A NC student prepares for a special night of prom. (Autumn Boekeloo)
A NC student prepares for a special night of prom.

Autumn Boekeloo

The Chant’s complete guide to prom

March 17, 2017

With spring comes one of the most memorable nights of high school: prom.

Weeks of preparation come together for the iconic night. Students spend days searching for the perfect dress and hours dedicated to finding the perfect shade of bow tie, researching local florists to create a unique corsage, enjoying an Instagram-worthy $30 steak from Chops, and deciding on the perfect after-prom plan.

The preparations for prom come with stress, but the product of these strenuous hours displays a picture-perfect panorama of this life-long awaited night.


Avoiding fashion faux pas


Tara Anastasoff

NC students strive to stand out on prom night with a variety of fashion-forward dresses.

With prom season upon us, dress and tuxedo trends find themselves on an entirely new plane of styles, cuts, and colors.

When prom first came into existence in the early 1900s, dresses showcased conservative cuts and layers of tulle and shoulder pads. Tuxedos featured a pointed lapel and thin bowtie, always in a monochromatic black or white.

Today, dresses come in thousands of different styles and fabrics, and the range of cuts and colors on the prom dress market represent the remarkable progression of fashion in the past one hundred years. The classic black tuxedo remains a prom staple, but now dark greens, blues, and maroons sprinkle the sea of tuxedo colors; and bright-hued ties and bowties match perfectly with the shade of any prom date’s outfit.

In the prom dress palooza, girls find it especially difficult to find a dress that sticks out from the crowd. One of the biggest dress trends for this 2017 prom includes two-piece sets that highlight one’s curves and drape to the floor in a cascading flow of fabric.

Another notable trend in prom fashion puts the focus on one’s shoulders: skin-tight off-the-shoulder gowns. Showing skin seems to be the biggest spotlight in prom dresses, featuring dresses that flaunt fashionable cutouts, lace inserts, and shorter hemlines. The most popular dress colors include universally-flattering blue, showstopping red, shimmery gold, and classic black.

For men’s fashion trends, male prom-goers wear vests layered underneath jackets for extra style and pizzaz. Bowties also decorate the collars of dress shirts, with prom stores filling their shelves with various colors and patterns.

In terms of jacket attire during the dance, seniors agree that tuxedos remain buttoned while standing up and unbuttoned when sitting down or dancing.

“If it’s loose you’ve gotta button it up, but if it’s tight then leave it open,” juniors Steven Hubert and Cobi Jefferson agree.

Through the development of fashion, a more relaxed and trendy feel makes itself more apparent in both male and female prom outfits. Regardless of what one wears, a nighttime full of dancing, memories, and laughter will surely ensue.


Creating a special soundtrack


Tara Anastasoff

Autumn enjoys the music to boost her confidence as she gets ready for an unforgettable night at prom.

Music fuels the mood for an unforgettable night. Whether the DJ plays that infamous Kesha song for an upbeat rave or “All of Me” by John Legend for the first slow-dance, the memories made at prom will repeat like a catchy song for years to come.

The Pre-prom Playlist

The Pre-prom playlist sets the mood before leaving for the night-long occasion. The music played while getting ready can either make or break the attitude for the dance. Luckily, the music app Spotify creates playlists for specific moods and events to assist any prom-playlist needs. Just by searching “prom” on Spotify, prom-goers can uncover playlists filled with popular songs like “Single Ladies” by Beyoncé, “Closer” by The Chainsmokers, and “Broccoli” by D.R.A.M featuring Lil Yachty.

For girls, boosting confidence by listening to headstrong girl groups like Fifth Harmony while doing makeup and hair can lighten the mood after strenuous hours of prom preparations. From the moment students see their best girlfriends on the dance floor or their prom-night date in his sweet ride, they will feel “Worth It” until the clock strikes 10 p.m.

For boys, confidence leads to looking striking on prom night. Songs like “Power” from the notorious album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by rapper Kanye West will have guys popping their collar in front of the mirror (and shamelessly winking at themselves) before picking up their dates for dinner.

The Prom Playlist

While old-time songs on prom night seem inevitable — i.e., “The Cupid Shuffle” — certain songs will create memories to tell future children on their first prom night. Students will never forget the song playing during their first slow dance, so as Usher says, “Take advantage of the slow jam” and live in the innocent moment.

