Proms are still a big deal in high school, still a night to go glam, a rite of passage.

But some things have changed: Fewer are left out. It’s no longer couples only. Groups of friends go, which means the white-sport-coat-and-a-pink-carnation staying-home-because-you-don’t-have-a-date is a thing of the past.

“Nobody really cares anymore if you go alone,” said Edward Little High School student Patrick Luizzo, one of the organizers of his school’s prom, held April 29. Students avoid drama with prom dates by going alone or with groups of friends, Luizzo said.

“I sold all the tickets, and I noticed quite often people were going alone to the prom,” he said.

agreed.

Lewiston High School’s prom was May 6. When tickets were sold, the no-date-necessary message was marketed, along with tickets sold to singles. “We said, ‘Grab a friend! Go with any friend! You don’t need a date!’” said prom organizer Matthew Hird, the Lewiston High School junior class president. 

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At both proms, many students went as couples or as friends, often in groups of three, students said.

Taylor Depot, an Edward Little junior, said she’s gone to the prom without a date. Once everyone gets there, “everyone blends together,” she said. “Date or no date, everyone has fun.”

To cater to people who aren’t dancing and awkwardly standing around, Lewiston’s prom included hook-’em and cup pong games, Hird said. “It was a big hit.” So was the photo booth.

What to wear

As has been the case for generations, the outfit is critical. Girls shop often and early; many start looking for the perfect dress in the fall.

Depot bought her outfit, an off-white, long dress, in Portland, she said. Once she had it shortened, Depot said, her gown was perfect.

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Amanda Alberda of Lewiston High School chose a simple, emerald, open-back dress. “I wanted it to be very classic and nothing too flashy,” Alberda said.

Girls often get their hair professionally done. The up-do remains popular.

The look for boys has become more complicated. Many put more thought into it  than their fathers did.

Luizzo chose an all-black tuxedo, pink bow tie and pink pocket square and black dress shoes.

“I put a lot of effort into my outfit,” he said. “I drove from Auburn to Augusta to get my tuxedo. Between getting fitted, picking it up, and dropping it off, I made three trips to Augusta just for my outfit.”

To keep his look sharp, he carried a lint brush in his car to keep hair and dust from collecting on his outfit. “I care a lot about my appearance and wanted to make sure I looked good at prom,” he said.

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Hird said most guys have abandoned the traditional tuxedo, ditching the vest and opting for a slimmer fit with suspenders and bow tie. He ordered his tux online. “I love it,” he said. “It is unique and different from most.”

How much?

Proms are still expensive. Guys typically spend $350 for the tuxedo, flowers and dinner, Hird said. Girls may spend a bit more because of their dresses and hair.

Luizzo spent $170 on his tuxedo rental, $9 on the boutonniere for his date (yes, a boutonniere), plus $45 on dinner, $20 for more food after the prom and $70 for tickets.

Depot said she spent $125 for her off-white gown, $50 for alterations, $12 on jewelry, $35 for her ticket. To save money she wore the same heels as last year. “I did an up-do for my hairstyle; it cost about $65,” she said. Her dinner with friends cost her $10; they had it catered.

Alberda spent $300 to go to the prom. She split the cost with her parents. Her dress cost $225, hair and makeup, $75, and $10 for a boutonniere.

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Both high schools chose new locations this year. Lewiston High School held prom at the Dolard & Priscilla Gendron Franco Center in Lewiston. Edward Little High School held its prom at the Agora Grand Event Center in Lewiston.

Amanda Alberda, a senior at Lewiston High School, chose an emerald-green dress for the prom. 

Lindsey Rousseau and Maulid Abdow head to the Lewiston High School Prom at The Dolard & Priscilla Gendron Franco Center in Lewiston. 

Jessica Gauthier and Max Turcotte wear matching Converse Chuck Taylors to the Lewiston High School prom. 

Students are dropped off at The Dolard & Priscilla Gendron Franco Center for the Lewiston High School prom. 

The Lewiston High School prom was held at The Dolard & Priscilla Gendron Franco Center in Lewiston on May 6. 

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Brianna Remeika and Scotty Venable arrive at The Dolard & Priscilla Gendron Franco Center for the Lewiston High School Prom. 

Arfow Hussein and Hussein Adan head to the Lewiston High School prom at The Dolard & Priscilla Gendron Franco Center in Lewiston. 

Many pairs of high heels come off as students dance at the Lewiston High School prom. 

Students have a picture taken at the PhoBoCo photo booth during the Lewiston High School prom. 

Friends dance during the Lewiston High School prom at The Dolard & Priscilla Gendron Franco Center in Lewiston. 

Hannah Dickinson of Lewiston High School arrives at her prom with Zion Gurney of Edward Little High School. 

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Bridgette Hough of Lewiston High School and Spencer Harrington of Edward Little High School spend a moment together before heading inside The Dolard & Priscilla Gendron Franco Center for the Lewiston High School Prom. 

Dalton Streeter, left, and Patrick Luizzo, right, pose for photos before the Edward Little High School prom April 29.

Edward Little High School students have fun posing before their April 29 prom. From left to right, Julia Milks, Sierra Green, Kaylee Jipson, Taylor Depot and Lauren Berube.

Hailee Ingerson and Matthew Hird pose before their Lewiston High School prom May 6. Hird is the junior class president and one of the prom organizers.


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