Prom Etiquette Tips for Students and Parents

Teenagers can have the best prom ever with some prom etiquette tips that can help students and their parents prepare for their big night. It is important to keep in mind that every prom and person is different. 

Let these tips serve as a starting point for any conversations you may have with your date, friends, or parents in regards to your date.

Prom Etiquette for Teen Couples

If you are going to prom with your girlfriend, boyfriend, your crush, or just a friend, there are a few tips that will help make your prom an unforgettable experience for the two of you.

When and How to Ask a Guy or Girl to Prom

There was a time when girls waited for a guy to ask them to prom in the past. There is no doubt that asking a guy to prom is a totally acceptable thing to do today. If you’re planning on asking someone to be your prom date, there are a few things to keep in mind, regardless of whether you’re in a relationship or single.

  • In the event that you have a significant other, don’t just assume they’ll go with you – make sure you ask them first.
  • If you are single, you should only ask someone you know who is single as well.
  • You should ask him or her to be your date at least two months in advance.
  • Ensure this part of the experience feels as special as prom night by finding a cute, memorable way to ask.
  • In a private setting, your potential date won’t feel pressured to say “yes” and you won’t feel humiliated if they decline.
  • Allow your potential date to respond without putting any pressure on them.

Who Pays for What When You Have a Prom Date?

Many teenagers are broke, and they don’t follow antiquated notions that the guy pays for everything. As soon as you have a date, discuss your expectations and budget. The following suggestions can help you determine who pays for what:

  • Each person pays for his or her own outfit. As a result, you can be as frugal or extravagant as you wish.
  • Corsages and boutonnieres are purchased as prom gifts by each participant.
  • Tickets are typically paid for by the asking party, but you can agree to split the cost if necessary.
  • It is usually split in half for dinner, a limousine, and any other special expenses, unless one person clearly has a greater budget than the other, in which case that person pays a larger percentage.

Prom Outfit Etiquette for Couples

To show they are a couple, most couples coordinate their outfits. You can coordinate your looks by talking about your individual styles and then shopping together. Coordination does not necessarily mean matching.

  • You should choose a color scheme that looks good on both of you.
  • You can incorporate your individual style by looking for ways to do so.
  • Dress in outfits that are equally formal.

Prom Manners for Couples

Couples’ prom manners are really no different from their date night manners. Go out of your way to be considerate of each other on this special occasion.

  • You can leave your baggage at home. You should take a night off from any fights and just have a carefree time.
  • Don’t expect too much from yourself. To keep stress at a minimum, go into prom night with the expectation that you’ll enjoy each other’s company.
  • If you want to help your date have an awesome prom night, share what your best prom night looks like.
  • Make sure you don’t forget about your friends. As much as you are having fun together, this is also your group’s last hurrah.
  • Let your date know where to find you if you go to the restroom or dance with friends, and open doors or get drinks for each other.

Prom Etiquette for Teen Singles

Traditionally, there were different etiquette tips for men and women, but today everyone is pretty much on equal footing. These tips will help you prepare for prom whether you are going alone or with a group of friends.

Should You Go to Prom Solo or With Friends?

Having fun with your class and friends on prom night is one of the highlights of your senior year.

  • If you go with friends, you’ll probably have more fun than if you go alone.
  • Give a quick response if you’re invited by a group of friends so that they can make plans.
  • Make sure you pay your fair share if you go with a group.

Who Pays for What When You Don’t Have a Prom Date?

You have no choice but to pay for everything yourself if you’re totally on your own. You usually split the costs with your friends if you go with them:

  • It is each person’s responsibility to purchase their own outfit and prom ticket.
  • There is no requirement or expectation for corsages and boutonnieres, but it’s a nice gesture if each person buys one for someone else. To ensure fairness, draw names.
  • When you order your own meal at a restaurant, you pay for it yourself.
  • During a potluck dinner or buffet, everyone splits the costs equally.
  • A limo or photographer for group photos should be split evenly among all group members.

