Going to the Prom
Archived Q&A and Reviews
- The Prom. The After-Prom. And Getting There.
- Prom tickets--who pays, parents or kids?
- Limo rental for the prom
I am the parent of a Berkeley High Senior and my child/soon to be young adult wants to go to the BHS Prom. The Prom this year is being held at the SF Design Center which is located in lower Potrero Hill/South of Market. The Prom ends at midnight. So how are the kids supposed to get home when BART runs till midnight? Is it true that EVERYONE will be renting a limo? Is it true that EVERYONE will be staying in a SF Hotel room, overnight, without any parent chaperones? Are any kids attending after-proms hosted in homes with a parent present? Are any kids taking BART to the prom and then splitting taxi costs for a ride home to the East Bay? Am I the only parent somewhat uncomfortable with spending lots and lots of money on just one night? I would love a respectful (anonymous of the sake of my child's pride!) discussion of this subject. Would appreciate ideas and perspectives....
Just Another Anonymous Worried Parent
Is there anything to prevent parents from carpooling their kids home from SF? I am sure that it is the epitome of uncool, and the after-parties are probably where the ''action'' is, but I would offer it as an option if you can and if you prefer to have your kid back on this side of the Bay after midnight.
A couple of years ago, a lot of BHS kids took BART into SF for the prom and many stayed overnight at hotels. While we didn't feel comfortable with that amount of freedom for our daughter, a few short months earlier, by spring of senior year it seemed reasonable to stay overnight in SF. After all, they were all going off to college and would be completely independent in making their own decisions in another few months. But, it's up to you to decide what you feel comfortable with. Getting cabs or limos back to the East Bay after prom seems like a good alternative. It is a lot of money, but it is a milestone worth celebrating. Is there a way to split the expense with your kid? anon
I doubt kids will be taking BART to the prom. I'm a BHS grad class of '97 and lots of the kids (myself included) got a limo for prom. Split 10+ ways I don't think it was that expensive. Kids who didn't rent a limo either drove or got rides from friends/family. Taking BART in a prom dress and heels wouldn't have been much fun. I remember some kids did get hotel rooms, some went to after parties hosted by parents, many went to house parties without parents. It is ''just one night'' but it's the only prom your child will ever attend so I say if it's in your budget it's ok to splurge a bit for a special night. Set a prom budget that's comfortable for you and let your child decide how to spend it. They may spend most of it on attire and have to get a ride with somebody or maybe they'll find a cheap outfit and get a bunch of friend together to split a limo.
Not Prom Queen but still had fun
As a parent of a Junior myself, I would not allow my kid to stay unchaperoned at a hotel overnight after a Prom. And no, not everyone rides in a Limo. Maybe a few kids that are in a clique go together in a Limo. I would suggest that you offer to pick up your daughter after the prom. There may be other parents with similar concerns who may wish to carpool. And I totally agree with you about the expense of a Prom dress, hair and makeup. Its ridiculous! I told my daughter my maximum budget was $150, including the Prom Tickets. Affordability is not an issue, but I want to teach her some budgeting before she takes off to college next year..
You have my sympathies!
Another stressed mom
Many kids rent limos, and many stay in hotels without parent chaperones. I have no idea how kids rent hotel rooms, but it seems to happen A LOT. My kids split the cost of hotel rooms with friends, ditto for the limos/party bus.
Prom night was probably the most unsupervised my kids had been at that point, or at least for the longest duration (overnight), and I know that lots of serious partying was going on in some of those hotel rooms. We figured that our kids were only a few months from going off to college and being unsupervised 24/7, and that we just had to let go a little and trust them to make good decisions. If they made bad decisions, we were only a phone call away, and they agreed to call us if they needed help (although they assured us this would not happen, and it didn't).
If you are not comfortable with that, I'm sure you could arrange for them to Uber home.
As for the money, it is totally out of control and absurd. We made our kids pay for their own expenses. All of them: tickets, tux, dress, limo/party bus/hotel, after party, and breakfast the next day, EVERYTHING. Using their own money put things in better perspective for them and kept it in check a little.
It was NOT the most fabulous night in either of their lives. They had fun, but were very glad they did not spend the ridiculous amounts of money that other kids had spent. It helps to give kids a reality check and not let them get caught in the hype.
My kid and friends took the Ferry to Prom -- some of the parents gave them a ride to the ferry terminal. Then a taxi from the Ferry to the venue. The Ferry was more festive than BART and much less expensive than a limo. Most of the group of friends did stay in a hotel. The hotel part turned out (for mine) not to be all that fun, which was probably a good lesson.
Some bought dresses at thrift stores, some got new dresses on sale. Some of the dresses could be used again, others were one-hit wonders (another lesson.)
In terms of the night on their own -- it was a first for us too, but Spring of senior year is almost time for college, where they will be making their own decisions every day. The transition is a bit of a shock if you are a parent who keeps fairly close tabs on your child, but my suggestion is within a reasonable budget, let your child try what they feel comfortable with. anon
My BHS senior daughter is going to prom with her ''boyfriend'' (''nobody calls it that mom!''). We got her a reasonably priced dress and it's understood that she's paying for all the extras: grooming if she wants it, hotel, limo, after-parties, whatever).
My husband and I are having a debate over who pays for the prom ticket. He says we do bc it's a big deal rite of passage thing. If you ask me, graduation is the rite of passage and prom is a culturally sanctioned excuse to party to excess. I don't think I'll be swayed on the view that prom expenses are a nice-to-have that she can pay for herself just as her dad won't be swayed as to it's being something he ''should'' pay for.
So, I'm just curious, in your family, who's paying for what?
You party, you pay
Our daughters, who worked the county fair for three weeks every summer and did occasional odd jobs for neighbors, paid for their OWN prom tickets. We parental units bought (or, in one case, arranged to borrow)the dresses. Modest makeup from Clinique and jewelry I designed and made were gifts from me --i.e., I did provide them, but there was no expectation that I would.
My oldest daughter --she of the borrowed dress-- actually paid for her date's prom ticket because he was financially strapped. He rented a tux, bought flowers, arranged free (non-limo) transportation, and took her out to dinner afterwards at Denny's. It was all very sweet and low budget and I think they both had a good time.
The younger daughter went with a group of girl friends. They rented a hotel room together for afterwards, but took BART over ---in their gowns. (I think someone's Mom took the overnight bags in one car.) Except for the fact that only my daughter wore athletic shoes on BART (and checked them at the prom!)the girls all had a GREAT time.
Both girls were really satisfied with their experiences --and particularly pleased that it was all on their own terms. Lucky Mom
We paid. I agree with your husband. I felt it was a rite of passage.
There are no listings for limousines on the web site and with prom coming up, I thought it might be a good idea to get some recommendations. Please recommend good, reliable limousine services for our darling children. Toby
This isn't really a limousine recommendation and definitely wouldn't work for everyone... But, for future reference and the archives... For the junior prom my husband rented (from Budget on Gilman) a 15 passenger Ford Club Wagon and drove 11 kids to the prom. The 24 hour cost of renting the van was only ~$120 with tax. A much cheaper alternative and we knew the driver well. ;-) Sally