High School Prom Etiquette

Updated April 17, 2017

The high school prom is a special occasion, where everyone wants to be their best. Remembering a few important etiquette rules will help you avoid embarrassing faux pas and have a wonderful evening to remember.


Today, it is socially acceptable for both boys and girls to invite dates to prom, for groups or friends to go together, or for individuals to attend alone. Be sure to confirm your plans early enough to get tickets and allow time to shop for dresses and tuxedos.


Each person pays for his or her own clothing--dress and accessories for girls and tuxedo and shoes for boys. Each person also should purchase flowers for his or her date (if going with a date) and present them before the dance. Tickets, transportation, dinner and any other expenses may be shared. Be sure to discuss this with your date or group well in advance to avoid confusion or embarrassment when it's time to pay.


Girls will wear a corsage, either pinned to the dress or worn on the wrist, and boys wear a boutonnière pinned to the lapel. Ask your date what colours he or she is wearing, so the florist can help you choose coordinating flowers. If you're not going with a date, it's fine to purchase your own flowers to complete your outfit.


If dinner isn't included, you'll probably want to go out to dinner before going to the prom. Price, location and atmosphere are all important considerations. Be sure to choose a restaurant that everyone in your group will enjoy. As always, remember your manners and do your best to make polite, interesting conversation.


If you have a date, be sure to introduce them to your friends and try to include them in the conversation. You should avoid leaving your date alone. If you must leave momentarily to visit the rest room, politely excuse yourself and return as soon as possible. If someone asks you to dance, check your date before accepting. It's fine to dance in a group as long as your date is included. If you're not attending with a date, be sure to consider others' dates before joining a conversation or asking them to dance.

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About the Author

Lane Madison is a freelance writer and editor with over eight years experience as a corporate paralegal. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication and English and a paralegal certificate. Her writing has been published on various websites.