DIY Prom: Special Nights I’ll Not Regret

Junior Prom- Our Fancy Dinner!

Junior Prom- Our Fancy Dinner!

For both my junior and senior prom, I decided to go a DIY (do it yourself) route rather than pay hundreds of dollars for a school function. Between the ticket, dress, boutonniere and corsage, and all the rest of the frills, a prom can get expensive, and I was sure that there would be an unfortunate display of sexy dancing to sexy pop and rap. Not my idea of a nice evening.

Our first “prom” was really just a great event Andrew and I concocted to have fun away from the prom. My mom did my hair in a fancy braid before the event. Andrew and I bought the materials for a chicken parmesan dinner and cooked it ourselves with the help of his mom. This created some fun stories! Then we both dressed up for a candlelight dinner in the Suchyna dining room, flowers and all! His brothers and sisters were kicked out to their grandparents for the night. Andrew surprised me after the meal with a gift of a gorgeous locket necklace.

After dinner we worked on a scrapbook of our adventures for a bit, and once it got dark Mrs. Suchyna played the piano for us as we had our first dance. Beforehand we had put together a playlist of old songs to plug in to a computer we rigged up in the backyard, and we spent the night dancing in the grass with bare feet, at my request of course. That was a beautiful night. I had never danced with Andrew before, and we had the privacy and romantic atmosphere to relish the moment. We even practiced a Waltz we had taken a demo dance class to learn! In order to extend the experience, I spent the next day at Andrew’s house as well doing fun things.

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Awaiting Andrew’s arrival for senior prom

For my senior year, I decided that we should go all out to invite youth group friends to a real DIY prom. We still spent far less money than what we would have attending the school prom, and I felt it was much more memorable over all. I made sure to include modesty guidelines on the fancy home-made invitation. I bought a gorgeous midnight blue, knee-length dress at the mall for under $40 (J.C. Penny?) and paired it with a little white short-sleeved sweater and shoes that I already owned. My one splurge (and I use that word lightly) was that I always imagined having my hair done professionally for prom, so I was thrilled to go to a salon and spend the additional $30-some to make that dream come true. I also purchased an inexpensive white boutonniere at Tops grocery store for Andrew.

Andrew winces as he doubts my ability to not stick him with the pin.

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By the car getting ready to leave.

I asked the youth minister of a nearby church if we could use their gathering room for the dinner and dance, since I felt like their room would fit the event best, and since using the room would be FREE! (What was also nice about doing it at a church was that we could all attend a Saturday evening Mass prior to the prom and walk right over. Which we did! The priest even gave us a special blessing.)

Andrew and I take a picture with Mother Mary

Andrew and I take a picture with Mother Mary

I spent a long time researching inexpensive catering places, and was able to find a place that could provide food for around $7 per person, which was the cost I put on the invitation for attending the event. We brought our own snacks and dessert.  I used tea lights in mismatched glass jars and party decorations that were lying around in the basement for added ambiance. The only decorations I actually purchased were a couple of Japanese lanterns and plastic table cloths.

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One of my friends (who brought his guitar) breaks out into a spontaneous worship jam session.

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The food has arrived hot and ready to eat!

Ambiance!

Ambiance!

For music, I used an online playlist I had created of songs with clean lyrics and beats. My friends enjoyed being able to go over to the laptop I had hooked up to the room’s sound system and pick a song they liked. No extra money for a DJ.

The guys fiddle with the sound and the songs!

The guys fiddle with the sound and the songs!

Everyone had a blast dancing. When we had our fill of music, anyone who wanted to could head over to the nearby bowling alley for an optional midnight bowling.

Sure, this all took a little time to put together, but most girls want to put in the time to make their prom night special, and for me, this was the night I wanted to create. Oh, and by the way, even though I was throwing the event, I made sure Andrew knew I wanted him to ask me to the dance properly, because I am a believer in the art of chivalry.

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