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The Penndulum

The Penndulum

Yes to the Dress?

The Honest Truth About Prom

Lights turn on, cameras at the ready, and hair pinned up as high as the sky; surely, prom is an unforgettable night. But at what cost? The first prom dates all the way back to 1897. Prom was seen as a great way to help teenagers transition into adulthood and propose a lot of firsts as new young adults. Anyone could go to prom, as it was for any teenager in the grade holding the dance. These events were typically held in high school gyms around the country, and it was very common to take dates.

Nowadays, prom is all about going out of this world: big, pinned-up hair, glamorous dresses with hefty price tags, professional makeup and nails done, and so much more. In 2024, Pennridge High School’s Junior Prom tickets cost $65 alone, without other expenses. On average, dresses cost $450 before alterations (which average around $160), while suits cost between $100 and $300 to rent. Prices of professional hair and makeup collectively cost an average of $265. Flowers, dinner, shoes, accessories, and a limo cost anywhere from $545 and up. When Meghan Kessler, a local jewelry store worker, was asked how business had been for the past year, she stated that business was on the rise again, and with that, came higher prices of jewelry. However, when she was asked about how prom affects the business, she said that prom barely affects the shop, because most people tend to buy jewelry online or borrow it from friends or family, seeing as they only wear it once for prom.

The event also costs a lot to set up before the students get there. Catered food, decorations, goodie bags, photo booths, DJs, and more all come into play when the student council and president are deciding how to organize prom for the coming year. When Senior Class President Brady Fish, was asked how much prom cost for the senior class as a whole, he replied “About $50,000.”
Prom, being one of the biggest expenses for each class over their four years in high school, involves a lot of fundraising. Dine and donates around the community are a popular way for each class to fundraise, and some classes even branch out, with the junior class selling pretzels and attending the snack stands at football games; however, Fish agrees that the Class of 2024 could have done better at raising money for the event, claiming there was an insufficient amount of time to raise the funds needed to completely supply the event with all the basic needs of prom. According to Natalie Pappas, Executive Council Member, about 50 kids are in charge of fundraising for prom, which is important because it means that every choice that’s made is decided collectively among a group of students, who all have different ideas to share.

Overall, prom is a very expensive, yet very special milestone for teenagers in their last few years of high school. Old traditions bring new generations memories for years to come, and there are always new ways to get that astonishing price to go down a little bit. A great way to save money on some of the higher-cost items that come along with this dance is by thrifting dresses and shoes. Borrowing jewelry or using hand-me-downs can not only save money but also bring pieces and memories of others along for the special night. If on a budget, another good option is doing makeup and nails at home instead of getting them done professionally. Of course, the most important part of prom is the wonderful experience; it’s all about having a great time and making memories that will last a lifetime!


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About the Contributor
Krislyn Strohl, Student Writer
Krislyn Strohl, Grade 12. Interests and hobbies include theatre, NHS, writing, SFX, exploring new places outdoors, cinematography, and hanging out with friends and family. Krislyn will attend college and major in Film Production as she aims to one day become a director and/or producer.

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