Estimating Your Prom Budget

When hosting any party, you need to determine your budget. In order to do so, you will probably have to set up a meeting with your schools administrators. Most likely, they will tell you how much money is set aside for the event. Unfortunately, if you start planning the prom early, you won’t know your complete budget because the prom is mostly funded by the prom ticket, which hasn’t gone on sale because you have only just started planning the event.

Once you know how much money your school has set aside for the prom, you and your committee will need to determine a reasonable price for the prom ticket. Depending on how elaborate you wish your prom to be, the costs can range from free to over one hundred dollars a person.

You will need to estimate the number of attendees at the prom in order to determine your budget. A good way to approximate the number of students who plan to attend the event is to make up an early RSVP form to be handed out and collected in the senior home room. A small slip of paper simply asking, “Will you be attending the prom?” with a check box of yes or no, will give you fairly accurate numbers within about 15%. You will also need to approximate the money raised for the prom via fund raising.

When creating a prom budget, you will need to set aside cash for:

  • Banquet Hall: The nicer the banquet hall, the more this is going to cost you. Any venue that includes catering will probably charge by the person, but will mostly have a minimum attendance requirement of some sort.
  • Catering: Although many venue locations include a catering service, you may be able to save a little money by hiring an independent caterer. Make sure to get an estimate on the cost of a meal per person.
  • Entertainment: Entertainment includes the music, dancers, or any side acts you may want to bring into your prom. An unheard of disk jockey is the cheapest music choice, but you may want to spring for the band.
  • Decoration: The decoration costs include anything used to decorate the room. If you are decorating by yourself, you can get estimates from on various decorations. Theme kits are also available. While theme kits are expensive, they save a lot of hassle down the road.
  • Party Favors: party favors are the items given out for students to take home at the end of the prom.
  • Printed Material: Includes invitations, prom tickets and flyers.
  • A Professional Photographer: While the students purchase their own prints, you will still have to give the photographer a retainer.
  • Hired Security: Privatized security for the event may be necessary if the event is under chaperoned or if the banquet hall does not have security of its own. Discuss security options with your school administrators.