Prom season is officially here, and if you’ve been dreaming of the big night since the moment you entered high school, then you probably cannot wait to start planning all the details. Things are starting to get real — and tbh, there’s a lot to get done on the prom prep checklist.
Just think of all the components that go into slaying the dance floor, IG photoshoots, and the after-party. There’s the dress and suit, the corsages and boutonnieres (do you DIY or buy?), the hair and glam, and of course, the nails. You cannot forget the logistics, either. Where will pre-prom pictures take place? How will you get to the venue? Limo, party bus, parent drop-off, or Uber? Who will be your date? And what are you doing after the dance? Obvi, there’s a lot to figure out before prom night is here.
To help you stay organized and make sure you don’t forget a single detail, we’ve created the ultimate prom checklist. Screenshot the agenda below and you will be all set for a super fun prom night you’ll never forget.
What to Do a Few Months Before Prom
Yes, planning for prom begins a few months out. You want to give yourself enough time to find a dress or suit, and you want to secure those hair and makeup appointments before the nearby salons are all booked up. Here’s everything you should do a few months before prom night.
Go shopping for a prom outfit
It’s time to find the look of your prom night dreams. Get inspired and check out dresses, suits, and sets online and on social media. Once you have an idea of what you might like, go out and try some ’fits on at local department stores, where a large selection is carried. You can also visit nearby boutiques and vintage stores, where custom and unique options can be found. If you opt to get your prom outfit online, order your look on the early side so you can exchange, get another size, or alter if needed.
If you’re planning on putting your prom glam in the hands of professionals, you’ll want to book appointments for a makeup artist, hairstylist, and nail artist early on, as there’s a chance spots will fill up quickly — especially if any nearby schools are hosting prom on the same day.
It’s also important to secure any other appointments you may need for the night of. That could mean a photographer (if you plan on getting one), a limo or party bus so you can ride safely and in style, or a dinner reservation if your prom isn’t providing food.
Get your tickets
It’s a fact that you cannot get into prom without a ticket. Depending on your school, prom tix will go on sale at different times, but you may want to get them sooner rather than later. Sometimes, the price of the tickets will go up as you get closer to prom.
What to Do a Month Before Prom
The big night is getting closer. Now is the time to decide where you’ll take prom pictures, where you’ll head after the dance, and how you’ll accessorize your look.
Make pre-prom plans
Whether you’re heading to a friend’s house for snacks and photos, or meeting at a nearby park for an ~ aesthetic ~ photo background, start the prom group chat and figure out the pre-prom plans. That way, you have time to buy any supplies you need, and if you’re getting a ride to prom, you can tell the party bus, limo, or driver where to pick you up.
Make post-prom plans
Some groups of friends head to someone’s beach house or rent an Airbnb the weekend after prom, while others head to someone’s basement for a big sleepover. You might also decide to just do a big bonfire or pizza party before heading to your own homes. Discuss with your group to figure out what you want to do, so you can get continue the party after the dance. You may want to consider stopping by the school-sponsored post-prom for a quick hello, too — there’s usually free food 😉.
Make sure your prom outfit fits like a glove
Now is the time to ensure that if you need any alterations to your dress or suit, you’re making an appointment at the tailor with plenty of time to try it on and make sure you feel great in your ’fit.
Break in your shoes
This may be your first time spending an extended period of time in heels or dress shoes, so it’s important to break them in a little. To avoid blisters and pain that can put a damper on your special night, wear them around the house here and there. Trust us, you’ll be glad you’re not slipping on brand-new, never-been-touched heels as you dance the night away.
Pick out your jewelry
Your bling may be your last priority when it comes to your prom look, but don’t let it slip to the wayside. You don’t want to be stressing out over what accessories you’ll wear when you’re already running late for pics.
What to Do Two Weeks Before Prom
It’s crunch time. Over the next couple of weeks, make sure no details have gone unnoticed.
Confirm appointments and reservations
We know, it’s annoying, but just call and confirm that all of your appointments and reservations are for the right day and time. You do not want to be heading to the hair salon the day of prom, only to find out you accidentally made the appointment for a week later, and they can’t squeeze you in. Trust us — it’s best to play it safe when it comes to your big night.
Do glam trial runs
Don’t let a bad makeup job or hairdo ruin your prom night — do a trial run beforehand. If you’re getting your beauty professionally done at a makeup counter, by a makeup artist, or a hairstylist, have them try out some looks a week before. If you’re planning on DIY-ing your look, practice the look as many times as you can before the dance. This way, when prom day arrives, you will know exactly what look you want and how to do it.
