I've gone to prom ever year since my freshman year and I've decided to share some hopefully practical advice -- because I'd love to go dress shopping with all of you but that's not possible:
♥ Your dress really doesn't matter as much as you think it does.
I know, I'm a hypocrite for saying this. My freshman year, I dragged my parents all the way to San Francisco to buy a poofy silk gown. Yesterday, my friend gaped at me in amused horror because I spent every single minute of my free time looking at dresses online. My psychology teacher said, "Good luck on prom dress shopping!" as I walked out the door.♥ Do your own make-up or get someone trustworthy to do it for you.
But quite honestly, my wonderful memories with friends at prom had nothing to do with my dress or the compliments I received for my dress. Wear your prom dress for yourself -- you deserve to shine after a hard school year -- but don't stress because the right date will think you're beautiful no matter what and the great memories with friends will overshadow any potential wardrobe mishaps.
Also, most people can argue that ten years from their prom, they're embarrassed by their choice of dress. Let it be.
I've gotten my make-up done with a variety of make-up artists -- from $90 applications, where I was practically given a new mask for my face, to free applications at the Chanel counter at Macy's, where I drowned out the sales pitches around me because I wasn't interested in rejuvenating luminating face cream at the moment.♥ You don't need to spend a lot of money on food to have a good time. Or transportation. But splurge if you want to.
I wasn't pleased with any of these professional applications. Getting your make-up done is really fun and therapeutic, but only you know exactly what you want on your face. Don't go to a make-up artist you're not familiar with (and therefore, is not familiar with you either) for a night like prom -- some make-up artists do offer make-up application lessons in case you don't live in the aisles of Sephora like me. Otherwise, consider asking a parent or friend to help you.
Pretty much the same thing with hair, although I do prefer getting my hair done at a trusted salon. Just don't experiment with crazy new hairstyles that you think would look on you three hours before the dance. But some of you might be braver than me.
Most girls I know don't eat a lot before formal dances (me included). Last year, I ate one lamb shank and drank half a glass of sparkling mineral water. Dinner was really expensive because my friends and I went to an upscale restaurant, and I didn't even finish my food (and the restaurant charged us $50 for the water).♥ Something will go wrong, so surround yourself with the people you love and don't take yourself too seriously.
Limos are fun -- but the novelty wears off fast. Chip in for a limo once, and then take your own cars in the future.
But anyway, I barely remember the past prom meals and the past limo rides. The ridiculous conversations over dinner and in the limo, however, were priceless.
Your straps might break. You might spill soup on your dress (or your date). The music might suck. The limo might break down. Your date might disappear on the dance floor.How did your prom go? My prom's coming up in a month and nope, I don't know what I'm wearing. Or doing for after-prom fun. Suggestions are welcome.
Just remember that there is no perfect fairytale prom, and laugh about it with your friends afterwards.
Besides, there are always the after-prom activities to look forward to.