Budgeting and finding ways to do things cheaply is one of my areas of expertise. Spend enough time in college and that becomes a necessary skill. In fact, if it were an Olympic Event I’d be a multi time medalist.
For that reason I am just the right person to address what is one of the most expensive rituals in our culture.
Every girl has a dream dress that they think is going to be the most important thing ever (wait until they are getting married), but that doesn’t mean that you want to spend an arm and a leg, so know some of the best places to shop. For example, David’s Bridal has a large price range of various styles of dresses, and they have tons of locations. Another great location is So Good Bridal and Beauty, though their website is not the best right now. Generally your best bet is to avoid the mall and stores that do pageants as those dresses are more likely to be designer and expensive. Also consider consignment shops.
Traditionally groups go out to dinner before prom and many groups would prefer to go somewhere fancy. That is completely understandable, but those high school students are not likely to have a big budget. That doesn’t have to stop you. These circumstances are the perfect ones for things like groupon or restaurant.com. Also, encourage students to steer away from incredibly fancy places as they will be expensive. Consider Japanese steak houses.
Many students like limousines, though I never had one in high school I understand why some groups would like them. Again, consider groupon as that is an excellent way to get deals but another option to consider is opting for smaller companies as they are likely to be more open to negotiation. Also, large groups will mean less cost per person.
The Corsages and Boutonnieres are considered outdated by some, but are still traditional and still purchased. You wouldn’t want them to be low quality, but you also want a fair price. Some people would call me crazy but I have had much success with online flower orders and as such I can recommend some that I have had both a good product and a great price. Often they run coupons and specials as well. My favorite has been 1800flowers.com, but I’ve also had a good experience with teleflora as well.
The best advice I can give is to not fear coupons or haggling. Especially if you have a large group there will certainly be people who are willing to create a lower price per person .Just ask, and don’t make a big deal if you have to splurge in one area or another.