How Much Does Prom Cost? Here are 9 Ways to Save on Everything from Dresses to Jewelry!

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So how much does prom cost? We’re breaking down ways to save for every teen’s big day.

three prom corsages

Prom prep getting a bit pricey?

From the dress, shoes, and makeup to suits and dresses, you’ve probably asked yourself, “How much does prom cost?!” While it’s expensive, it is possible to save money! You may not know where to start, which is why we’ve come up with this guide to help you save big! You don’t have to bust your budget to have a blast!

putting money into wallet

First things first – How much are prom tickets?

Prom tickets can range anywhere from $20 – $250, though most tickets we spotted for sale in 2024 at schools near us seemed to range between $45 and $125 each. This is determined by a variety of factors, including location, venue, meal, and how early you buy your ticket. If your prom is held on high school property, it’ll be significantly cheaper than if it was at a venue hall.

Once you know the cost of your prom tickets, you’ll be able to get an idea on how much you’ll be able to splurge on other prom needs like attire, corsages and boutonnieres, and transportation.

1. The average prom dress cost is around $300 – $600, but you can look fantastic on a much smaller budget!

davids bridal prom dresses

According to The Lancelot, the average prom dress cost $300 in 2016 and  now teens are spending up to $600. That’s an outrageous price, but there’s no need to panic! Tons of teenagers spend WAY less as you can still find a gorgeous dress and have an epic prom all while on a reasonable budget.

Considering most people wear their prom dresses only once, you do not (and should not) spend a fortune on your dress. Many department stores carry reasonably priced dresses. Plus, we also have an entire post dedicated to finding a cheap prom dress with tips on how to find one at consignment stores, discount stores, and online boutiques!

2. Going to more than one prom? Swap dresses with a friend to save.

Ross Prom Dresses

There is no shame in the game of sharing! If you’re going to multiple proms, why not swap prom dresses with friends who are the same size? If you have older friends who aren’t using their former prom dresses anymore, you can always ask to borrow their dress or buy it at a discounted price.

3. You can find tux options on Amazon for less than renting.

three piece suits hanging up

Guys can save on prom tuxedos too! Our Hip sidekick Lina mentioned tons of three-piece suit options are available on Amazon. Not only are they way cheaper than renting. Plus, many are part of Prime Wardrobe which means you can Try Before You Buy and won’t be charged unless you decide to keep the suit.

4. Dance the night away in shoes you already own.

woman putting on a pair of heels

If you have heels from a previous event such as a wedding or homecoming, now is the time to stun in those shoes again! A bunch of our Hip sidekicks agreed that when it comes to prom costs, this is one of the easiest and simplest ways to save.

If you are looking for affordable, new shoes, sites like Lulu’s and Amazon often have some bargains.

5. Do your own hair and makeup (or pay a friend).

makeup bag

Prom is an excuse to glam up! Although it’s nice to get your makeup professionally done, it’s really not necessary. if you’re up for the challenge, try doing you’re own makeup. With the help of a few beauty tutorials on YouTube or TikTok, it’s something that you can certainly do yourself or with the help of a friend.

Our Hip sidekick Nicole’s daughter actually paid a fellow classmate, and she saved tons because of it! We especially recommend doing this if you have more than one prom. This can also be applied to getting your hair done; maybe get either your hair or makeup professionally done; if you trust someone to do both, even better!

“My daughter paid a classmate to do her makeup. It was much cheaper than having it done professionally. Besides, with all the YouTube tutorials and TikTok videos, these kids are like makeup pros by the time they are in high school!”Nicole, Hip Team

6. There are several ways to save on prom jewelry too!

Consider wearing jewelry you already own or borrow some from a friend or family member. You can also browse thrift stores and our jewelry deals to find affordable accessories.

Lastly, many of us on the Hip2Save team have tried Cate & Chloe jewelry. This company offers many elegant and prom-worthy styles and you can use our Cate & Chloe deals and promo codes to score a huge discount. For a limited time, the Isabel earrings shown above are just $18!

7. Utilize family and friends as much as possible.

teens at prom taking photos

Limo rentals and photographers are great, but these luxuries aren’t necessary if you want to be super frugal. Phones today have just as good quality cameras as some professional cameras (for casual use, anyway), so we recommend taking your own photos, if possible.

Splitting limo rentals can be affordable with a big group, but the ride might not be worth it, especially if the venue is close. If a luxury ride isn’t important to you, have family or friends drive. Or, drive yourself! This will save you tons, especially since since the ride isn’t the most important or memorable part of the night!

8. Skip the florist and make a DIY corsage and boutonniere. 

teen putting on prom boutonniere

Prom corsages and boutonnieres seem to run between $15 – $45 when bought from a florist. Fancy corsages can even run up you to $75. If you’d rather skip that expense, you may be in luck! Seventeen magazine, Everyday Best, and Dollar Tree all created DIY tutorials to help you make your own. To save on supplies, check your local Dollar Tree, craft store, or Amazon for deals. Plus, there are almost always Michaels coupons you can use to save should you have a location near you.

