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The rise of the ‘promposal’

Tuesday, April 28, 2015by  Jon Osterberg

by Sharlyn Petit
If you know a teen, chances are you know a ‘promposal’ story, or may even have your own to tell.
     What’s a promposal? It’s the approach one high-schooler takes to ask another to the prom. Just search #promposal on any social media site to get an idea.
     From sweet and simple, to public and grand, the setups are comparable to wedding proposals and likely more expensive, according to the 2015 Visa Prom Spending Survey. Visa’s press release says the nationwide average for prom spending was $919, with $324 going toward the promposal.
     Sometimes, a teen’s car plays a central role in the surprise – sticky-note plastered, balloon bombarded, surrounded in petals, or topped with candles.
     Before the age of social media, I was asked to prom with a miniature teddy bear squeezed under my windshield wiper and a handwritten poem (which I recall had more than one Disney reference). Without fanfare, social media likes, or going viral, I said ‘yes’ and had a wonderful evening.
     These days, teens spend hundreds of dollars on skywriting, singing telegrams, scavenger hunts, jewelry, and kitten gift baskets (yes, really). What happened to trusty poster board messages and grocery-store bouquets?
     Are your teens taking the spendy route for the promposal? Help them save money at the actual prom. Set a budget and consider ideas like: purchase clothes at a consignment shop, make garden-grown corsages and boutonnieres, join forces with other parents to host a sit-down dinner for a group of teens, or set up an at-home photo booth.
     And, PEMCO’s favorite prom tip – ditch the car (and the distracted driving that often comes with it) and share the cost of a limo instead.
     Read more about VISA’s study here.

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