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Etiquette isn’t that what your mother scolded you about when your great-aunt came to dinner? Teens usually have other things to think about than what are the "proper" ways to behave in social functions. Proms, are one of those events that you want to look great and make a great impression on your date. Your date’s parents (guys and girls) and the parents of anyone else in your travel group will probably even review you. They will want to take those all-important photographs to paste in the family album. You can wow your date with your impressive social skills with a few pointers.

Asking Your Date to Prom:

Guys and girls both can ask someone to prom, but whoever makes the invitation is responsible for purchasing the prom tickets. Tickets can range in price from $20/person to $150/couple, depending on whether your school includes dinner in the cost of the ticket. Many schools’ prom tickets are only admission to the event.

Ask your prospective date at least a month prior to prom night. This will give them plenty of time to find a dress or reserve a tux. If at all possible, make your invitation in person.

Who Pays for What?

Accepting an invitation to prom is a financial commitment. You are responsible for buying or renting whatever you will wear that evening. Guys will probably want to rent a tuxedo unless your prom is not that formal in which case a dark suit will be fine. Absolutely, positively, no "funny" wear. Your date and her parents will not be amused by your creative tuxedo t-shirt or cut off pants. Black tuxes are the fashion standard. If you feel creative you can add a top hats, canes and vests that are either silver or that match your date’s dress. They’re worn with Euro ties (short and wide with square bottoms). Girls will need a formal evening dress. Have a realistic look at what you are willing to spend for a prom dress. Most prom dresses are well over $150.00. Alternatives are out there, such as stores which rent dresses for proms, or consider borrowing one from an older sister or other family member.

Guys will want to ask about the color of your date’s dress to select a corsage that will go well with her dress. You will need to reserve your flowers weeks ahead, because florists are very busy the day of prom. Each order is specially made with specific flowers and ribbon colors. Girls will also want to reserve your date’s boutonniere weeks before the event. Flowers will need to be picked up the afternoon of prom, so allow enough time for your florist stop.

Limousines can be one of the most expensive options for prom night. You can break down the cost by sharing your limo with several other couples. Limos can add to the special atmosphere of prom night. Check out KC Proms limo options. Limos will also need to be reserved well in advance. Some companies do not accept prom reservations, and the price will vary with type and size of limo as well as length of time you plan to keep your driver. Remember to tip your limo driver at the end of the evening. If you decide to drive your own car, please clean both the interior and exterior and fill up your car with gas prior to the beginning of the evening. Prom dresses can pick up dirt from anywhere in the car.

If your school does not have dinner with your prom, it is normally the guy’s responsibility to select a restaurant for the prom dinner. Many times, several couples will travel together, so you can discuss where you would like to eat. Consider the cost of the meal, type of food served (you can eat at McDonald’s another day), distance the restaurant is from the prom location, and if the restaurant accepts reservations. Take your date’s tastes into consideration. For example, if your date is allergic to shell fish, don’t choose a seafood restaurant; or if she is a vegetarian, steak houses are out. Restaurant reservations will usually guarantee you a table at a certain time, rather than standing in line waiting for the next available table. Some restaurants that do not normally accept reservations will take reservations for parties of eight or larger. When you make reservations for 8:00pm, plan to be at the restaurant by 8:00pm. You can lose your table altogether if you are more than a few minutes late. Guys traditionally pay for dinner and the tip. Check out the list of restaurants at KC Proms.

Prom pictures are the next expense. Almost every prom has a formal photographer snapping couple shots in front of a theme background. Even if you and your date are not interested in the largest photo package, your families will probably want a keepsake of the evening. This is one area in which the guy or girl can pick up the bill, but discuss this with your date ahead of time, since these photos can be very expensive.

Does Anyone Still Open the Car Door for Their Date?

When you arrive at your date’s house, you will want to bring in her corsage. You will pin it on her left side with the flowers going upward and stems pointing down. If you have purchased a wrist corsage you will place it on her left wrist. You make want to bring along a disposable flash camera to take candid photos of your evening. Usually your date’s parents will want to take pictures. You may then, go back to your parent’s house for their photographs. If you have a number of people in your party, you may want to bring all the parents to one house for pre-prom photos.

Even if you would never consider opening doors for your date, this is a special occasion which deserves special attention to manners. Open the door for your date when entering the car, restaurant or prom location. Guys can seat your date prior to sitting down at the restaurant if the maitre d’ does not take care of this. Remember your best dinner manners, place your napkin on your lap prior to dinner, girls order before guys, and silverware is used from the outside and works in (e.g. salad fork on the outside used first, then the dinner fork). When walking with your date along the sidewalk, the male belongs on the side closest to the street.

Have a Good Time!

Prom can be a glamorous evening filled with wonderful memories. Relax, and have fun. Don’t ruin your evening with alcohol or drugs.