9. If you’re not graduating yet, start planning early for next year’s prom!

teenagers at prom

Early prom birds do catch the worm. 😉 The earlier you start prepping, the more you can save! You’ll have more time to achieve your budget, save big on off-season dresses, and score the best deals!

Next year you won’t have to wonder, “How much does prom cost?” Now that you know, you can plan ahead! You deserve the best prom yet, so why not give yourself enough time to make your dreams a reality?

Headed to college next year? Save money with these student discounts and freebies!

About the writer:

Kaitlyn has a Bachelor's Degree from St. John's University with 2 years of writing experience for LinkedIn, Celeb Magazine, and other various publications.

Join The Discussion

Comments 17

  1. Emily

    I only went to my junior prom, and felt like it was a waste of money so I skipped my senior prom. There’s no rule that says you have to go to prom!

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      This is so true, Emily! πŸ™Œβ€οΈ I actually never went to Prom. My daughter can go to Prom this year and she is super excited to attend. The experience sure can vary for everyone. πŸ₯° Thanks for letting us know about yours!

  2. BW

    For the last few years, the kids in our district have gotten prom attire and accessories donated from the community and former students. They are all about repurposing these days and set up a large display room where prom-goers can choose items for either free or a small donation. Saves lots of money and waste!

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      That’s SO awesome! What a neat yearly tradition for everyone. Thanks for sharing how your community has helped the kids in your area afford prom! πŸ€—πŸ’•πŸ™Œ

  3. LisaK

    Dresses can be pricy- Thrift shops and good will are always great places to search got cheap dresses! Search all year whenever you are near them. After prom season (July-September) many places reduce there inventory and we have found amazing bargains at Macys and such. Also consider bridal shop sales. Probably the best advice is find one they love and then swap with friends. Our daughter is tall so it was challenging but we spent $60 on her dress and she went to 5 proms. She reused the dress but borrowed as well. And I’m glad to see many schools moving to cocktail dresses and lower key jr proms. It can be extremely pricy! For those who can’t afford a dress there are usually resources for them (you don’t have to prove it) but people should look for those opportunities at schools it through other organizations. We finsted our dress to that cause.

    • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks for sharing your great tips on how to save on prom dresses, LisaK! πŸ‘— I agree that it’s helpful to shop after-season sales to plan ahead and score great savings! πŸ€—

  4. Amy

    My dad died my junior year and money became super tight. We ended up renting my dress from a bridal shop. They had a pretty nice selection of bridesmaid dresses that were actually very nice!

    • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

      So very sorry for your loss, Amy. ❀️ Thanks for sharing about your experience with renting a dress!

  5. Kelly1626

    David’s bridal. My daughter got one a few weeks ago for $115 after my $20 off coupon

    • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

      Sweet! Glad your daughter was able to scoop up a dress there – and saved with a coupon! πŸ‘—πŸ™Œ

  6. Vintagemidge

    If you have a Dirt Cheap nearby, it’s worth digging through the racks! We spent $80 total on a $300 Nordstrom dress and $200 Cole Haan shoes! If you do buy shoes, neutral/less blinged-out is best so they can be worn them several times! πŸ˜‰

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Wow! Thanks for the heads up on that store! I’ve heard of it but I don’t have one near me. Awesome that you were able to snag such a great deal on a dress and shoes! Love the tip on the neutral shoes too! GREAT idea! πŸ’žπŸ™ŒπŸ’—

  7. Kim

    My daughter found her prom dress at a thrift store for $8 and we took it to a tailor and got it fitted to her for another $25!

    • Trish (Hip Sidekick)

      WOW! Great score, Kim! πŸ™Œ So awesome that you were able to find her a dress on the cheap! πŸ’–βœ¨

  8. Allison Einhorn

    My son is going to Prom and tickets on the flash sale were $130! If you bought them after the sale they were $180. So, crazy expensive. However, I was able to snag an amazing deal online thru Macys this past weekend for a 2 piece Kenneth Cole Reaction black suit and Kenneth Cole Reaction 2 piece tuxedo suit for $200 for both (reg $395)! It arrived today, I am so happy they both fit. I just check the website and the suits went back on sale! Bottom line, if you start early you can find some really great deals. It is cheaper for me to purchase the suits than renting one and i probably will resell it for the cost that I purchased it for…such a win win!! πŸ™‚

    • Trish (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks for sharing about the amazing deal you scored on a suit for your son, Allison! πŸŽ‰ Such a great idea to resell it to recoup some of the cost! ❀️

  9. Auntie Em

    Welp, this is too little, too late. Prom is tomorrow.

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