Pricey proms - are budgets getting out of hand?

Dressed to the nines - everyone goes all out for a prom, but at what cost?

Nicky Thirkettle - against pricey proms

Mark Stevens - proms are all worth it

First published in News by

PROM season is in full swing and the cost of sending children out into the world with one last hurrah seemingly spiralling out of control with new hair-dos, make-up, dinner suits, ball gowns and, of course, limos... the Echo asks, are proms are getting too pricey?

YES - By Nicky Thirkettle, parent from Rayleigh

“ONE of my daughters has just had her Year 11 prom at FitzWimarc and prices can get out of control.

“I think it depends on parents, but others have let it get out of hand.

“If you have parents who have the money and can afford to spend a bigger budget, then they will do.

“It is important we only spend what we can afford though and keep within our own budgets, not to get caught up with ‘keeping up with the Joneses’.

“You will always get the people who have the money to spend and their kids will turn up in a horse and carriage or something special – you have to do what you can afford though.

“I think that can put people under pressure to spend beyond their means, which is not good.

“It’s not the ticket for the prom, which was only £15 to £20 at FitzWimarc – it’s everything else that goes with it.

“For girls, it’s the dress, shoes, bag, hair, nails, maybe fake tan, then a limo as well – it all adds up.

“People go out and spend £500 just on a dress which they will probably only wear for a few hours.

“Then there’s the after-party as well. Kids are bursting to leave the prom because the after-party will have booze, but that might cost as well.

“I guess we’re lucky we’re both working and can afford to spend a bit, but we didn’t go overboard and it was still costing hundreds of pounds for one night.

“It’s great for children to have that special night to say goodbye to some people they may never see again, but people should not feel pressured to spend more than they want to.”

NO - By Mark Stevens, runs American Limos, in Sutton Road, Southend

“A SCHOOL prom is as important as your first baby scan picture.

“It follows on from the first school picture, then the prom picture, followed by the wedding picture.

“For the children finishing school, it is a way of celebrating the final days of their first stage of life.

“They are with close friends who might be going in different directions and it’s a moment to remember.

“Also, the parents have been at the school meetings and trips and other events, so for them it is just as important as it is for the children.

“So they like to dress them up, like it is at the Oscars.

“When the limousine departs, they have their pictures as a memory of their school and of their friends.

“Also the teacher will be all dressed up, men in dinner suits and ladies in a ball gown. For the teachers it is about saying goodbye to five years of helping each child to grow as an adult.

“How can you put a cost on this?

“Parents with lower earnings have to spread the cost out compared to parents with more money, because all parents want their children to be the same – looking fantastic on the big day of their prom.

“We are blessed to live in Southend, where we can use the seafront for our pictures, as this is a beautiful setting for children going to their prom to have photos taken and say goodbye to the first stage of their lives.”

Comments (12)

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9:28am Fri 18 Jul 14

pembury53 says...

more unwelcome, imported american rubbish...... what's wrong with these parents and kids ?
more unwelcome, imported american rubbish...... what's wrong with these parents and kids ? pembury53
  • Score: 27

9:36am Fri 18 Jul 14

jayman says...

here's a thought. A prom is an artificial american thing. They are about as legit as a Antarctic property investment opportunity...
here's a thought. A prom is an artificial american thing. They are about as legit as a Antarctic property investment opportunity... jayman
  • Score: 17

9:52am Fri 18 Jul 14

Russ13 says...

Of course Mark Stevens thinks they're great! His limo company will probably make a killing out of proms!

Whilst I do think they're a little "American" and some people go waaaaay over the top, there was nothing like this when Ieft school and it's probably a nice thing to do.

For the more popular kids it's a great event and a chance to show off a little, for the less popular kids and those who's parents maybe struggle financially it's potentially a more traumatic experience where the bullies get one last opportunity to poke fun at you because you're not wearing the right dress/tux or don't have a fake tan etc.

