Help! Prom etiquette

Discussion in 'Disney for Families' started by hugabearjo, Apr 16, 2008.

  1. hugabearjo

    hugabearjo DIS Veteran

    Mar 11, 2004
    I am so taken a back and so out of the loop that I hope you will help this Mom!

    Last night, my DS17 who is relative shy and hasn't gone to his own prom. Was called out of the blue by an old friend of the family (mind you we haven't spent time with them in years and years) (my son doesn't even know forsure who she is). She is a senior and wanted to ask DS to the prom..... IT IS THIS SATURDAY!!!!! :scared1: Being the polite kid I have, (he is wonderful if I do say so myself), he said sure.

    Her family has had a terrible year with her dad being quite ill and the Dr. can't figure out what is going on. I can only surmise that she had a date and something happened last minute. She already has the dress. I did think to have him ask it is blue.

    So now here it goes, how nice a dinner before, where do I go rent a cheap tux (budget is a huge consideration given that I have been out of work due to an injury). Does my son buy the both the flowers, for her and himself?

    It is in the town next to us so he doesn't really know his way around town. He has only had his driver's license for 4 months and it is required for 6 in our town that he not drive with kids other than siblings let alone on prom night.... :scared1: Plus DMV puts a midnight curfew on his license. He told her he had a car and could drive because he was so caught off gaurd and wasn't thinking. He is a rule follower and is now worried. Lastly on the subject, the town has many many oneway streets and ours doesn't and that makes him very very nervous.

    So how do I resolve all this?? Do I need to figure out if he needs to purchase tickets? or should I atleast assume she can do that since it is her school?

    HELP!!!! we were heading to bed last night when the call came. so we are taken aback.

    Sorry this is long.
  2. mommy-on-the-move

    mommy-on-the-move DIS Veteran

    Jan 14, 2008
    I have no idea about prom ettiquette in the USA but I just wanted to say you have a lovely son there offering to be her date, I was ditched last minute by my prom date and my bestfriend took me instead so i know first hand what it means to have someone step in last minute!

    Good luck to him.
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  4. Fairytale Princess

    Fairytale Princess Earning My Ears

    Feb 28, 2008
    I went with a family friend to my high school prom as well. Most of the girls at my hs expected the boy to pay for everything---that is NOT the way I was raised. My parents always taught me to pay my own way when out. So, with that being said, for prom, I bought the tickets for prom (mine and his--it was my prom, so IMHO, since he was doing me the favor I couldn't ask him to pay.) The tickets were being sold during the school day, so I'm guessing if hers are the same she could purchase them (if you want he could offer to pay for one or both) He asked my mom to help pick out my corsage since she'd seen my dress and he hadn't, and since the florist was offering a discount for buying the corsage and boutinere together, my mom paid for that (since this is a "gift" for the other person, I guess this would traditionally be split). Since she did that, he brought me flowers instead. Definitely do NOT break the law on prom night...cops will be out looking for underage drinking and would be more likely to notice, esp, if he is driving extremely cautiously not knowing his way around...I wouldn't take the risk. As for dinner, we all went with various steakhouse/formal dining restaurants where prom attire would be appropriate....think classy places that require a reservation...not Applebees and the like (don't get me wrong, I love Applebees, it's just not prom dinner appropriate). We had planned (well I had planned) for us to split dinner, but the sneaky thing that he was, slipped away and paid for both of us. As for tuxes, at this late date, I'm guessing stores like Goody's (cheaper than most) and the tux places in malls/bridal boutiques are out of the question both timewise and price wise---if he has a NICE black suit, that could be appropriate as well. In our group the guys all wore tuxes, but I know some of the guys did have on nice suits. Since they are going as friends/aquiantances, it seems more than appropriate to split the cost, IMHO. I'm sure you will do fine and hopefully she will be more than understanding if everything isn't quite as fancy or elaborate as that of others since you're working with such short notice and doing her a big favor! Your son sounds like a great guy!
  5. Bethy Lou