When the DJ plays popular headbangers everyone knows, the term “lit” reaches a whole new level. Take advantage of the overplayed pop songs heard on Atlanta’s radio stations 96.1 and 99.7, and join the overcrowded mob of jumping students in front of the stage for a club-night vibe.

The Post-prom Playlist

Whether a wave of exhaustion hits while exiting Opera Nightclub, or adrenaline just kicked in, the night of music has not finished yet.

The southern-fried inexpensive restaurant Waffle House gathers a lot of patrons directly after prom. Luckily, a jukebox full of classic and new songs sits at most Waffle Houses. Pick a slow, chill song on the modern-style jukebox to reminisce with post prom depression blues.

Battling with a long car ride home? Ask the Uber to turn the radio to a Pop station to relive the memories made at prom. If the party just began, grab some friends and the auxiliary cord in the ride to set the excitement for the after-party.

No matter the playlist or destination, do not forget the importance of responsibility and “Ride” home safely.


Partaking in a culinary adventure

Prom focuses around dates, dresses, and dancing, but while planning, students may find dinner before the dance the most stressful of all. The meal, usually extravagant, provides the attendants with the energy necessary to dance and party all night long.

Choosing a restaurant stresses many out, as price, location, wait times, and taste all factor in. The best part of NC hosting prom at Opera Nightclub means that people have all of Atlanta to choose where to eat.

Students can find steak, the popular choice for nice dinner, across Atlanta. Chop’s Lobster Bar, Stoney River Steakhouse and Grill, Bones Restaurant, and Kevin Rathbun Steak, all rank at four and a half stars. These restaurants present with major price issues, as most meals range around $40. Stoney River offers the cheapest prices, with some dinners available for less than $20.

The prom crowd also favors hibachi for dinner. Taki Japanese Steakhouse, Katana Teppanyaki & Sushi, and the Kobe House, all rank in at four stars or over. Nakato Japanese Steakhouse also earned four stars and received stellar reviews in regards to its elegance, service, and food; it ranges in price from $30 and under and can easily host a large group of people.

Italian restaurants circle the streets of Atlanta as well. Maggiano’s Little Italy impresses most, and students can easily call ahead for a reservation. Prices here range from $16.95 for Chicken Parmesean to $23.50 for Shrimp Fra Diavolo.

“I went to Maggiano’s for my sophomore prom; we were late and they still held our reservation, so it was a good place to go with our big group,” senior Bailey Fogarty said.  

La Grotta Ristorante, located in downtown Atlanta, received a vote as the “best Italian restaurant” by Atlanta Magazine 18 years in a row. It offers indoor and outdoor seating, and reviews on Open Table, Yelp, and Google Reviews claim La Grotta as “great for accommodating large groups of people.” Furthermore, Carrabba’s, a well-known chain restaurant, also serves up-to-par Italian food. Similar to Maggiano’s, Carrabba’s allows for an easy reservation process, and offers most dinner options ranging from $18.95 to $32, significantly cheaper than other Atlanta restaurants.

Atlanta offers options for vegetarians and vegans as well. Herban Fix ranks in at 4.5 stars and reviews claim that the freshness of the food cannot be denied. Vegans and non-vegans can easily find dishes to match their cravings with fair pricing.

Faye Norman, a vegan senior, said, “Herban Fix is aesthetically pleasing and the food tastes even better. There are a plethora of vegan choices and so many desserts to choose from, which is great news for a vegan. It is overall one of the best restaurants I’ve been to.”

Canoe not only offers vegan and and vegetarian food items, but also contains outdoor seating in Vinings which overlooks the Chattahoochee River; however, reviews suggest people set up reservations a few weeks in advance.

Regardless of the cravings or temptations for dinner, price, or people with exclusive dietary conditions or preferences, Atlanta contains restaurants to meet any prom group’s expectations.


Accessorizing with flair


Tara Anastasoff

The corsage and boutonniere on the right from Kennesaw Florist include pink roses, blue ribbon, green leaves, and baby’s breath flower. Kroger made the left boutonniere and it includes a red rose, baby’s breath flower, and green leaves that go great with a black tux.

To match the perfect dress and tux, the corsage and boutonniere provides the final touch for every prom outfit. The Kennesaw and Acworth community offers several places to buy a corsage or boutonniere at budget-conscious prices.

