Manner Monday®: Prom Etiquette

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by Carey Sue Vega in Etiquette, Fashion, Manner Monday, Manners

Ahhhhh, the fun and excitement of prom season …and the nervousness about “what to do.”  With Prom season upon us, I thought I’d share a few tips and reminders for teens headed out for this special occasion.


  • Tuxedo – if you’re renting a tuxedo, make sure to go early for your fitting. When the tuxedo is available for pick up, make sure to go as soon as possible in case alterations need to be made. If you wait until the last minute, you’ll be hit with a rush fee, and more than likely tux that doesn’t fit too well.
  • Open doors for your date.
  • Offer your arm, like the gentleman you are, to escort your date to and from the car to the restaurant and the prom location.
  • Stand and assist her with her chair…no matter how many times she ‘excuses’ herself from the table.
  • When entering a limousine, gentlemen enter first.  It is much easier for the guys to manage the awkwardness of crawling into the large area with their tuxedo or suit versus the ladies in their formal gowns and high heels.  The driver is there to open and close the door.


  • Dresses – Strapless dresses continue to be a dress-of-choice for many young ladies.  Unfortunately, once they’ve had the dress on for any length of time, they don’t realize they’re continually tugging on, and rearranging it.  Try implementing this rule:  if you choose to wear a strapless dress, once you put it on… don’t touch it again. And if you do need to adjust, discreetly excuse yourself to the ladies room. Keep in mind; your goal is to not only look great, but to feel confident and comfortable.
  • Do not go to the bathroom in ‘groups’, it leaves the gentlemen left alone at the table wondering what you are saying about them.
  • Do not put on make-up or fix your hair at the table, save this for your solo trip to the restroom.

Tips for Everyone:

  • For the most part, leave your cell phones alone for the evening.  It’s ok to snap pictures, but save the posting for later. DO NOT ignore your date while you continuously text your best friend or update your social media.  Treat your date with the same respect you would like, and that means giving your date your undivided attention, not your phone. Focus on good old-fashioned ‘face time’!
  • Please” and “Thank you” go along way in making your date feel appreciated.
  • Gum – get rid of it in favor of a mint.  You are dressed up, looking like a million bucks and ready for the red carpet …don’t ruin it by chomping on your gum.
  • Yes, the ladies are perfectly capable of opening their own doors and getting seated by themselves – but letting a gentleman be a gentleman and allowing him to show a bit of chivalry always makes for a nice evening.

Who pays for what?:

  • Traditional rules were that the gentleman pays for everything.
  • Modern rules say that whoever invites pays. Modern rules also say that it’s all right to go ‘dutch’ (which means you share expenses).
  • Either is rule is okay and perfectly acceptable. The best approach is to have a conversation early on to make decisions together so it doesn’t become a stressful event.

Reminding teens that manners aren’t just ‘old school’ rules that are arbitrary or outdated – they’re rules and guidelines to help make you feel comfortable, enabling you to make others around you feel comfortable, too.  Keeping that in mind while treating your date with the respect you wish to receive will ensure that everyone has a great time!

And the best part is you’ll have great memories to look back on 30 years later… like this great pic of me and some of my high school friends! (Yes, that’s me on the right in the black dress with a HUGE hot pink bow!)

Click to Tweet:  Prom Etiquette – Tips and Tools to help make your Prom memorable in a good way! #MannerMonday


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As always;  Thanks for reading!
– Carey Sue

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