(Story by decorahnews.com's Becky Vande Lune):
When we think of prom, boys and girls all dressed up, posing for pictures and a night of dinner and dancing come to mind. Many teens prepare months in advance with hopes of having a magical, memorable day and night for their prom. Prom can be costly or simple, depending which route you go.
Prom wouldn't be prom without dressing up. Girls like to take a special trip out of town to try on several dresses until they find the perfect one. Dresses run from $50 to $500 and on up. Thrift stores carry several prom style dresses here in Decorah and in bigger cities. Online shopping is also a popular option with girls. Don't forget about shoes and jewelry to go with the dress--that can add another $30 to $100 to the cost.
Amundsons Clothing is the store to check out men's clothing in Decorah. Manager Jarret Johnson said, "Navy tuxedos and suits are a popular choice this year and we are seeing a more fitted, slimmer look in tuxedos and suits." Suits regularly run around $225 at Amundsons. Each spring the store has a suit sale for $150 and they encourage junior and senior boys to think about purchasing a suit for prom, instead of renting a tux, so they can have the suit for future use. Tuxedo rental runs $95 to $140 with shoe rental another $15 to $25. Other possible needs are a long sleeved dress shirt $30 to $55, necktie $25 or a bowtie $25 to $40.
Fancy updos and makeup are important items on girls "to do lists" for prom. Many girls do each others hair and makeup, but some like the experience of being pampered in a salon. Eclips Salon and Day Spa owner Jody Niess-Ellickson says prom customers book appointments starting in January for an April prom. Updos run $50. Makeup is an option many girls like to have done, which adds $40 to the bill. If a girl wants to look good head to toe, she may get a basic manicure for $20, or a full set of gel nails $50 and a pedicure for $40. Let's not forget about the guys, men haircuts run $20.
Girls like to have that summer glow for prom. Paradise Sun Tanning and Spray Tanning is busy in the spring with prom customers. Options range from a one time, $30 spray tan, to a month of tanning which costs $40 to $80, depending if a stand up booth or bed is chosen.
Now that the outfit has been chosen and the hair appointment is booked, it is time to think of flowers. Ladybug Landscapes owner Anita Weis says spray roses are very popular in a wrist corsage ($15) for the girls and a boutonniere ($10) for the boys. Decorah red and blue have always been popular color choices for flowers.
Dinner out is a popular option with teens and Decorah has several options. Some couples and groups may choose to eat at Culver's, Good Times Grill, T-Bocks, Mabe's Pizza, Don Jose's, Koreana, McCaffery's Dolce Vita, Restauration Restaurant at Hotel Winneshiek, Rubaiyat or Stone Hearth Inn. They will spend $10 to $30 per person. Many prom goers opt to have parents make and serve the meal in a home, it is totally a matter of preference and if anyone in the group has room for 20 to 30 teenagers around their dining room table.
Prom memories may be priceless, but the actual prom can come with a hefty price tag. Most teens would say it is worth every penny as they crawl into bed early Sunday morning after being up all day and night, living it up and making memories they will be able to share and reflect on for years to come.