great to have a boyfriend or girlfriend to go to prom with, but not everyone does. Asking someone else to prom has its downsides: fear of getting turned down, the pressure of promposals, crossed wires about what going to prom together actually means. Plus the risk of the biggest night of your high school life turning into a bad date.
So it’s not surprising that group prom dates—going to prom with friends instead of with one person—is increasing in popularity. There’s less pressure, and you’ll be spending the evening with the group of people that made your high school experience special in the first place. But with a lot of people to co-ordinate, you can’t wing it with a group prom date—you need a plan.
You need to think through each stage of the night, and when in doubt, allow extra time. Otherwise, you’ll be rushing around and too stressed to enjoy yourself. Some things to bear in mind when planning:
You’ll need to get ready. This takes time. Girls will often have hair and makeup appointments, but don’t have them too close together or too late in the day. Guys who are used to rolling out of bed should not underestimate how long it takes to shave, shower, actually do your hair, and get into a suit or tux you’ve probably never worn before.
After you’re ready, your parents will want photos of you. Most likely, they will want to photograph you indoors, outside, with the family, and by yourself. They will want long shots. They will want close-ups. They will want it all. Be aware: if you do not give them what they want, they may not let you escape. Plan accordingly.
Guys—unless you’re wearing a kilt and want to check no one else is, you can probably skip this part, but girls will want to make sure no one else in the group is wearing anything too similar, to avoid accidental twinning.
Set a time to get together at someone’s house beforehand. Someone will need to host, and maybe provide a few snacks and (non-alcoholic!) beverages. Set a time for everyone to meet, and make it reasonably early—someone is guaranteed to be running late and you’ll want to take photos while it’s still light.
Two things are non-negotiable for a group date: you travel together and you arrive together. Ideally, you want the whole group in the same car. The size of the group will dictate whether that’s possible—a small-ish group may fit in a stretch limo, a large-ish group may need two.
If you have more than one car, think about who’s riding with who. No one wants prom-day drama because someone feels (or is) excluded on the ride there. You might resolve that beforehand or check in on the day that everyone’s happy. (And if you’re very worried, nothing helps friends stay friends like a party bus.)
Prom season is a busy time of year for limo companies, so book transport well in advance. Also, many limo companies offer envy-inducing services like decorations and literally rolling out the red carpet.
If your prom doesn’t include a sit-down dinner, go somewhere that takes reservations, as it can be hard for restaurants to seat big groups if they’re busy. Leave plenty of time for dinner so you’re not rushed. (Also, think about how you’re going to handle the check—equal split, or everyone paying for what they have?)
If you’re having dinner at prom, make sure everyone sits together at the same table. And again, if you’re going to be split across tables, make sure no one feels left out or excluded.
Above all, stay safe and have an amazing time. And if you’re in the NYC area and looking for a limo, there are many to choose from here.