    Bethy Lou <font color=green>Kungaloosh!<br><font color=red>I

    Jul 5, 2007
    Oh wow, well it has been a while since I went to prom, but I do have younger siblings that did this a few years ago. The dinner is expected to be nicer than a chain restaurant, my sister went to a restaurant that was about $35 a person and they got together with a group of people to get a limo because of curfew restrictions. I can say I would be very worried about him driving if he is nervous himself. He is also expected to buy the flower for her, but she should for him. I know on average guys spend hundreds of dollars on prom. I would be surprised if he could even get a tux this late... I am sorry to be the bearer of news that could cause you more stress. I hope things work out! Maybe someone else has advice I do not have.
  6. donac

    donac Wife, mother, math teacher, quilter

    Aug 22, 2002
    Check to see if dinner is included in the prom. I think you need to call this girl's parents and have a chat especially about the driving.
  7. JeremyGNJ

    JeremyGNJ none

    Jan 24, 2008
    I've never heard of having dinner before a prom. But I always bought both flowers...and paid for everything other than whatever fees were required for the prom itself.
  8. Bethy Lou

    Bethy Lou <font color=green>Kungaloosh!<br><font color=red>I

    Jul 5, 2007
    I have never heard of NOT having dinner before prom, but I do agree with the PP who said to call the girl's parents. It does sound as if her date cancelled at the last minute. The parents might be able to tell you what their daughter is expecting as well.
  9. scrapquitler

    scrapquitler DIS Veteran

    Aug 15, 2007
    I think a lot of this is a matter of local/regional custom. When I was in high school here in CT, the dinner was part of the prom (which was always held in the ballroom of a hotel), so I don't know about the dinner part. I would think that since she asked him, she should pay for the tickets (it's HER prom, right?). As for flowers, my parents owned a flower shop for 35 years, and when they did prom flowers, the boy almost always bought thenm, and the flower shop always included a boutinere for the boy free with the purchase of the girl's flowers. I guess this depends on the flower shop, when you order the flowers you should ask.

    As for driving, I guess that one of the parents will have to drive because of the restrictions on the license. Or you could get a few kids together and spend $$$$$$$$$$$$ for a limo (but likely too late for that).

    Call a tuxedo rental place ASAP to get that taken care of. Probably not a huge deal that it is last minute, especially if your son is not picky about the particular style. Last year when my DH had to rent a tux it cost about $80.
  10. Bethy Lou

    Bethy Lou <font color=green>Kungaloosh!<br><font color=red>I

    Jul 5, 2007
    My sister worked for a tuxedo shop in college and she said that they have some tuxes in stock for trying on styles only, you have to order them for your size. I assume all places work the same but I agree that you should call around and see what they can offer you.
  11. design_mom

    design_mom probably more like my dad than I care to admit

    Feb 1, 2007
    I agree with the other people who suggested that you call the girl's mom to find out expectations, etc. (And that your son is super-sweet for agreeing to go.)

    In my opinion, I think she should buy the tickets, but your son would be responsible for whatever he wears and a corsage for his date. I think dinner plans should be discussed with his date and that it would be acceptable to expect each to pay his/her own way, but you'd want to clarify upfront. (Our prom was a dinner-dance, so dinner was included. Our winter formal was not a dinner-dance, but many people went to dinner in "groups" so she might already have a reservation somewhere.)

    I agree that your DS should not break the law about driving, so that might need to be rearranged. But if he does end up driving, maybe you could drive over to the next town on Friday afternoon and try to find your way to the event -- a dry run, of sorts. It's always easier to find places in the daylight and when there's not pressure about being on time or looking stupid in front of your date.)

    Best of luck to you and your DS.
  12. MomNeedsVacay

    MomNeedsVacay <font color=red>was my mom just weird?

    Mar 9, 2007
    ok- tickets.... If this girl goes to a different school, most likely she bought the tickets already. Almost always they are sold at school beforehand.

