Cost of Prom Tops $1,100

Posted at: 04/25/2013 6:54 PM
By: Jenna Lohse

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- It's the middle of prom season and teenagers everywhere want to make sure the day is perfect. A new survey shows the average cost of going to prom has risen to more than $1,100 per teen.

"Prom is a big deal, especially no matter what age group you are you got to get the dress, it's got to be perfect,” said Maggi Prigge, Senior at Byron High School.

When the goal is "perfect,” there's a lot to live up to. Maggi Prigge is a Senior at Byron High School and she says prom is her one chance to go all out.

"It costs 60 bucks to get your hair done, another 60 if you're going to get your nails and toes done, if you go tanning, if you get your make up professionally done, it adds up very fast,” said Prigge.

Maggi says she's been saving up for this. She bought her dress months ago, that alone costing about $600.

"For girls what's most important is the whole experience of getting ready for prom,” said Cathy Mestad, Owner of Mestads.

Mestads sells dresses to nearly 3,000 girls each prom season, with dress prices ranging $300 and up.

"It just depends on the price range you want to stay within and we can try very hard to stay with that. But of course if you want a Mercedes and you have to budget of a lower price then there has to be a compromise somewhere,” said Mestad.

According to a recent survey from Visa, the average person will spend more than $1,100 on prom. But there are ways to stick to a budget when it comes to prom.

"We have hundreds of dresses here and they're all half, I mean you don't need to spend $1,000 on a dress or even $500 or $600. We have dresses that are $300 and less,” said Erica Huber, Co-Owner of Love That Dress.

The owners of Love That Dress in Rochester say buying consignment will help you save on the dress.

"Then you got flowers, the prom tickets, those aren't very cheap either,” said Prigge.   

Because the to-do (or to-buy) list only starts there.

"You want people to remember you in a certain way and wow she looked great on this night and even if it is one night, it’s our one night,” said Prigge.

According to the Visa survey families here in the Midwest spend less than the national average on prom - just a little more than $700. Maggi says the cost is well worth the best night of her high school years.