High school prom is one of the most memorable events in one’s life. While it typically is a time of utter joy for students, parents are probably a bit less enthusiastic, as they have to spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars on dresses, suits, accessories, the prom ticket, and transportation. However, while spending on prom increased nationwide for the past three years, parents are now spending less in 2014.
According to Visa, the average American family will spend $978 on the big event this year, down 14 percent from last year’s average $1,139. Parents who earn less than $50,000 a year plan to spend less than the national average, $733, while parents who make over $50,000 will spend an average of $1,151.
So why the decrease on prom spending this year? “Perhaps families are coming to their senses and realizing you don’t have to spend like a celebrity to enjoy prom,” Nat Sillin, Visa’s U.S. head of financial education, says. “And that’s not necessarily a bad thing with all the other expenses teens at that age have.”
And while Americans are spending significantly less on prom than they have in years past, the amount they spend still remains high compared to other countries. Canadians, for example, will spend about 25 percent less than American households this year, at $723.
To save on the cost of prom, shop for formal wear at consignment stores or online. Many online stores are offering discounted prices on formal dresses this time of year, and there are also sites that offer designer dress and accessory rentals. Take a look at the following ideas for prom dresses and accessories.
Rent the Runway is the perfect site for your prom dress search. Search their collection of dresses and accessories, and book for a 4-day or 8-day rental period. They even offer essentials such as a free second-size, Spanx, and Fashion Tape. After your night out, send the items back in a pre-paid envelope provided. Many dresses by designers including Carolina Herrera and Vera Wang that typically cost hundreds of dollars are available for rental for less than $100. When you join, you even get $25 off their first rental.
Rent this Erin by Erin Fetherston Metallic Drizzle Gown for $80. The retail price is $550.
Rent this Badgley Mischka Pastel Petunia Gown for $80. The retail price is $795.
Rent this Badgley Mischka Take the Stage Gown for $70. The retail price is $795.
Rent this Issa Plunging Blue Wrap Gown for $80. The retail price is $765.
Rent this Rebecca Taylor Meteor Shower gown for $70. The retail price is $925.
Rent this Bibhu Mohapatra Himalayan Panther gown for $80. The retail price is $3100.
Rent this Nicole Miller Monroe Twist gown for $150. The retail price is $730.
Rent this Badgley Mischka Corundum Sapphire gown for $80. The retail price is $790.
Rent this red hot Halston Heritage Nepal Sunset gown for $70. The retail price is $395.
Rent this Jill Stuart Love Stort Gown for $85. The retail price is $388.
Rent this Badgley Mischka Black Sea gown for $80. The retail price is $935.
Rent this Pamella Roland Sands of Croatia gown for $80. The retail price is $2475.
Rent this Badgley Mischka Red Carpet Beauty gown for $80. The retail price is $795.
Rent this gorgeous Carlos Miele Magenta Orchid gown for $70. The retail price is $995.
And what is a prom dress without flashy accessories and statement pieces?
Rent this stunning Oscar De La Renta Great Barrier Bracelet for $65. The retail price is $395.
Rent this Chamak by Priya Kakkar Silver Bangle Bracelet stack for $10. The retail price is $65.
Need a purse? Rent this Serpui Marie Black Diamond Crystal Minaudiere for $35. The retail price is $238.
A statement necklace can be the perfect accessory to stand out in the crowd. Rent this Vera Wang After Midnight necklace for $85. The retail price is $450.