Expensive Promposals Are A Trend That Needs To Die

shutterstock_124903379If you heard a story that started with a room filled with candles and a bed covered in rose petals with a Tiffany’s box in the center, you might think it’s the tale of one person asking another to spend the rest of their lives together. But if the person telling the story is a teenager, this elaborate and expensive set up is more likely them talking about how they were asked to prom.

According to the Washington Post, a recent survey conducted by Visa estimates teens will spend an average of $345 on promposals alone this year. That’s a lot of money to spend on a wedding proposal– let alone asking someone to go to a dance.

A quick internet search yields all types of promposals. Some are adorably sweet and inexpensive, like this doughnut request. Others are eerily similar to marriage proposals, complete with a diamond encrusted ring. You can’t help but wonder if being asked to prom with a ring unreasonably raises the bar on the expectations for any actual engagement rings or marriage proposals in your future.

Visa’s survey showed parents are planning on covering 73% of prom costs this year, up from 56% last year. If promposals are still popular when my sons are teenagers and they want to save up and use their hard earned money on an extravagant promposal, more power to them. I’ll gladly help them pull it off if they want my assistance, but I won’t be bankrolling the operation because asking someone to prom doesn’t have to be expensive to be special, it’s the thought behind the gesture that matters.

I remember being asked to prom vividly, though back in 2001 I had never heard the word “promposal”. I was standing outside my theater classroom before 7th period and a friend of mine who I knew wanted to ask me to prom came up to me with a package of Skittles and a small stuffed animal and asked if I would go to prom with him. I said yes, we hugged, both blushed, and went into class. It’s a sweet memory, even if we didn’t end up together long term.  My friends were impressed that he thought to give me my favorite candy over flowers, which was popular at the time, but not something I would have loved.

Many teens share their lives on social media, so if something as routine as what they ate for breakfast or the outfit of the day merits an Instagram post, it makes sense that these over the top promposals are just another way of curating the image they present to their online followers and explains why they are so popular. But if asking someone to prom is becoming this big elaborate affair, it could also raise expectations for prom night itself to be this over the top magical night, instead of a night of dancing, checking out everyone in fancy attire and potentially crying in the bathroom over a fight with a friend you won’t remember in a week.

Going to the prom itself should be enough of an exciting event, expensive promposals just aren’t necessary.

(Dan Kosmayer/Shutterstock.com)

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