A Step-by-Step Guide to Prom for First-Timers

A Step-by-Step Guide to Prom for First-Timers

Blaise Rayburn, Literature Editor

With prom season upon us, the Raider Wire has compiled a step-by-step guide for first-time prom attendees of everything you absolutely have to do in order for you and your social life to survive prom.


Step One: Planning

You should always start thinking about what you will do for prom three to six months in advance. This starts with asking all of your friends and associates whether or not they will be attending. Then begins the online window shopping for prom dresses. Long before the theme is determined or tickets are on sale, you should begin scouring Pinterest and online shops for dress ideas and inspiration. For male prom-goers: you do nothing at this stage.


Step Two: Finding A Date

About a month before prom, definitely weeks before tickets go on sale, you should begin gossiping with any and all friend circles and lunch tables about who is going to prom with who, who you are thinking about asking asking, who you hope will ask you, who you anticipate is going to ask you. The anticipatory drama is a crucial step in this process. Then, once your target date is acquired, begin the planning of how you are going to go about asking them to prom. Instagrammable “promposals” are a necessity. This includes a large poster with a low-quality pun that correlates to small gifts you will give during your promposal. Be sure not to skirt the line between “only slightly unoriginal” and “already a cliché” when it comes to this.


Step Three: Purchasing Prom Attire

In this step, you figure out what the theme for prom is (this year it is Arabian Nights), and then you take this information and completely disregard it when choosing what you are going to wear. Then, once a color scheme is decided on, you gleefully spend hundreds of dollars on a dress you love and which will make you feel like a princess for approximately five hours and then will never be worn again. For male prom-goers, this step does not happen until the day before or of prom, and you rent a suit and find some shoes, or really go the extra mile and match your tie to the color of your date’s dress. After this step, you spend an additional $70 per ticket.


Step Four: The Day of Prom:

Here you enjoy the excitement of taking hours to get your hair and makeup precise or the exhilaration of taking 10 to 15 minutes to assemble your tuxedo and to brush your hair. (This step also requires the prerequisite of purchasing a $60 set of matching wrist flowers that you will end up removing because they get annoying after a while.) Next, allow at least one hour of your loud and embarrassing parents capturing your breathtaking prom photos, with a group, with just you and your date, just you, just the boys in the group, just the girls in the group and other various mixes, all while soaking in the hot Georgia sun, or traveling to an inconvenient outdoor picturesque location to capture memories you may or may not cherish forever. Next, you should fork out more cash in order to enjoy an extravagant pre-prom meal, a romantic dinner with your date or maybe a large mob of high schoolers in prom regalia taking up absurd amounts of space in a nice restaurant. Bonus: If you want to go the extra, cliché mile, rent a limo to escort your date or group to whichever venue the school paid for this year (The Avalon Hotel).


The Actual Prom:

Here is where you get to truly enjoy yourself and reap the benefits of the large investment of time and money you have made. For those with large, close friend groups, or those who somehow know and are friendly with pretty much everyone, your night will be filled with dancing and laughing and having a ball. For those slightly less popular, you will likely enjoy an evening of standing slightly outside of friend circles, not really participating in conversations, and will experience the magical moment of awkwardness and anxiety of asking your date to slow dance. Either way, this several-month long, expensive and stressful journey will have led you to a night you will remember forever (or potentially want to forget forever).


Other Considerations:

  • You may be wondering if this one dance is worth the hundreds of dollars that go into it. Below are the results of a survey that asked North students whether or not the cost of prom outweighed the benefits:
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  • Get ready for your Snapchat stories to be completely bombarded by prom selfies and dancing videos
  • After prom: be on the lookout for Instagram sales pitches for used prom dresses


If you follow this guide, you’ll be sure to have an amazingly expensive and fun prom. Most importantly, remember to have fun and enjoy the dance (to ensure you get your money’s worth).