Fresh, Creative Prom Ideas to Make Your Special Night the Best It Can Be

For many teenagers, “prom” is a rite of passage that symbolizes the beginning of the end of high school and transitioning to the next life phase. It’s a time to dress up, show their style, enjoy fine dining, and celebrate a special night with friends. It’s a time to make memories that last the rest of their lives. Prom is a dance…usually for juniors and seniors. Sometimes students go alone, but also with a group of friends, or with a date.  

Celebrating prom begins well before the actual event. Much preparation and anticipation lead up to prom, requiring decisions to be made.  Decisions including how to create your “promposal,” what to wear, transportation, and other accessories you may need. Here we’ve compiled some creative ideas to help you get the wheels turning….  

Dreamy Dresses and Top-notch Tuxes

Prom is a formal event to which you are expected to wear formal attire. Shopping for a dress or tux can be one of the highlights of prom season. A group of friends may choose to shop together, or this may be a time for a mother and daughter (or mother and son) to spend some time bonding while shopping for a stylish and appropriate outfit. Guys can get very creative with tuxes nowadays and really show their style.  An A-line fit and flared gown is now a very popular and flattering style for girls. Long or short dresses are in style, and a prom-goer has a great opportunity to show her own style in the dress she selects. There really are no hard and fast rules…just make sure you stick to your school’s dress code. 

As far as tuxes are concerned…a tux is not required. Any combination of formal attire will work. Slim, fitted pants are very much in style right now and eclectic pants and jacket combinations are a big hit, as well. Standing out in the crowd is what it’s all about at proms these days. Whether that means showing up in the slimmest fitting, expertly pressed shark skin-skin suit or a purple, velvet dinner jacket with classic, slim-fitting black pants. You can really make a statement with your outfit choice. You may also choose to keep it traditional with a black or white tux, which you can rent at any formal shop. If you decide to rent a traditional tux, the average tux rental costs between $90 and $180, with most spending about $150.

The best time to start shopping for prom attire is in January and February (assuming your prom is in late spring or summer of the same year). This is just after the new prom dress collections have been released. By shopping in January, you’ll see the most dresses possible, before any styles get sold out.

Creative Corsages

It’s still perfectly acceptable and trendy to wear a corsage to prom (even if you don’t have a prom date). Lots of young women choose their own corsage or order a set of matching prom corsages, along with their group of friends

Wrist corsages remain popular. Popular flowers are mini- (or sweetheart) roses, standard roses, orchids, lilies, and other small flowers, such as cornflowers and freesia. Flowers and accessories usually match or accent the girlʼs prom dress. 

The same goes for a guy’s boutonniere. A boutonniere is a small bunch of flowers (and/or other chosen materials) worn by guys on their lapels. The boutonniere is bought for the guy by his date, oftentimes matching the colors and style of her date’s suit or corsage. Alternatively, guys may get together and purchase matching boutonnieres as a group. (Find many more great ideas for corsages and boutonnieres on Pinterest.)

Promposals

Gone are the days of just “asking” someone to prom (although that’s okay, too).  These days, “Promposals” have become a fun and exciting part of prom preparations. A promposal usually involves a special or elaborate act or presentation that takes some thought and time to prepare. The best promposals incorporate creativity, extravagance, and often, a dose of ridiculousness, too. For example:

  • Making a clever poster board and surprising your intended date after class or in the parking lot after school (check Pinterest or Instagram for tons of great ideas);
  • Writing your message on a cake or pizza;
  • Covering her car with post-its or printed pictures to get your message across.
  • If you want to go absolutely over the top, follow the lead of those who have jumped out of airplanes holding signs asking people to prom. 

Innovative Dinner ideas

A pre-prom dinner can be at either a restaurant of your choice, or a family may volunteer their home for dinner for a group of friends.  Restaurant dinners will usually require reservations and can get pricey, so planning ahead is key.  If this is the way you choose to go, it can be a very special meal to remember. If you plan a dinner at home, there are several options to choose from.  A home-cooked meal offers a relaxing atmosphere before the big dance and also serves as a way for parents and kids to get to know each other. Parents and kids might want to get together to plan the prom dinner ahead of time.  You can either do it buffet style, as a sit-down dinner, or just have hors dʼoeuvres and finger foods. Above all, you’ll want it to be something everyone will remember. Sticking with the simplest foods is best, and also most likely to entice every hungry palate.  No matter how you choose to serve dinner, try to have some salads, as well as a main course—chicken, beef, or a vegetarian entrée. And don’t forget about dessert!

This setting is also a great way to provide a photo op before or after dinner and as the young folks are getting ready to leave. 

Transportation 

Another decision of prom night is how you will get to your destinations. There are many forms of transportation to choose from.  

The most common form of prom transportation is a limousine. You can fit several of your friends in a limousine, so this is a good way to have everyone split the cost and save money.

If you have a larger group of friends going together to prom, a party bus may be the option to choose. Depending on the size of the bus, you may be able to fit up to 20 or more of your friends. Party bus companies usually include music, lights, and other festive extras that make the entire ride an event in itself. 

Classic cars are another unique way to travel to prom.  There are specialty car companies that offer classic vehicles for hire, or you may be able to find an owner willing to allow you to use his or her car for a night by contacting classic car clubs in your area. The owners of these cars may prefer to be your chauffeur, rather than have you in the driving seat…but that may be even better, as you and your date or friends will have more time to socialize.  

As you see, there are many decisions to make to ensure the smoothest, most enjoyable prom experience possible!  Once you have taken care of the details, the most important thing is to look around on the night of prom, appreciate all the things you’re enjoying, take photo memories in your head, be in the moment, and enjoy it all!  It will be over before you know it and you will be talking about all the fun you had. 

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