Our Fave Beauty Products for Flawless Prom Makeup
Order a boutonniere or corsage
Head to your local florist to order all of your prom floral needs. Whether it’s a boutonniere, corsage, or handheld bouquet, order it ahead of time for day-of pick up, and consider matching the flowers to you and your date’s outfits.
Make sure you have all the necessities
There are a lot of random things you may need on the day of prom — tights or socks, a special bra depending on what kind of dress you’re wearing, heel pads so you can comfortably dance all night, underwear that won’t create panty lines, and a purse or small clutch. Make a list and make sure you have everything you need.
Those Random Prom Essentials You Forgot You Needed
If possible, start getting some rest
You’ll want to be fully rested for a night of fun and dancing, and chances are, you’ve had a busy few weeks with finals and other end-of-year activities. Make sure to prioritize sleep the weeks before the big night. You’ll feel the difference when you’ve got enough energy to stay out on the dance floor all night long.
What to Do Day of Prom
Prom night is here! But before you get dressed and slip on your prom shoes, there are a few errands you need to check off the list.
Pick up the flowers
You won’t want to disappoint your date by forgetting their boutonniere, bouquet, or corsage from the florist. Grab it on the way home from school or your hair appointment to save a trip.
Go to appointments
This may seem obvious, but you may be so busy on the day of prom that you forget to leave for your hair appointment — and accidentally show up an hour late. Local salons are often super busy on prom days, so make sure you show up on time for *everything.* That way, you can get in and out as quickly as possible.
Pack your purse
Make sure your purse is filled with all of your prom night necessities. We recommend gum or mints, extra bobby pins in case your ’do falls out from all the dancing, and some blotting paper (it’s going to get hot on the dance floor), along with your ID, house keys, wallet, and some emergency cash. Throw it all in a cute purse and you’ll feel like Mary Poppins, giving out tampons, deodorant, and spritzes of perfume to your friends.
What You NEED in Your Prom Purse
Pack an overnight bag
If you’re spending the night at a friend’s house or the weekend by the beach, make sure your overnight bag is ready to go. Even if you stop at home after prom, you may not have time to throw a perfectly packed bag together and will possibly forget something important in the rush. While you have a minute, gather up some items you’ll need (like toothpaste, PJs, and clothes for the next day), as well as a few fun additional items (like a board or card game).
Get Your Sleepover Party Essentials
What to Do Night of Prom
OK, now the night is officially here. Here’s one important tip to remember on prom night.
Stay safe and have fun
The only thing you need to do while at prom is have fun! Enjoy yourself, make memories with your besties, and take plenty of pictures that you can look back on for years to come. Also, remember to stay safe. The evening might be a special one, but all the same rules regarding consent and the legal drinking age of 21 still apply.
Carolyn Twersky is an associate editor for Seventeen covering celebrities, entertainment, politics, trends, and health. On her off time, she's probably watching Ru Paul's Drag Race, traversing NYC for the best donuts, or, most likely, enjoying time in her favorite place in the world: her bed.
Abby is an editorial assistant at Seventeen, covering pop culture, beauty, life, and health. When she's not busy watching the latest true crime docuseries, you can find her strolling through Sephora, thrifting the perfect dress, or jogging with her pup.
Leah Campano is an Associate Editor at Seventeen, where she covers pop culture, entertainment news, health, and politics. On the weekends, you can probably find her watching marathons of vintage Real Housewives episodes or searching for New York City’s best almond croissants.
Formal dress hats that go with the tuxedo or suit are welcome. Dresses should be modestly cut in the front; plunging chest and necklines are not appropriate. Dresses may not be cut below the bust line. See-through, mesh tops or bra-top-style dresses are not appropriate for this event.How do I prepare for prom the night before? ›
- Prepare your bag.
- Check your dress.
- Do your nails.
- Touch-up your tan.
- Get your beauty set-up ready.
- Do a face and hair mask.
- Treat any spots.
- Eat an energizing meal.
- Planning Committee.
- Set Budget.
- Choose Your Prom Venue.
- Promote & Send Invites.
- Put together a committee. First things first, you need to form a prom planning committee that comprises of 10-15 people. ...
- Pick your date and venue. ...
- Pick a theme. ...
- Come up with entertainment ideas. ...
- Come up with a refreshment menu. ...
- Send out invitations.
