The Complexity of Prom

Behind the scenes work that goes into making the event possible


By Sophie Schneider

Junior Tess Papagni loves to dress up, so she has been looking forward to prom.

Scheduled annually for early May, the junior prom is the largest student event Hopkinton High School hosts. While many look forward to junior year to experience this tradition, most are unaware of the amount of work that goes into creating this memorable night.

Class officers start planning for junior prom the fall of freshman year. Fundraising is a huge part of prom, and effective fundraising for a class means lower ticket prices.

Four-year senior class president Nate Pucci spoke about the amount of work that is necessary to produce prom.

“Fundraisers are everything. We’ve done the marathon bib the last 3 years and that brings in a lot of money. In addition to that, we do raffles, work concessions stands at sports games, and sell class apparel.”

Sophomore year, class officers make the executive decision for the prom venue, DJ, and food options.

Group Expenses
Prom ticket: $50 ($100 for couple)
After prom Ticket: $30
Vehicle rental: $50 ($100 for couple)

“We visited a few venues and then we ultimately had to choose a place based on budget, appearance, and location,” Pucci said.

“There were some complaints, but it is impossible to please everybody.”

Junior class president Alex Wojcek spoke of some unplanned challenges they have had to overcome this year.

Photo: Nate Pucci sitting at his desk in a HHS classroom.
By Sophie Schneider
Senior class president Nate Pucci met with officers weekly junior year to discuss prom.

“While the date for this year’s prom was approved and we thought we were in the clear, we have since realized it is on the same day as some of the AP tests,” Wojak said.

“However, we feel we’ve worked it out and have done a lot to keep the night enjoyable. Things like this happen.”

Senior class advisor Cheryl Elder did a lot of behind the scenes work at the prom last year, communicating with the manager at the venue, organizing details for Grand March, and coordinating with student and parent volunteers.

“Because Grand March is open to the public and so many people attend, it is definitely the hardest part of prom to coordinate,” Elder said.

“The day is always very chaotic. People have appointments and pictures to go to, so making sure everyone is on time so Grand March can go as scheduled is tricky.”

As for the more specific details of prom, a committee of student volunteers was formed to come to consensus on key elements.

Senior Zoe Komodromos headed the committee and donated much of her time to ensure that every small detail was to perfection.

Photo: Zoe Komodromas sitting at a table in guidance.
By Sophie Schneider
Senior Zoe Komodromos says she loves planning events so she decided to join the prom committee

“I had to package up over 40 glass vases, take them home, wash each of them, then package them back up and transport them to the venue. The day before prom, we were at the venue for hours making all of the centerpieces and getting everything into place,” Komodromos said.

“I signed up for prom committee thinking I would get to be making fun decisions, but there was a time restraint on everything and it was often hard to get everyone to agree,” HHS senior Caroline Murphy said.

The committee was tasked with choosing decorations, a prom theme, invitations, and a playlist for Grand March.

“There was a lot of fighting over what the theme should be, but ultimately Great Gatsby won the vote,” HHS senior Elyse Pereira said.

Photo: Tess Papagni is in her prom dress with he heads raised.
By Sophie Schneider
After much anguish over finding a perfect dress, Papagni is excited to dance and hang out with her friends at prom.

While every year a committee is created to make decisions for the event, every attendee must make several personal choices.

Often attendees spend significant time and money on the event.

“I scheduled a hair, makeup, nail, and spray tan appointment. I also went to probably 5 different stores to find a dress that I liked and shoes that were stylish and comfortable,” junior Tess Papagni said.
In addition to this estimated $500 personal expense for girls and $200 expense for boys, juniors also pay for prom tickets, after prom tickets, bus or limo rental, and a corsage or boutineer.

Personal Expenses
Hair: $70
Makeup: $40
Manicure and Pedicure: $50
Dress: $150-400
Boutineer: $20
Spray tan: $50
Corsage: $30
Shoes: $30-100
Tux rental: $200

Juniors asking someone in a different grade often pay for both the ticket and bus rental of their date, doubling this cost.

“The price for everything is crazy. I decided to do my own makeup and borrow a dress from a friend because buying such an expensive dress for just one night seems silly to me,” Murphy said.

While many choose to do their own makeup, nails, and hair, others find that the prep work before prom adds to the memorable day.

“I never get my makeup or hair done, so when I had it done for prom, it so much more special,” Pereira said.

Despite prom being a lot of work to plan and to prepare for, Pereira said it was one of the most memorable nights of high school.

“When I look back on my time at HHS when I am older, I know my junior prom will be something I never forget, making it worth the effort.”

Photo: Caroline Murphy is applying makeup to her face
By Sophie Schneider
Caroline Murphy has always loved doing makeup, and so she did her and some her friends’ makeup for prom.

This year, the price of tickets for a person who is not in the junior class is an extra $10.

“Even though the cost is more, I still wanted to ask a senior so I didn’t mind. I am paying for his ticket and all my friends who are asking out of grade are too,” Papagni said.

Papagni asked senior Matt Lindquist to the prom.

“I know the poster might not seem very important, but I spent a long time on it to make it look good for the picture.”

Juniors often post a picture on Instagram or other social media following the prom ask.

Juniors ask their dates in a variety of ways, but the most popular is with a poster. Some use clever puns, while others write their potential date’s name followed by ‘Prom ?’

All junior girls are invited to a Facebook group and to a GroupMe at the start of January.

Here, girls post pictures of the dress they plan on wearing to the event, so no two girls wear the same one.

Prom dress stores hold inventory of what school’s prom each girl buying a dress plans to attend to prevent any two girls from wearing the same dress to prom.

“You can’t return a dress once you buy it at most prom dress stores, so that is why there is an unwritten rule to check the pictures posted in the Facebook group before you buy,” Papagni added.

“Last year there was an issue where two girls wore the same dress and I think one of them was kind of mad, but I don’t think it is that big of a deal if they aren’t at the same pictures,” Murphy said.

Papagni plans to take pictures before Grand March at one of her friend’s houses.

“I am so excited for pictures because they are something I will have forever. My mom has pictures from her prom and she still shows them to people to remember her night.”

“Although the night hasn’t even happened yet, I already have done a lot to make this night special.”