Prom Outfit Etiquette for Singles

You can pretty much wear whatever you want since you’re on your own. It may be a good idea to coordinate outfits with your group if you are going with others. Whichever way you look at it:

  • Don’t wear the same outfit as anyone else in the group.
  • Don’t try to outdo everyone in the group when choosing an outfit.
  • Compliment everyone’s style and respect their style.
  • Don’t expect anyone else to hold your stuff or give you their coat when it’s cold; bring your own jacket and purse.

Prom Manners for Singles

In spite of the fact that you’re flying solo, you want everyone at prom to have a great time. Don’t let your ego take over, and remember that the night isn’t just about you.

  • Enjoy your time with your friends, but don’t become a third wheel. Allow a couple to be alone if they clearly want to be alone.
  • You should only join group photo ops if you’ve been invited.
  • Give someone a quick and kind response if they ask you to dance.
  • When you ask someone to dance and they say no, move on and do not ask them again.

Prom Etiquette for Parents

In this exciting event, parents still play an important role, even if prom is all about teens. Have a conversation with your teens about prom and how they see you fitting into their plans. If it’s a special occasion, it’s okay to be a little more flexible or less frugal than usual, but remember to maintain your family values throughout your teenager’s life.

Who Pays for Prom: Parents or Teens?

Without a reasonable budget, prom night can be very expensive for teens and their parents. Before any spending takes place, discuss the costs and what you are comfortable contributing.

  • Take into account your family’s financial situation and offer to help with costs up to a certain amount.
  • Dresses and tuxedos for prom are often paid for by parents.
  • Teenagers should figure out how to pay for expenses outside of tickets and attire.
  • Consider asking family members to help or assist your teen in finding resources, such as a free prom dress shop, if neither of you can afford the cost.

Parents and Prom Outfit Selection

You may picture your child wearing one look while they’re eyeing something completely different. Getting on the same page about styles and budgets is essential before any shopping trips.

  • You can shop online with your child and agree on acceptable styles, then let them go to a store with friends to shop.
  • So that your teen won’t overspend, give them cash to buy their look only.
  • Certainly, you have the right to give your opinion as a parent, but you should also allow your teen to express his or her own style.

Where Parents Are Allowed on Prom Night

Parents can take on a variety of prom night duties, depending on how your prom is run and what your teen needs from you.

  • There is always an opportunity for parents to participate in pre-prom photo shoots, either at home or in a group setting at the home of a friend.
  • In case your kids can’t afford a sweet ride and can’t drive well in a gown, drop them off and pick them up, but don’t talk too much and don’t stay too long.
  • It is common for teachers and parents to volunteer as chaperones. Hang out with the other adults and avoid stalking your teen all night unless your teen is okay with it.
  • School proms, prom committees, or parent groups usually include parent volunteers at after-prom parties. Make sure your teen approves before signing up.

A Parent’s Role in Prom Safety

Coming-of-age experiences are different for different kids. It’s still your responsibility as a parent to ensure that your kid stays safe, even though it’s seen as a super special event.

  • Do not feel pressured to completely disregard any rules, but be willing to bend curfews to accommodate prom hours.
  • Don’t be afraid to talk to your teen about drinking and afterparties. In case of an emergency, make an escape plan.
  • Don’t badger your kid all night, but make sure they answer your check-in texts on time and only check in during transitional times.
  • Keep an eye on your teen’s whereabouts at all times during the night.

Parental Prom Manners

There is a lot of value placed on prom by teens. Mind your parental manners so your kid can have a great time.

  • Keep a normal attitude. Act like you would on any other day in front of other people when talking to your teen.
  • Take a more reserved approach. Make sure you compliment everyone and wish them a good time, but avoid too many jokes, personal stories, or directives.
  • Punctuality is key. Make sure you arrive and leave on time for the things you’re involved in.

Your Best Prom

You will have the best prom ever if you manage your expectations, prepare well, and consult with friends or family before making any concrete plans. It’s not necessary to adhere to every prom etiquette tip, but they can help you plan a meaningful event that everyone will enjoy.

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