & dresses. We want MoneySavers' tips on preparation without busting the budget, from free Youtube 'up-do' tutorials to bagging free chauffeuring from a friend.



View past Great Hunts.



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  • edited 9 June 2011 at 10:59AM
    luxor4tluxor4t Forumite
    11.1K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited 9 June 2011 at 10:59AM
    Shop around for Prom dresses.
    I saw DD's first dress from TKMaxx and haggled £4 discount as a tassle was missing from the shawl and another was loose. total cost, £35.99.
    then I discovered that the school ran a prom each year in the 6th form, so we started watching the 'reduced rails' and bought dresses in late January. The best bargain was a £250 dress for just £29.99 (it had been reduced 3 times).
    It is even more MSE to swop dresses with friends!
    I can cook and sew, make flowers grow.
  • edited 9 June 2011 at 11:00AM
    shumicatshumicat Forumite
    17 posts
    edited 9 June 2011 at 11:00AM
    My 6'2" son arrived at his prom last year on the Kettler gokart he had for his 3rd birthday. Ok, so it was carried to the event, but from 200yds he clambered on and all his friends pushed him in. It raised a huge laugh and offered a great photo opportunity that the school has used since.
    His dinner suit I bought online in the M&S half price sale the year before and have just sold on for a similar price.
    The biggest expensive was £32 for a wrist corsage for his partner - big mistake. The florist couldn't give him a price before he ordered it. He was so upset, I paid for it. Would suggest to others to look in Monsoon or Claires in the sale in advance.
    Have a 12yr old daughter so will be reading this thread for future girl MSE tips!
  • I am involved in prom transport where we provide vintage buses and coaches and open top buses to proms.

    We normally see limos and other vehicles being hired for transport. If a passenger vehicle is carrying more than 8 people then the operator must have a Public Service Vehicle (PSV) Operators Licence. There are a couple of limo designs where more than 8 people can legally be carried by, in general, limos cannot carry more than 8 people.

    You can check whether the operator has a valid PSV Licence at the VOSA website.

    You should also note that if all the passengers are under 18 then the activity could fall within the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 and the operator is required to ensure that the driver has a CRB.
  • hart44hart44 Forumite
    1.6K posts
    I brought my DD's dress from the Goddiva website for £22 and I made her a matching bag for £2 :D
    She has brought her own shoes from New Look in the sale also her friend who is a hair dresser will do her hair :D
    I am lucky the venue is on a very long narrow lane so they have all been told limo's will not be able to get up it so they should not order one as it is a 4 mile walk from the bottom :o
    DD is happy to get me and her step-dad to trasport her and a friend there and back :D

    This time last year I was worried about the expense of a prom but if you look around early it is not a problem :D

    I have 6 years before DS has his :rotfl:
    Getting myself sorted 1 day/1thing at a time :) and Love sewing :)
    "Sewing fills my days,
    not to mention the living room, bedroom, and closets."
    ~ Author Unknown
  • akbrookerakbrooker Forumite
    15 posts
    What on earth is an 'up-do' tutorial?
  • lisawood78lisawood78 Forumite
    3.9K posts
    A tutorial showing girls how to do an up do with their hair, when its all pinned up and 'twirly'

    My husband drives in http://www.timeattack.co.uk/2011/index.php and is picking my 11 year old niece up from her prom in his race car.
    He took a friends son to his secondary school prom in it a couple of years back.

    It is getting to be a huge thing
    2 angels in heaven :A
  • I had two May Balls, one in Year 12 and one in Year 13. For the first one, we went all out - expensive dress, new bag, new underwear, new shoes, hair done and dyed professionally, new jewellery etc. Upshot being that I hated how my hair looked, the new shoes were killing me and the dress got wine poured down the back of it.

    Year two - bought a ball gown from eBay for £15, professionally altered to fit me, £5. I had a pair of shoes I loved which matched PERFECTLY and didn't hurt my feet. I home dyed my hair, Mum did my hair and make up and I wore the beautiful jewellery I got for my 18th. It was so much nicer because it was really laid back, no rushing to appointments and I got to spend a girlie pampering day with my mum - including face masks (99p from Boots) and "champagne". Not being bothered about a limo, I got a lift with my parents - meaning they got to see me walking up the red carpet. If your DD / DS is willing to do something similar, they'll find it is actually a lot nicer, less stressful, and they're happier. I still have my dress from year 2 and still love it - plus, being black, it doesn't show the inevitable wine stains!
  • edited 9 June 2011 at 10:58AM
    Frittered_AwayFrittered_Away Forumite
    258 posts
    edited 9 June 2011 at 10:58AM
    You could be extra MSE and just not go! I can't say I would've missed much if I'd missed either of mine. In year 13 on our last day of lessons we all finished at lunchtime and went to a leisure club where we had a bouncy castle and BBQ - I enjoyed that far more. Of course, at the time I was never going to not go, but looking back it wasn't that exciting.
  • I've suggested to my daughter (in year 8 now) that as she intends to do textiles for GCSE why doesn't she make her prom dress as part of the course? And maybe get her friends to do so as well. Alternately I'll make it if she'll let me! My MIL made my niece's dress so if you've anyone in the family who's good with a sewing machine ask them.

    There's also hiring dresses. It's not only the boy's tuxes that can be hired.

    And I took up a friend's daughter's dress after the event, it was the right sort of style, so although it was quite pricy she got to wear it on more than the one occasion.
  • mico62mico62 Forumite
    164 posts
    DD found her dress on the sale rail in a bridal shop reduced from £250 to £29, her shoes were reduced from £99 to £9 sometimes being 5' and having size 3 feet has its benefits, the dress was a size 6 but her textiles teacher showed her how to alter it and its now a perfect size 2 (thankfully she did most of the work including rebeading the bodice or I could be looking for a replacement)

    and unlike her friends' mums I know there's no chance of her going clubbing afterwards cos she barely looks 14
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