Formal dress hats that go with the tuxedo or suit are welcome. Dresses should be modestly cut in the front; plunging chest and necklines are not appropriate. Dresses may not be cut below the bust line. See-through, mesh tops or bra-top-style dresses are not appropriate for this event.Should I shower before prom? ›
Bathe Ahead of Time
One of the best tips for what you should do the night before prom is to simply clean up. Unless it'll throw you off your game not to shower that morning, washing up the night before is a smart move. The reason is very simple; you don't want to be the girl that shows up with still-wet hair!
Prom is basically a bunch of teenagers playing dress-up for the night—and maybe doing a little dancing on the side. Make sure your child understands it's common nowadays for groups of friends to go to dances together. Dates are no longer required. This is true even for formal occasions like prom.What is prom night dress code? ›
Prom is a formal event and you are expected to wear formal attire. Formal prom attire may be classified as a dress, tuxedo, dress suit, including a tie or bow tie, a dress shirt, which may include a vest or cummerbund, and dress shoes.Can you go alone in prom night? ›
Prom is approaching, and while you might feel like you need to find a date, it's totally fine to go to prom without one.How do I dump my prom date? ›
Be polite. Rejecting someone can be hard, but being rejected can hurt. Thank the person for asking you to prom, then let them down gently. “Thank you, but I have other plans,” or, “I'm flattered you asked, but I'm not interested in going to prom with you,” are both direct but polite ways of turning someone down.
Try to close your eyes and focus on slow and deep breaths until you can feel your thoughts slow down and your body relax. You can also leave the big room where the dancing and music are and take a moment in the bathroom, or share your worries with a friend. “I'm nervous my date won't have fun.”What age does prom start? ›
elaborate 'passing out' celebrations for Year 11 students (aged 15–16) and Year 12 (aged 16–17) have become a cultural phenomenon, stoking passions and rivalries, and refashioning the sense of what a school party should be.How to lose weight for prom? ›
- Set SMART Fitness Goals. ...
- Drink Up. ...
- Avoid Crash Diets. ...
- Eat More Protein. ...
- Focus on Fruits and Veggies. ...
- Lift Some Weights. ...
- Try HIIT Cardio. ...
- Get Plenty of Sleep.
6-10 Months Prior to Prom
Make sure to go through your school's calendar to ensure there's no other events on the same night. After the date is solidified, it's time to choose a theme! You then can begin to fundraise and raise money for the dance!
Stay away from shades of brown and black, as these can completely wash out dark skin tones. Other colors like blues, silvers, and grays should be avoided, as cool colors appear harsher on dark skin. Even neutrals like gray can make dark skin look fatigued, so stick to colors that pop.Do you wear a bra with prom dresses? ›
Almost always, prom dresses have some intricate cut. Whether it's a backless style, an off the shoulder style, a halter neck, completely strapless, or a deep V, these dresses will require a specialty bra.Are you allowed to skip prom? ›
Her advice: "Prom is not necessarily a defining or crucial experience in high school, and it's totally OK to skip out on that for whatever reason. Don't let anyone pressure you into going strictly out of fear that you'll regret it."What does the girl pay for at prom? ›
“I buy the dress and shoes, and then I pay half for some of the rest, such as hair, makeup, nails, and transportation,” says Hildreth. “The tickets, flowers, and after-prom activities are the responsibility of my daughter and/or her date.”What do most girls wear to prom? ›
Most prom dresses are long formal gowns, but some may have long slits up the leg. Check your school's prom handbook to determine if a gown with a long slit is allowed. Prom is a great chance to express your style, but don't feel pressured to be overtly sexy or show off too much skin.Should I get my nails done for prom? ›
“Get your nails done the day before prom to ensure you don't damage them, however you should be sure to apply an additional coat of clear nail polish to your mani and pedi on prom day.
