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Normal, Weird & Wild Prom Traditions

Since its conception, prom has been associated with dance, romance, and disappointed hearts—two of which being those who lost the chance to be prom king or queen (and didn’t even make it into the court), and those who either didn’t have a date and wished they did, or who did have a date only to break up on prom night. But there’s also a lot of fun with promposals and parties and good friends and silliness. We’ve collected a little fun for you as you take a break from choosing your perfect prom nail color—or your date!

Pretty Much Normal Stuff:


  • Promposals


In case you’re wondering, promposals are not strictly a “modern internet phenomenon.” Facebook wasn’t even open to high school students until 2007. The proposals are just more public now thanks to social media. No one knows when the first promposal took place, but the first recorded one was published in the Dallas Morning News in 2001. Kids were asking each other to prom over the loudspeaker, singing a version of Adam Sandler’s song from “The Wedding Singer.”

Now that they’re a big deal, though, cute promposals are almost expected. So if you’re looking for an idea of something either charming, funny or downright silly, here are a few promposals that even the gals can pull off: CLICK HERE


  • After-Prom Parties


These are pretty much the norm, too, but the style and the number of kids who attend varies. Sometimes the group that went to prom together has a little get together at someone’s house or simply goes out for sodas and snacks in their fancy clothes. The formal planning of a personal group celebration is up to those who attend so pretty much anything goes.

Some schools host the after party with even more food and fun activities, but here is a very interesting factoid:

  • At some schools, attendance at the school’s after-prom party is mandatory! One girl reported that her school “forced” everybody to play laser tag and other games from the end of prom until 5 a.m. Apparently, the idea was to keep everybody too busy—and too exhausted—to go out drinking!


  • Prom Weekends


Depending on the night prom is held and also the locale, some students will plan a weekend as a group. If there’s a beach, they’ll rent a room or even an entire house and hang out until late Sunday. Others (with a wilder side) go camping or hiking or maybe just a road trip to get some wind in the hair, and the radio cranked.

If the camping idea is appealing—but air conditioning and indoor plumbing are mandatory—have a sleepover. With the right set of parents and the right back yard, you might even be able to make it co-ed (but don’t push that idea if any of the parents are skittish—you don’t want to have to exclude anybody).

Getting Pumped for Prom:

In addition to the promposal rage, some schools—and some students—start the festivities early.


  • School-wide Pre-Prom Pep Rally 


Just like before homecoming, some schools host a pep rally either the week of, or the day before, or even the day of prom as a way to get everyone’s energy up.


  • Cutting Classes


If prom is on a Friday night—and the school doesn’t have a mandatory attendance rule—it’s not uncommon for kids to skip the entire school day. (And for those schools with a mandatory attendance rule—how can they possibly expect everyone to look picture perfect witout an entire day to primp and prepare? Really, now, get some sense, school board!)

Winning in the Weird Category:


  • 1st Place: Mock accidents 


To really hit the point home when it comes to drinking and driving, one high school in New York hosts a mock car wreck each year. Flipped cars, crushed drivers’ and passenger side doors (including airbag fails), even student “victims” dripping with “blood” and fake compound fractures—if it’s gory, it’s included.

Some might think that’s laying it on just a little bit thick, but if it works as a deterrent, then even we won’t give it a thumbs down. (We want you to be safe, too!)


  • 2nd Place: Breathalyzer 


Well, maybe this should be 1st place in the deterrent category even though it’s less gory than the mock accidents. In any case, one school in the Chicago suburbs reportedly has personnel on hand prepared with Breathalyzers. They’re not done randomly, but if a student tries to walk to his or her car and looks even the least bit inebriated, out comes the Breathalyzer.

  • The punishment for failing the Breathalyzer? Mom and/or Dad has to come pick you up and…
  • You’re disqualified from the graduation exercises so you can’t even attend your own senior graduation.

(Ouch…but effective!)

Isn’t It Romantic?


  • Girls Wearing Garters



Garters are a fun memento that prom-goers swiped from the wedding industry. Once prom starts and the jackets come off, the girl gives the guy her garter for him to wear on his upper arm.

By the way, the idea (with weddings anyway) is that it’s “good luck” to wear a piece of the bride’s wedding gown.

If you want to keep your garter as a super special memento, why not get a customized greater with your names and the year of your prom?

via Garters.com

This site has just about everything in every color imaginable: Garters.com



Turnabout’s fair play—if he gets your garter, why shouldn’t you get his tie? After all the formal pictures are done, don your guy’s necktie for fun. (Just be sure to give it back if he got it from a rental store!)

The Winning Wild Card of Prom:


  • Drawing Your Prom Date From a Hat 


Some may think it’s outrageous and hate the idea, but one Christian school in Illinois votes every year to continue a tradition started in 1926: drawing your prom date’s name from a hat.

The idea originated so that orphans could still go to prom. It’s a very impressive story, and we recommend you read it. Why? Because the news story won an Emmy!  Find the article by clicking here.

Essentially it works like this:

  • All the girls’ names are put into one container.
  • All the boys’ names are put into another.
  • In the order a guy’s name is picked, that’s the order he gets to pick a girl’s name.
  • In the meantime, the girls are all hanging out in the gym with paper bags over their heads—silly pasted-on faces or whatever they want to do.
  • Then the boys come out and perform a skit before they reveal who they chose for their date.
  • There’s also a tradition that the parents can come and watch the prom draw.
  • If there aren’t enough couples from the junior and senior class, then sophomores—with permission from their parents—are added to the draw to even things up.
  • Also, some guys go with two dates in order to even things out.

Corny? You better believe it, but the student body votes every year whether or not to have the prom draw, and every single year it’s unanimous: Do the Draw!

To Wrap Things Up: Our #1 Pick for Promposal Gone Wrong

Not only does a picture speak a thousand words, but apparently the moral of this story is, “Next year, take a bouquet of flowers for Gerrie Giraffe, too!”

“Aww…look at those cute humans!”

Click For Full Story

“I wanna be in the picture, too, Mom! Ooh, those yellow roses look yummy! Mind if I help myself?”

For even more prom trivia fun, check out this great Sparkle Prom blog article: CLICK HERE


But if you want to get back to serious prom planning, check out our entire selection of helpfulinfo: https://sparkleprom.com/blog/