    I would ask your son to have the girl drive...He could drive to her house, take pictures, and she could drive from there? I drove myself and my date to our prom (mostly its because we borrowed my Dad's Jag and he trusted me with it more than my date!)

    I always bought the boutennerie and the guy always bought the corsage. Encourage him to get a wrist corsage b/c the pin on ones are tricky(especially if she is wearing a strapless dress!) ;)

    If they do a nice dinner beforehand, usually the guy pays but who knows nowadays????

    TUX? I have no idea... Do you know anyone he could borrow a tux from to defer rental costs? how about a nice dark suit?
  13. puffkin

    puffkin DVC Owner- SSR & AKV

    Apr 30, 2001
    I never heard of dinner before the prom? Dinner was always included at ours :confused3 I would think she already has the tickets, so I wouldn't expect your DS to have to pay for that.

    I think he should buy the flowers, but check with her if she has ordered any.

    I would talk to the mom about the driving situation. Maybe the girl has some friends with which they could go in with for a limo or something? I would think each would pay their own way.

    My answers would be slightly different if DS obviously would not be a "back up" choice (regardless of her reasons).
  14. cinjam

    cinjam When will we go again???? Why in April, of course!

    Apr 12, 2002
    Many, many, many years ago the girl bought the boutonniere for the guy & the guy bought the corsage for the girl.

    When I was my prom I bought the tickets & when it was his prom he bought the tickets.

    We rented a limo - just about everybody did in my era/town.

    I guess, as a PP said, it depends on a region, but I've never heard of a dinner before. Dinner was always a part of the prom (usually at the ballroom of a hotel or a large banquet facility).

    I also suggest a call to this girl's parents to get more details.

    You son is truly a sweet boy to say yes.
  15. Matt'sMom

    Matt'sMom DIS Veteran

    Jan 24, 2005
    Since it is the girl who did the inviting, and it is her school prom (not your son's), she should be responsible for purchasing the tickets.

    Your son should purchase her flowers. I would check with the girl's mother in regards to what will work best with her dress (wrist corsage?), and if they have a local florist where these can be done. In our area, the florists typically included a matching boutonniere at no additional charge. And if you tell the florist what sort of budget you have, they can usually work within that $ amount by using appropriately priced flower varieties (think mini roses as opposed to $$$ exotic lillies).

    In regards to the tux--a lot of the guys in our area don't even wear a tux to the prom. It has always been perfectly acceptable in our area to wear a nice formal suit, or even a stylish suit jacket & dress pants. But I am from a small town in a relatively rural area, and here tuxes are usually reserved for use by members of the bridal party at weddings.

    Couples also did not typically go out to eat dinner before the prom, at the school I attended. Food was available at the prom, with additional 'snacks' provided at the post prom party. Occassionally, one of our circle of friends would host a light, pre-prom 'meal' at their home... but otherwise, we all just ate at the actual prom. Check with the girl's mother to find out what is typical in their town. If couples do go out to eat, it may be difficult to get reservations at this late date... so the girl's family might need to help you figure out where they can still get in. And again, since the girl did the inviting, I see nothing wrong with splitting the bill between the two families, if a dinner is expected.

    As for the issue of transportation... ask if this girl has friends that they can tag along with. Nothing wrong with you driving DS to the girl's house, and then their traveling to and from the actual prom with another couple. That would probably be the easiest and least awkward solution.
  16. Bethy Lou

    Bethy Lou <font color=green>Kungaloosh!<br><font color=red>I

    Jul 5, 2007
    I guess the dinner with prom is a regional thing. I went to mine in Virginia, and my brother and sister went in Georgia and we all did it before hand at a nice restaurant. I am guessing that this is not done in the northeast? This boy is so sweet to be willing to do this for a girl he barely knows. I hope my children will be as thoughtful and considerate as teenagers!
  17. The Moonk's Mom

    The Moonk's Mom DIS Veteran

    Jan 23, 2008
    Years ago, before the dawn of time, when I went to the prom my Junior year of HS, I asked a friend to be my date. We went to dinner before the prom, which was pretty common around my hometown, and we went dutch. Neither of us had much to spend on the whole event. He wore a nice suit. We did buy each other's flowers. We rode with friends, which cut down on cost. As for the tickets, since I asked, I (or my parents) paid for the tickets.

