Prom Checklist

by Amy S. Jorgensen

Buy your prom dress early so you have time for alterations.

Brian McEntire/iStock/Getty Images

For many teenagers, prom represents one of the most anticipated and significant events of their entire high school career. Like any major event, you need to start planning early. Girls and guys will have their own planning needs. For example, teenage girls will probably make hair appointments and shop for the perfect prom gown, while teen boys must decide on transportation and make dinner reservations.

Two to Three Months Before Prom

You should start thinking early about whom you want to invite to the prom. If you want to ask a certain girl or guy to the festivities, do so at least two to three months in advance, so you have enough preparation time and to ensure no one else asks before you do. At this point, you can also start asking people to go as part of your prom group. Going to prom as part of a larger group of friends makes the experience more fun and can reduce the costs of transportation rental because all of you can share the price. For girls who know they are going to prom, now is a good time to start shopping for prom dresses. Both guys and girls should start putting together a prom budget so they can start saving money for their needs. Now is when you should ask your parents how much they are willing to contribute to the costs.

A Month Before Prom

One month before the prom, start making reservations and booking appointments. Girls should make an appointment at a beauty salon to have their hair and make-up done; they may also want to set aside time for a manicure and a pedicure. Guys can reserve transportation, usually a limousine, for prom night. Guys should also start looking for a tuxedo to rent since alterations may take some time. If formal pictures are going to be taken before the prom by a photographer, those shoots need to be scheduled now. Couples and/or groups should also start thinking about after-prom activities. Many schools sponsor these events as well, or you can put together your own post-prom fun.

One to Two Weeks Before Prom

As the prom date draws nearer, start making the final preparations. Dinner reservations are a must since restaurants are usually packed on weekend nights even when a prom is not occurring. The reservation should be made for the entire group, so you also need to coordinate and finalize transportation plans at this time. Go to your final fittings for your prom attire in these two last weeks. If you've not yet purchased your tickets for the prom, now is a good time to pick them up. Girls should also start breaking in their prom shoes so they will be comfortable in time for dancing. Also pick up any other accessories you need, such as jewelry or a clutch purse, to complement the prom dress. Both guys and girls may want to order flowers for their dats: a boutonniere for the guy and a corsage for the girl. The flower colors should coordinate with your attire.

Week of Prom

During this week, you should confirm all of your reservations and appointments to ensure everything will go smoothly on the big night. Double-check with your friends to ensure everyone knows where to meet, who pays for what and any other details. Make sure your parents know where you will be and what time to expect you home so their prom night can be stress-free as well.

Photo Credits

  • Brian McEntire/iStock/Getty Images

About the Author

Amy Jorgensen has ghostwritten more than 100 articles and books on raising and training animals. She is also an amateur dog trainer. She has also written more than 200 blog posts, articles, and ebooks on wedding and party planning on behalf of professionals in the field.