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In a lot of ways, prom is a regular move toward adult-styled emancipation during the most formative time of life–high school–even though its first mention was by an Amherst College student in journaling about an 1894 dance he attended at Smith College. Occurring just before the time-honored ritual where the process of statutory education culminates, today’s prom, more than ever, represents a glorious dive into the more adult social scene of dressing all-out, dining, dancing, partying and after-partying with peers and friends all night. Are you ready for prom, or are you starting to fog out and feel more overwhelmed than hopeful? Are you suffering from Prom-on-the-Brain? Would you like to know the best cure for it? You need a prom timeline. A handy checklist, based on every single detail you need to do, to be prom-ready, including exactly when to do each thing. Even if you have your dress, and/or a date, you know there’s a lot to do, still.
Here It Is
What follows is a thoughtfully-composed checklist for smooth moving, that will get you all the way to prom night. Less stress means less worry.
Pre-Prom, 5 Months
Here’s when you can actually do something about firming up everywhere that will be revealed with your awesome cutout dress. Lose that baby fat now, by cutting out junk food and working out every day. It’s not too early to start thinking about prom hairstyles, including getting a little length to develop for braiding prom night. Do you need to start setting aside a little cash? Are there a few things you want to do to earn some extra money? Do them now. How about tutoring, or babysitting?
Pre-Prom, 3 Months
Make a list of everything you have already acquired for prom, and add everything you need to add. Beside each one, write down how much you think it will cost. Add everything up, and this is how much you will need. Talk with your parents about how much they can contribute and if they’d be willing to pay you to do some extra work around the house to increase that total. The more you can DIY or borrow, the better. If you can’t meet it, something will have to change or go from the list, which may include the following:
- Hair Appointment
- Spray Tan
- Nails Appointment
- Prom Tickets
- Your Share of After Party Expenses and Limo
- Your Date’s Boutonniere
- Bag and Travel-Sized Contents
Ramp-up on saving money if you’re short and if you don’t have your dress yet, buy one. The earlier you have yours, the more time you’ll have to choose all your right add-ons. Enter your dress into any registries your school is using. This will help you to avoid duplicating someone else’s prom look, and vice versa. Create a Facebook prom group where everyone can discuss plans, news and ideas.
Pre-Prom, 2.5 Months
Put together your accessories–shoes, bag and jewelry. Start doing an exfoliating mask twice a week, and start taking Biotin. It’s great for hair, skin and nails and it speeds up metabolism. If you need a slight hair trim, get one now. Lotion up your skin, regularly–arms, legs, front and back.
Pre-Prom, 2 Months
Get your prom tickets, and start trying out some different hair and makeup looks, if you’re doing your own. Try out some tutorials, and if you find one you know you’ll want. Begin practicing now. Don’t think it’ll magically come together that day. Master it, and rock it. If not DIY-ing hair or makeup, make your appointments now. Make plans with your prom group for before and after prom. Discuss dinner plans, limo or ride details, and everything related to the after party. Maybe everyone could go to one person’s house afterwards for a sleepover. Ask your parents about a co-ed sleepover. You’ll never know unless you ask. Set whose house will be the site for this as well as for pre-prom pictures. Divvy costs when possible.
Pre-Prom, 1 Month
Make sure your dress fits completely, and arrange alterations if needed. Begin teeth whitening. Break-in your shoes by wearing them at home for an hour or so every day with thick socks. If the soles are slick, roughen them up by sliding the bottoms on your concrete driveway. Order a boutonniere now, if needed. If you have a date, accompany him to get his tuxedo and coordinate his bowtie and vest with your dress.
Pre-Prom, 2 Weeks
Confirm your appointments, the limo and restaurant. Wrap up plans with your date and/or group. Assemble your bag stuff–blotter papers, lip gloss, phone, breath mints, flossers, tickets, cash or plastic, small mirror and a free sample of your chosen perfume from Sephora.
Pre-Prom, 1 Week
Enjoy a pre-prom fun day with girlfriends at someone’s house to do a bunch of beauty treatments like facials, with movies, snacks and be luxuriously lazy together. Discuss plans.
Pre-Prom, 1 Day
Go to your nail appointment. Pull your dress from the closet and hang it out in your room. Shave your legs and pile on the thickest body butter. Take a nice long shower. If you’ll be washing your hair, do it tonight. Just chill, and get to sleep early.
Pre-Prom, Day of
Go easy on foundation and powder today. Take another shower. Go to your hair/makeup appointments. Pick up your date’s boutonniere. Eat a light lunch. Meet for pictures, and be on time.