    As many others have said, talk to the other partents, just so there is no problems this weekend.

    Oh, another idea, maybe you could cook for them a nice dinner?
  18. D L and K's Mom

    D L and K's Mom <font color=blue>D, L and now baby Kennedy's mom!<

    Mar 17, 2001
    My DD and her boyfriend will be attending their Jr.prom in May. DD will be buyin her dress and his flower. He will be buying/ renting his tux and her flowers. He is going to pay for dinner ($$$ restaurant on the lake) and DH and I are buying the tickets for the actual dance. DD has a job and she is saving money for college. Boyfriend is a great kid and he also is working and saving money. He wanted to buy the tickets but since he is always driving and paying for gas and will not take money from DD we bought them for them. He will be coming here for photos with other kids, we will follow the "GROUP" to his house and other houses for photos. His parents along with other parents are dropping off a bunch of them at the restaurant for dinner and other parents will be picking them up from dinner and dropping them off at the Prom. We will be picking them up from the Prom along with other parents and bringing them here so they can swim (if it is nice outside). Parents will be picking them up from here to bring them home. They looked into a limo but since this is the Jr prom they are waiting until next year so it is special. I would discuss with the other parents what is expected and then go from there.
  19. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

    Mar 5, 2007
    Theorizing is useless with this time-frame, he has to get on the phone and talk to her. Or have you and her mom talk, since you are old family friends (with my mom, she would have known about this before I did, if a family friend's son was going to ask me to something, LOL).

    Since he can't drive legally home, she has to know that. He needs to know if there is a dinner connected to the dance (our proms/balls ended up that way by my Senior year b/c people were getting TANKED an hour before the dance started and they wanted to try to curtail that, but the years before that people would just go to dinner on their own) and if it isn't, IF she wants to go to dinner.

    In these days of mapquest, there's almost no reason to get lost in a new town, well, except that mapquest has gotten confused with one-ways for mapquest and google maps, compare, contrast, and even take a little trip in the next two days to practice? Ooh what if you and he went over to her house, so you can catch up with the parents and he can have his chat about the dance with the daughter? Might be a nice Wed, Thurs, or Fri afternoon adventure. :)

    No time for theorizing, they have to lay it on the line and figure out what all is involved and who is paying for what!
  20. kim_o

    kim_o Mouseketeer

    May 1, 2007
    Dinner is definitely a regional thing. I grew up in the northeast and went to prom there (approximately 8 of them) and they were the equivalent of a wedding reception - at a nice reception like place, sit down dinner served, DJ and dance floor. I currently live in the south (where DH is from) and the custom down here is nice dinner beforehand. They don't serve dinner at the prom. Dinner was usually at a very nice restaurant.

    Since it is the girl's prom and a last minute invite, I think she should be responsible for the tickets (they should already be paid for). As far as dinner - your son should probably offer to pay.

    Flowers - he buys her a wrist corsage, she buys him a boutinere (or however you spell it ;-)).

    Driving - that's a little more tricky and will probably have to be worked out with the girl and her parents.
  21. NotUrsula

    NotUrsula DIS Veteran

    Apr 19, 2002
    She who invites, pays, for all of the things that a guy would pay for if he did the inviting. So ... your son pays for his own clothing and her flowers, she buys the tickets, the meal, and flowers for him, and also any photos purchased at the dance.

    This being a last-minute thing, if he owns a suit then he should wear that, not a tux. Renting a suit is also usually much cheaper than renting a tux; look into that if he doesn't own one. (By a suit I mean a suit, not a sport coat and khakis.)

    The driving thing needs to be worked out ahead of time, if need be between the parents.

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