I can see both sides here but like most things, moderation is key!
Of course Mark Stevens thinks they're great! His limo company will probably make a killing out of proms! Whilst I do think they're a little "American" and some people go waaaaay over the top, there was nothing like this when Ieft school and it's probably a nice thing to do. For the more popular kids it's a great event and a chance to show off a little, for the less popular kids and those who's parents maybe struggle financially it's potentially a more traumatic experience where the bullies get one last opportunity to poke fun at you because you're not wearing the right dress/tux or don't have a fake tan etc. I can see both sides here but like most things, moderation is key! Russ13
  • Score: 14

10:19am Fri 18 Jul 14

John Right says...

Each to their own, today's youngsters look like models, in my day, they resembled a team of Russian shot putters..
Each to their own, today's youngsters look like models, in my day, they resembled a team of Russian shot putters.. John Right
  • Score: -2

10:52am Fri 18 Jul 14

rayleigh123 says...

Then there’s the after-party as well. Kids are bursting to leave the prom because the after-party will have booze,

How does this work when the pupils are under age ?????

.
.
Then there’s the after-party as well. Kids are bursting to leave the prom because the after-party will have booze, How does this work when the pupils are under age ????? . . rayleigh123
  • Score: 11

11:01am Fri 18 Jul 14

Jack222 says...

Proms no way - party yes.

It's American rubbish.
Proms no way - party yes. It's American rubbish. Jack222
  • Score: 6

11:05am Fri 18 Jul 14

Russ13 says...

rayleigh123 wrote:
Then there’s the after-party as well. Kids are bursting to leave the prom because the after-party will have booze,

How does this work when the pupils are under age ?????

.
.
I thought exactly the same to be honest, the way it's worded almost condones underage drinking in these circumstances.
[quote][p][bold]rayleigh123[/bold] wrote: Then there’s the after-party as well. Kids are bursting to leave the prom because the after-party will have booze, How does this work when the pupils are under age ????? . .[/p][/quote]I thought exactly the same to be honest, the way it's worded almost condones underage drinking in these circumstances. Russ13
  • Score: 9

12:09pm Fri 18 Jul 14

pembury53 says...

Russ13 wrote:
rayleigh123 wrote:
Then there’s the after-party as well. Kids are bursting to leave the prom because the after-party will have booze,

How does this work when the pupils are under age ?????

.
.
I thought exactly the same to be honest, the way it's worded almost condones underage drinking in these circumstances.
older sisters bus pass.....
[quote][p][bold]Russ13[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]rayleigh123[/bold] wrote: Then there’s the after-party as well. Kids are bursting to leave the prom because the after-party will have booze, How does this work when the pupils are under age ????? . .[/p][/quote]I thought exactly the same to be honest, the way it's worded almost condones underage drinking in these circumstances.[/p][/quote]older sisters bus pass..... pembury53
  • Score: 3

12:24pm Fri 18 Jul 14

Ian P says...

"Mark Stevens, runs American Limos". Having read his reasons for supporting the Proms am I only one who thinks he might have a sideline in photography?
"Mark Stevens, runs American Limos". Having read his reasons for supporting the Proms am I only one who thinks he might have a sideline in photography? Ian P
  • Score: 7

12:51pm Fri 18 Jul 14

white_van_ man says...

A fool and his money..........

Say no more
A fool and his money.......... Say no more white_van_ man
  • Score: 5

3:53pm Fri 18 Jul 14

Gay Ray says...

In my day we had the leaver's dinner when the sixth formers were waited on by the masters and the fourth formers acted as wine waiters (not unknown for the wine waiters to sample a glass or two). The wine may not have been up to the standard that I would enjoy these days but it could make one quite relaxed to enjoy (or not) the attentions of the leavers and the odd master. KEGS has never been the same since it went co-ed (or so I'm told).
In my day we had the leaver's dinner when the sixth formers were waited on by the masters and the fourth formers acted as wine waiters (not unknown for the wine waiters to sample a glass or two). The wine may not have been up to the standard that I would enjoy these days but it could make one quite relaxed to enjoy (or not) the attentions of the leavers and the odd master. KEGS has never been the same since it went co-ed (or so I'm told). Gay Ray
  • Score: 0

9:16pm Sun 20 Jul 14

mr_happy says...

Another stupid bit of American culture. Too much makeup, fake tans and expensive outfits. Waste of time and money.
Another stupid bit of American culture. Too much makeup, fake tans and expensive outfits. Waste of time and money. mr_happy
  • Score: 1

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