Alcohol impairs your judgement and can therefore lead to poor decisions. As dramatic as it may sound, choosing to drink on prom night can deeply impact your future. If you get caught drinking, you may be suspended or even expelled, which could hinder any college plans you have.Is it OK to go to prom single? ›
Now about that prom date...do you really need one? Spoiler alert: Nope. Going to prom alone is the ultimate power move. Heading to prom alone or with a group of friends can actually end up being way more fun than tying yourself down to one special (or, in a lot of cases, not-so-special) someone.Can u go to prom single? ›
Going to prom single can have plenty of benefits, and speaking from experience, it can be more fun than going to a dance with a date.Is it weird for a girl to ask a guy out for prom? ›
In addition, many girls who were asked thought it was considered “weird” socially for a girl to ask a guy to prom. While this social stigma can seem overpowering, it should not deter any girl from promposing if she really wants to.Do you wear jeans to prom? ›
Semi-formal attire may be classified as a dress suit, a dress shirt, slacks or khaki pants and dress shoes. Shirts, ties and/or bow tie must be worn at all times and not removed during the dance. Jeans and shorts are not permitted. Pants should fit properly on the hip and not sag below the waistline.What do you wear to the last night of prom? ›
There is no specific dress code or theme, but fancy dress and silly hats are popular on the Last Night. What jewellery is appropriate for the occasion? Formal dressing is not required at the Last Night of the Proms so jewellery can be similarly informal and fun.Can I wear pajamas to prom? ›
If you want a unique and memorable prom outfit, look no further than the PJ aisle. Leave the glitz to your accessories by pairing pajamas with high heels and loafers. And there's a secret bonus here: not many people get a chance to wear their prom outfit again, but you can wear your luxe pajamas as often as you'd like.Is prom night kid friendly? ›
Prom Night is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for violence and terror, some sexual material, underage drinking, and language.Is prom night free to play? ›
Prom Night Dress Up is available to play for free.How many people don't go to prom? ›
The latest research from YouGov shows that most Americans (53%) didn't actually attend prom, and among those that did barely half (51%) went with a date.
Post-prom parties are events that happen after the formal dance ends. They often take place off school grounds. The party can be anything from a small, intimate gathering to a music-blasting dance party in the backyard. They keep the special spark of prom going just a bit longer.What to do after prom for couples? ›
After-Prom Ideas for Couples
Rent a limousine and drive around the city looking at scenery and watching a movie in the back. Stop at a late night coffee house and sip coffee or pop and talk about the night and high school and your future plans. Going to one of the couple's homes is another way to spend some quiet time.
You may select people with whom you share different relationships to attend the prom as your date. Most people go with their girlfriend. Some opt to go with their best friend or friends and others go alone. The good thing about going with your friends is that you will have a lot of company.What to do and not to do at prom? ›
- Go tanning. Fair skin is in! ...
- Over do your makeup. Remember that less is more. ...
- Do drugs or drink alcohol. Don't ruin your most memorable night of high school. ...
- Select a dress that is uncomfortable. ...
- Freak out if someone has the same dress as you. ...
- Wear heels that you can't walk in.
Prom is a formal event and you are expected to wear formal attire. Formal prom attire may be classified as a dress, tuxedo, dress suit, including a tie or bow tie, a dress shirt, which may include a vest or cummerbund, and dress shoes.Do you get hair or makeup done first for prom? ›
“I suggest getting your makeup done after your hair and nails. This way, you're arriving looking your freshest, leaving more time to enjoy the festivities before you'll have to 'blot' and touch-up. You also won't have to worry about your nails drying or your makeup smudging while you're getting your hair done.Is it OK to miss out on prom? ›
Her advice: "Prom is not necessarily a defining or crucial experience in high school, and it's totally OK to skip out on that for whatever reason. Don't let anyone pressure you into going strictly out of fear that you'll regret it."Is prom fun without a date? ›
Absolutely! Don't let the fear of going alone keep you from making memories. Going to prom with your friends is much more common than one might think, sometimes more common than actually going with a date. Consider it a fun night out with your friends and make the most of it!Can a girl go to prom alone? ›
Prom is approaching, and while you might feel like you need to find a date, it's totally fine to go to prom without one.Is prom a coming of age? ›
For many young people and their parents senior prom is a watershed event, a coming of age ceremony that separates the end of high school from whatever more worldly experience comes next.
Buy A Corsage Or Flowers
Prom tradition says the guy presents his date with a beautiful floral corsage. What's a corsage, you ask? It's a small bouquet of flowers worn on a female's wrist. (Your date will likely buy a similar boutonniere for the lapel of your tux.)
If there is no color code for a prom party, you may go for a blue suit. It's still a classic color. If you choose something darker, you can go for red, gold, silver, purple, or even animal print. If you want to make a statement, then white or black is the way to go.Can I not wear a dress to prom? ›
You can still wear a skirt to prom without wearing a dress.
Instead, skirts paired with crop tops will look both formal and edgy.
It may sound cheesy, but prom marks the day of getting into adulthood, indicating that the teen has passed high school and is now graduating to another stage. Prom is a unique way to celebrate this transition.What not to eat before prom? ›
Avoid heavy carbs, carbonated drinks, and dairy products. Stick to lean protein such as chicken or white fish, teamed up with leafy green veggies, some fruit, smoothies, and nuts. This will help keep your stomach flat but will also fill you up so you're not feeling hungry as you prepare for prom.