Prom or no prom, you can save big on special occasions with these tips by consumer expert Andrea Woroch.
Some experts project this year's prom at just under $2,000 per couple. Two grand for one night? Consider these outrageous costs for prom compiled by Prom Girl and learn how to cut expenses without cutting out all the fun!
Prom Dress - $100 - $400
- Head online to liketwice.com for big discounts on designer apparel, including 80-percent off gowns from Vera Wang, Ralph Lauren, Marc Jacobs and more.
- Peruse local consignment shops like Plato's Closet or Buffalo Exchange for gently used formal wear, or do it Macklemore-style and head to the nearest thrift shop.
- Rent stunning designer gowns for a fraction of retail prices with RentTheRunway.com, a popular online service offering celebrity-worthy formalwear starting at just $75.
Tuxedo Rental - $100 to $150
- Compare costs between tuxedo rental shops as prices can vary while styles and options are similar.
- Use coupons to save on tuxedo rentals from department stores. For example, you can save $10 to $20 off tuxedo rentals from Bealls when you use the coupon app from Coupon Sherpa at checkout.
- Avoid renting accessories like cufflinks and pocket squares -- no one will notice the lack of wrist bling or chest fluff.
Hair, Makeup & Nails - $30 to $275
- The easiest way to save money on this expense is to DIY. Pinterest is a great source for prom updos and makeup ideas that talented friends or family members can help recreate.
- Have you teen select one service to get professionally done and cost-share; the other two services can be done at home.
- For teens opting for a less formal hairstyle, schedule a routine hair appointment the day of prom for a professional styling at a pre-budgeted expense.
Dinner - $25 to $130 per person
- Host a multi-course dinner at your house and either prepare it yourself or get it catered. If you go the latter route, order only appetizers and the main course; prepare a side salad and dessert yourself for cheap!
- Order discount gift cards to Fleming's, Claim Jumper, Fogo de Chao and other upscale restaurant chains from GiftCardGranny.com for up to 15-percent off face value. Prom goers can use these cards to pay for dinner and score built-in savings!
Limousine Rental - $200 to $500
- Request the oldest (but cleanest) model of limousine available and get the full price upfront as some companies include a driver's tip and fuel surcharges into the final bid while others exclude these expenses.
- Don't rent more limo than you need. If your teen is grouped with two other couples, there's no sense in renting an eight-passenger stretch limo when a cheaper six-passenger vehicle will do.