Prom doesn't exactly occur at the most affordable time. We still have the residual winter heating bill as well as other utilities, my youngest's cheerleader fees for next year are due, my truck needs to be registered for the year and there are other expenses occurring as well. That's just how life is. Can a Thrifty Mom still manage to pull it off? Well, happily, yes she can!
The biggest expense of prom for any girl is the dress. Initially we intended that I would make her dress and off we went to try some on and see what style that might be. We hit the mall and she tried on several. But then we found the one. Any mother cannot possibly look at her daughter in the one and not have her heart tug. Especially when you see the way her face lights up because she has just fallen in love with her first formal gown. So when I caught a quick glimpse of the tag and saw the price I did some quick math in my head and the decision was made. We weren't leaving Dillards with out that dress!
You can only imagine how thrilled and excited she was when I said, "I think we should buy this one." At first she was silent, not sure she heard me right. Then... "Really?" When I assured her we could buy the dress she nearly exploded in the dressing room and I got the biggest hug. That alone made every penny worth it! I think the other woman in the dressing room was just as happy for her as I was. All they way home she chattered on about how much she loved that dress and how she planned to where it everywhere. Oh my goodness, it was priceless.
The rest of preparing for prom would be Thrifty Mom style moving forward and fortunately we were up to the task.
One beautiful prom dress - check! $149.99 (not bad compared to most of the ones we saw)
Shoes - already had them! Hand me downs from a family friend who wore them once to a wedding.
Jewelry - already had earrings, a necklace (from the boyfriend), and a bracelet
Handbag - that one was tricky because we had a heck of a time finding the right one. But a quick stop into a thrift store after work one day took care of that. I found a 1950s vintage handbag for a whopping $1.99!
Manicure/Pedicure - little sister came in here with her talent for nails. Fingers and toes were painted to perfection. Two bottles of polish from the dollar store just $2 and little sis provided the rest. Very nice!
Hair - we did her hair at home. She found a picture of what she wanted and by some miracle of miracles I pulled it off. I have no idea how either because I don't do hair!
Makeup - she did her own with cosmetics she already had and she did it beautifully. Very simple not a lot of makeup, but very elegant.
The Boutonniere - to order one from the florist would have cost a minimum of $18 for a simple rosebud. Having made gobs and gobs of boutonnieres in my life when I used to do weddings it didn't make sense for me not to make this one. Even though it had been 20 years since I made my last one. Fortunately I still remembered. I went to Fred Meyer that morning and picked out the perfect rose to match her dress and she and I made the boutonniere together that afternoon.
Photos - We assumed there would be a professional photographer at the prom, but decided to try our hand at home photography anyway. Good thing we did because it turned out no photographer! Again, not quite sure how I pulled it off, but somehow I did. Other than blog photos, I don't do much in the way of photography but the planets must have aligned that afternoon because they turned out amazing. And when I went to pick up my prints I was questioned and had to sign a waiver stating these were not professional photos. Seriously?! Okay!!! Total cost of 51 prints including 3 5"X 7" enlargements (you have to know I found a 40% OFF coupon online- Mother's Day special) - $16.56!
That, my friends, is how we pulled off The Prom for under $200. Mission accomplished!