Prom Checklist and Tips for Teens and Parents

I just did an interview with Parenting My Teen Podcast with Aurelia Williams about Proms and it was fantastic, please take a listen here.  I also promised her listeners I would post a prom checklist, so here it is below!

I wore a burgundy halter dress to the floor, gold dangle earrings, jasmine perfume. My date wore a black tux with silver cufflinks and a white shirt. I had a white corsage, my hair was in a loose chignon, we had dinner reservations at Linq at 8pm, I ordered the blood orange and beet salad and….

It was 5 years ago almost to the day and I remember everything. Prom is a big deal. At the time, I did not think it would be, but those memories are very strong (maybe even more so than graduation day). So, I have a few tips for parents who have junior and senior kids who are getting ready for their big night and want to make it special and safe.

1) Let Them Work Out a Plan…but make sure they actually have a plan

We are such procrastinators when it comes to corsages, limos, tickets and after-parties. The key here is to let your kids plan it independently so they feel like it is their night , but just make sure they do it early enough and have thought about all the details. This works really well in a list format. Instead of nagging them about it. I would just tell them you saw this list on a website for teens planning proms (a little white lie never hurt anyone) and thought it might help them and leave it on their desk or bulletin board:

_____1 Month Before: Ask a date

_____Buy tickets to prom

_____Discuss curfews, rules, locations with parents

_____(If allowed, buy tickets to after prom)

_____(Get a group of people together for dinner reservations and/or transportation)

_____Find a meeting house where individuals can meet and/or get ready together

_____Pick a restaurant for dinner

_____Make dinner reservations

_____Transportation to Dinner (limo, taxi, who’s driving?)

_____Transportation from Dinner to Prom (limo, taxi, who’s driving?)

_____Transportation from Prom to afterparty/home/friends house/hotel

_____(Transportation from afterparty/home/friends house/hotel to final destination)

_____Order a tux, order corsages, order boutonniere (flowers for a boys lapel), pick a dress, book hair/make-up appointment. (Get haircut, get nails done, get tan, get waxed, get hairdone)

_____1 Week Before: Get camera, plan picture package for the night

_____Day before: confirm all group members, appointments and reservations, get confirmation numbers.

_____Day of: Have fun at Prom!

_____Day After: Send thank you to date, make sure money and payments were properly divided, share pictures.

2) Discuss Rules

One of the biggest mistakes parents make is waiting to see if something is inappropriate and then addressing it. Here is what happens:

son: “mom, we are going to get a room at the Standard afterwards”

mom: “absolutely not, I do not want your getting a hotel, you can come here or go to a friends house I know”

son: “are you kidding me! We already made the reservation and put in our money, if you do not let me my date won’t want to go and I won’t be able to hang out with my friends…”

So, before any of the planning happens, lay out all the rules first.

3) Make Sure You Know What the School Says

Sometimes the school has rules and times that are very different from what you child tells you…make sure you get the real story from the school. Sometimes schools close the dance doors at a certain time and many kids like to come late…make sure your kids will have enough time for pictures and dinner to make it into the dance before doors close.

4) Get Together With Other Parents

Talk to other parents of dates and fellow limo partners. Make sure everyone has the same story and information and you have their numbers on actual prom night just in case.

5) Let Them Have Fun

Show them you trust them, do not offer to volunteer at the dance and let them have fun! It can be a great memory for kids and parents and the pictures will be priceless!

Dream big, work hard and you will get there,


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No Responses to “Prom Checklist and Tips for Teens and Parents”

  1. Aurelia
    April 14, 2008 at 4:49 pm #

    I love this checklist!! It is perfect. Thanks again for sharing your expertise on the show!


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