Prom season is upon us, which you may have noticed from the sudden influx of "cutest promposal EVER" videos on your news feed lately. While I am totally in favor of this practice (well, most of the time), that 20-second video on YouTube and cutesy story to tell the kids comes at a price, literally — a recent survey from credit card company Visa reports that the average promposal costs more than most high school students make in a week. Are you ready to hear the actual number? You might want to sit down first. The typical promposal's price tag is a whopping $324, according to this survey. I wasn't kidding about it costing more than what most students make in a week: if a student makes a minimum of $8 an hour, which is honestly a rather optimistic number, it would take them 40.5 hours to even begin to pay for their elaborate declaration of devotion, and that's not even accounting for taxes.
Visa's survey found that the average prom budget across the United States is $919 (yikes), and for those of you who don't feel like doing math, that means promposals take up more than a third of what teens plan to spend overall. Getting ready for prom was always more fun than the actual event in my experience, but with the ever-increasing use of social media, finding an elaborate and public way to announce that Bobby wants to take Tiffany to prom has become just as important as finding the perfect dress.
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But hey, as anyone who's spent an hour or two scrolling through the "promposal" tag on Tumblr knows, a good promposal can be more elaborate than a Baz Luhrmann film. The amount of planning, creativity, and timing that goes into some of them is no joke, and it's easy to see how the costs would add up. In fact, when I tried my hand at planning a fictional promposal, I ended up over budget faster than a contestant on Project Runway. Let me break it down for you:
Paying a sibling/best friend to record the whole thing: $10
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If a promposal goes unrecorded, did it really happen? It sounds like a philosophical question, but there's an easy answer: hell to the no. What's the point of a promposal if you're not going to Tweet about it?
At $4 each, a plain T-shirt seems cheap, until you need 5 of them
Fabric paint: $5
How else are you going to paint "PROM?" on those t-shirts for the backup dancers to wear? Which reminds me...
Kick line: $145
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According to the Internet, you can't actually rent a chorus girl kick line. Luckily, the local high school probably has a dance team full of girls who would be happy to fill in for $10 each and a frappucino. Unfortunately, in order for it to be impressive, a kick line needs a minimum of 10 dancers. Add in the cost of a grande caramel frappucino each, and suddenly I've spent almost half of my budget.
Horse and carriage: $63
WeddingCost.com claims that the average horse and carriage rental is $250 an hour, but I just need it for, like, 15 minutes at most. A girl's gotta make a grand entrance.
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No promposal is complete, in my opinion, without literal fireworks. They symbolize the sparks in our relationship, okay??
Suddenly, I've spent $324 and I haven't even gotten to the flashmob part. MY PROMPOSAL IS RUINED. God, Mom, just leave me alone so I can sulk about it. Adults just don't understand.