"We try to order favors that are under $5 per person. We also order everything from the same magazine and order early so we can get a discount or free shipping. We also make many of our own decorations as opposed to buying a large, expensive kit."
Carrie Y. - Frewsburg, NY
"We try to buy as many quality reusable decorations as we can. In past years, we have purchased arches, columns, lighting, centerpieces, and other decorations that we store to use again. We "dress" them up differently every year to much the theme. For example, one year the arches will be covered with ivy and flowers, the next with gossamer and twinkle lights."
Becky M. - Huson, NC
"Since fancy table linens can be very expensive, to save money but still have a great coordinating look, I like to use gossamer as a overlay. I find a matching color that will coordinate with the theme then cut it to fit the size I want."
Pam P. - Grand Rapids, MI
"Since we are a small school we try to make a lot of the decorations ourselves by enlisting students in our art classes to design and make some of the decorations as their class project. This way the student receives credit for their class and also helps out the prom and we get double to the use of our art supplies. We also have students bring in left over Christmas lights from home for most of our lighting and try to get the students to pick a theme early in the school year so we can start watching for sales on supplies that we might need. Also, buying in bulk on the more generic items that you know you will use each year can saves us a lot of money in the long run."
Shannon R. - Marengo, IA
"We get ideas from pictures and then try to make the scenery/props creatively. We use the artistic talents of our students to make backdrops, etc. and then the students feel a sense of pride and accomplishment when they see the prom all put together. Students are quite creative especially with the various types of material and paper products found in the prom catalogs."
Pam O. - Stryker, OH
"To save money and bring unity among the committee we make many of our own decorations and then we recycle them from year to year. We also ask the faculty to donate unwanted holiday decorations. Many times we shop for decorations in thrift stores and Goodwill."
Susan P. - Robesonia, PA
"By ordering early you don't have to pay shipping. Buying in quantity saves money. By creative decorating you can save money, Last year we used the shimmering gossamer cut into squares as an overlay on the tables with votive candles on mirrors and the tables."
Rae C. - Lockport NY
"We make a lot of our decorations. Since we have two large areas to decorate (our auditorium and our dance floor) we paint murals on cardboard from cut refrigerator boxes. Using beautiful, student produced artwork has been one very cost effective way to decorate."
Angie S. - Fairmont, MN
"We check with local wedding decorators to see if they have leftover flowers & decorations they would like to donate."
Donna C. - Valley Lee, MD
Other Great Ideas
"We always make our own invitations, 1 year we did the 50's rock and roll, we went to the goodwill and purchased old 45's and then made covers and labels for them and personalized them into invitations."
Tammy S. - Tiffin, OH
"Allow yourself or school plenty of time to plan your prom. By doing this your can compare prices on food, facilities, band, etc. You wouldn't believe the cost savings you can accomplish by allowing a reasonable amount of time for planning."
Tammy S. - Hays, NC
"We save money when planning prom by taking advantage of company discounts and free shipping by ordering early. We also comparative shop, because you can get virtually the same item cheaper through some vendors than others. About 45 days before prom we hold a fashion show in which local companies let us borrow formal wear for the students to wear and then they offer discounts of up to 25% off for the students who purchase formal attire from them. We have also made our own centerpieces. You can find some great buys especially in glassware at local dollar stores."
Rae C. - Lockport, NY