Marlborough, MA - It’s prom season and your high schooler has been dreaming of prom for months, but you’re not sure your wallet will survive. Attending a prom can be expensive and requires preparation in advance; attire, corsages, transportation and more. Better Business Bureau Serving E. MA, ME, RI & VT (BBB) offers prom goers and their parents advice for the big event.
Searching for prom dresses online is a popular and convenient way for teenagers to find the perfect dress. They can browse thousands of options and prices online, however, BBB warns not all online businesses and websites are reliable. According to BBB Scam Tracker, hundreds of online shopping scams have been reported in the last few months alone.
"Teenagers and their families can drop hundreds of dollars during prom season," says Paula Fleming, spokesperson for the local BBB. "BBB advises shopping with accredited businesses to avoid scams and hidden fees.”
To ensure a memorable evening, BBB offers the following prom tips for parents and students:
Prom Attire. The average price for a prom dress or a tuxedo can range from $100 to $400, but designer dresses can easily cost up to $1000. If your daughter wants to wear a designer gown, buy it from a reputable retailer. What seems like a great deal may be a knock-off dress.
Beauty Services. The prom is a time to look glamorous, but beauty is expensive. The cost for tanning, nail salons, professional hair and makeup could range from $175 to $500. When scheduling appointments on prom day, be sure to leave extra time in case the hairdresser or nail salon is overbooked.
Transportation. The average cost of a limousine on prom night can range from $200 to $500, depending on the type of vehicle and the number of hours needed. Parents should make sure that they have a written contract that includes the hours of service, required fees including gratuities and maximum capacity allowed.
Flowers. Flowers for the prom can range from $20 for a simple corsage or boutonniere to $75 for a bouquet of roses. If you are ordering flowers, make sure you use a reliable local florist and have a written order that details delivery times and specific types of flowers.
Photography. You have to have special photos of such a special night. Depending on whether you use the official prom photographer or hire a professional photographer, the cost can range from $30 to $250. If you’re hiring a professional photographer, make sure you have a written contract so that you understand what is included.
ABOUT BBB: For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses and brands they can trust. In 2016, people turned to BBB more than 172 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 5.3 million businesses, all available for free at bbb.org.