Grocery stores often carry corsages and boutonnieres in the floral section, with a variety of colors, flowers, floral arrangements, and wrist bands. The price for a boutonniere at Publix ranges from $7.99 to $8.99 and corsages range from $17.99 to $24.99. At Kroger, anyone can customize the elements, including flowers, colors, bracelets, bows and more, and corsages start at $21.99 while boutonnieres start at $9.99.

Many local floral shops also offer options. Flowers West Florist, located at 400 Cobb Parkway Suite 400, Acworth, GA 30101, provides corsages and boutonnieres starting at $28 and $16, respectively. To order an arrangement and view arrangement options, visit the store or call the number located on their website.

“The lady who owns the shop is really nice; she works with you trying to figure out the color of everything that goes into the corsage,” senior Shawn Matthews said. “From the ribbon to the flower, it is exactly how I want it. She also has a variety of flowers and colors. One example for me was a set of blue and pink orchids that got put on a corsage. They do every one by hand and the quality is really good.”  

Furthermore, Acworth Flowers & Plants, located at 4829 South Main Street, Acworth, GA 30101, offers floral accessories for order online or in store. The online website offers 11 different corsage options, ranging in price from $22 to $87.95, and 15 different types of boutonnieres ranging in price from $7.85 to $27.95.

Lastly, Kennesaw Florist, located at 2724 Summers Street, allows for calls, walk-ins, or online orders. The website offers 12 different corsages to choose from with flower choices of roses, orchids, lilies or calla lilies and all come in various colors. They also includes feathers in some corsages, which make unique and fun arrangements. The website lists three options for boutonnieres with various flower types ranging from $15 to $18.50 in price.

Once the night ends, keep the corsage or boutonniere as a keepsake. Wrap the corsage or boutonniere up and put in the fridge or keep it in a dry place. The flowers will shrivel, but the memory will live on.


Keeping the fun going


Rachel Hunt

Need a good way to spend time after prom? Watching movies, make popcorn, and accidentally bump hands with your crush when reaching into the popcorn bowl. Make sure to provide plenty of butter, salt, and popcorn seasoning, or even add skittles or M&M’s for sweetness.

Just because the prom ends does not mean the party must. Whether the group wants to continue the party or prefers a quiet night to relax with friends, the options for post-prom fit every group.

After-parties, the most common staple for high school students after prom, sets the bar high for other post-prom plans. Dancing the night away in a big house with loads of snacks and drinks seems like the perfect option to keep the party going. Post-prom parties, also a great way to socialize with old and new friends, will make prom truly a night to remember.

Bowling represents the perfect way to spend more time with friends. To some, the tradition of bowling in prom dresses and tuxes will never go out of style. This inexpensive option involves everyone and keeps the whole group occupied. Furthermore, most bowling alleys also include arcades or laser tag for an extra activity. Local options include Bowlero, AMF, and Stars and Strikes.

Still hungry after prom? Bundle up and enjoy a delicious snack with a bonfire and s’mores. Welcome in the summer with this traditional camp-fire vibe activity and celebrate the end of the school year coming.

Students can also rent a hotel room in Atlanta, Kennesaw or Acworth. As a group, splitting the hotel room costs and spending the night stays within budget and can bring the group closer together.

As an inexpensive choice for post-prom, game night offers an evening of fun. Friends can bring their favorite board games, use game consoles like a Wii or Xbox, or even play outdoor games like manhunt. End the day of games with a movie night by choosing movies everyone will enjoy at a Redbox and setting up a fort in the living room to watch until prom night exhaustion kicks in.

“Our movie night was really fun! All the girls went into the basement and watched funny movies and like fell asleep talking, so it was really fun. It was a good way to calm down and have fun talking about the night and our group,” senior Ansley Hayman said.

Not looking to follow the usual prom route? Have a fun Saturday anyway by hiking Kennesaw Mountain, binge-watching Netflix, or setting up a themed slumber party.

Whether the night ventures into hitting all the major parties after prom, a movie night at a friends house, or skipping prom altogether, the excitement of the night never has to end.


Spoilers presents: The costs of prom

While prom may be the most magical night of a high schooler’s life, it can also be the most expensive. Do not fall prey to the price extravagance of prom by taking these tips to have the best night on a budget.

Kat Shambaugh
The Chant details all of the costs for prom, and how to avoid them.
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