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Prom Costs- A Parent’s Guide

Back in’t day (cue Hovis advert music and images of cobbled streets) when there was a school disco, everyone wore jeans and the girls crimped their hair and sprayed it with glitter. The dance floor was empty, boys and girls glaring at each other from across the room like two armies ready for a fight. The music was whatever the teachers had on tape, and if you were lucky you got bowls of crisps and cold sausage rolls, only to be picked up by your mum at 9pm. That was then. This is the era of the Prom, which is just like a school disco but everything is bigger, better and more expensive. But what do you need to kit your kids out for a prom and how much does it cost?


Prom Transport

As a parent, you cannot be seen anywhere near the prom. If you offer to drop your child off, you’ll be met with disgusted looks. There are many options for transport ranging from a private limousine to helicopters, which could set you back £800 plus VAT, which is not just pocket change. Cheaper options include sharing the cost of the hire between a few friends, or offering to buy the transport as a birthday gift. Alternatively, try to think of quirky ways your child could arrive at their prom which makes them stand out. Cheaper alternatives include:



Whether you have a son or a daughter, this is going to be hard. Balancing what you think is acceptable with what they think is acceptable isn’t going to be easy and that’s before you even think about what styles and colours would look best.

Prom Suits

Swop It

Is there an older sibling who could lend your son a suit? What about swopping suits with a friend? There are also a number of ‘swop shops’ where you take clothing and swop it for others. It’s a great way to share clothing and get your hands on good quality clothes for less!


Suit Hire

Instead of buying a suit, why not hire one? This way your son will get a suit which fits well and he won’t grow out of!


The early bird catches the worm and keeping your eye on eBay may just bag you a bargain!

Prom Dress

There are a lot of options on dresses, from big frilly princess dresses to more grown up evening gowns. Just like with suits, there are options for people who need to keep an eye on the purse strings!

Swop it

Does your child have any older siblings or relatives who they can swop clothing with or borrow dresses from? There are also a number of sites dedicated to prom dress swopping including:


Vintage Fayre

Vintage is in and you never know, you may just find something! You’ll have to keep going to have a rummage but your efforts could just pay off! To find dates in your area, click here

Dress Hire

Instead of spending money on a dress your daughter can only wear once, why not hire it? A few places to hire are listed below:



Keep your eyes on eBay, you may just find the dress for you at a much more reasonable price. Get ready to start your bidding!

Make Do & Mend

If you trust yourself with scissors and an old wedding dress, why not get crafty and turn it into a new prom dress, saving you some money? If you’d rather not turn your wedding dress into something new, why not look to an existing dress that’s not worn anymore and turn that into something new? Alternatively, make your daughter a prom dress. The raw materials and patterns will be cheaper to buy, whilst the patterns are easy to follow. For ideas, see below


  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDDwNqrvkzU
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hhhCjnWs8A


Whether you have a son or a daughter, your child will want to look their best. This could include haircuts, fake tans, manicures and make up! Luckily, we have some tips on saving money. Salon Guinea Pig matches people up with beauticians near you who have just qualified or are starting their own business. Sometimes these treatments are offered for free, other times there's a discount. Worth a look!


Alternatively, encourage your child to do their own make up. There are hundreds of videos online about prom make up, and prom hairstyles. Hopefully, your child’s prom will be a fabulous experience for them, without breaking the bank! If you have any other hints and tips on cheaper prom alternatives, contact us below and let us know!


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