Confessions of a First-Time Prom Mom

Prom Mom


You may or may not know it yet, but it’s prom season. Decades ago, when I was in high school, prom was in June. Now it’s as early as April. And, boy oh boy, have the rules changed. If you haven’t already started shopping for your prom gown, you are at risk! Grab your coffee, your car keys, your teen, your life savings and get out there.

Don’t worry about whether your daughter has a date, it’s optional these days. Today’s Strong GIRLS are enjoying dressing up and hanging with friends at their prom, rather than spending an eternity with a dull date who doesn’t have anything to say and thinks the white man’s overbite is dancing.  This might be the best change since I was in the prom scene. No more pressure to find a date!

But, the pressure has been raised for those guys who want to ask a date to prom. Have you heard of the Promposal? If you have a teenage son, get ready to surprise and delight his would-be date with a creative, cute and carefully orchestrated “Promposal” that will be videotaped, photographed, posted and talked about for years to come! Talk about pressure-packed situations. Here’s a look at some of the interesting ways guys are asking girls:

But I digress, as Moms of teens we know it’s all about the dress… alterations… shoes… jewelry… nails… makeup… brow wax…I did mention earlier that you need to grab your life savings, right? Well, there is a way to make it to prom without depleting your life savings. Here’s RSG’s advice for keeping it all in check and making your teen feel unique and special without breaking the bank:


PLEASE don’t let your teen get sucked into the hype surrounding prom. It’s a four-hour dance. Her friends — and possibly her friends’ parents — might think this is the event of the century. Dress shops will quickly lure your teen in, amplifying the event with over-the-top gestures like having your teen stand on a pedestal while they appear out of nowhere sounding a gong of approval when her dress is selected (true story – witnessed it first hand and lived to write about it!).


REMEMBER this is one of her biggest nights in her young life thus far so if your prom wasn’t the “magical night” it was hyped up to be, she doesn’t really want to hear about it. After all, you went to prom 100 years ago, Mom, things have changed dramatically since then! The key is to carefully balance her excitement and anticipation with your real-world wisdom about the importance of the event.


OFFER to take your teen and her friends shopping for dresses – it’s fun and highly educational. You learn a LOT about what teens think about their body, the importance their friend’s opinions (how many different selfies can you take and send in less than 30 seconds for your friend’s approval?), and what other teens are considering wearing (which might make you blush, or beam with pride that your darling daughter isn’t one who could be misinterpreted for a Playboy cover shoot).

Most importantly, it’s an opportunity to make a great Mom memory (which are fleeting at this age!). Encourage them to try on every style so they can see what looks best and makes them feel good about themselves. Think of it as adolescent dress up!


MAKE sure you have a budget before you leave — and stick to it. Teach your teen to understand the importance of the investment being made. Is it vital to have the latest design from an exclusive boutique that costs over $500? Or, does your budget favor a gown that is $250 or less so that you can afford all the extras – shoes, hair, accessories, etc.? Regardless of the budget you set, make sure you can afford and justify it once the night is over.

If you live in the northeast, Frugal Fannies is a great option! Dresses, jewelry, shoes, accessories galore — all at an affordable price. If Frugal Fannies isn’t your thing, ask the experts – leverage Moms who have done this before. Let your fingers do the walking. Text, talk and tap out those social posts to reach out to your Mom network and find out where the best dress shops are around you. Deals can be found everywhere, you just need to know where to look.

Make it memorable! You only have one, or two, or three or four of these as a Mom in your lifetime.

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