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Do you see the prom limo as a foolish luxury, a necessity, or what?
Did you have one?

Will you try to ...
encourage / discourage
your kid to get one for his or her prom depending on whether
he or she thinks it's a ...
waste of money / necessity?
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No. of Recommendations: 4
Limo for high school prom: not a necessity, unless you are trying to impress the GF, BF, friends, enemies, family, relatives or neighbors (take your pick). Why waste your money.

Did not have a limo. My parents would have wondered about my sanity if I had asked to have a limo.

<< Will you try to ... encourage / discourage your kid to get one for his or her prom depending on whether he or she thinks it's a ...
waste of money / necessity? >>

Discourage the expenditure. Prom expenditures run from $500-$800. At a community college, that is tuition and books for two semesters.
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Do you see the prom limo as a foolish luxury, a necessity, or what?
Did you have one?

Will you try to ...
encourage / discourage
your kid to get one for his or her prom depending on whether
he or she thinks it's a ...
waste of money / necessity?


Foolish luxury in my boat. However, if the kids in question pay for it themselves, it's their money being used. It can be a good lesson in setting priorities. Show them what that $100-$300 (I have no idea what a limo runs...) could be if they invested it for 20 years. Most teens won't care and will still opt for the limo, but occasionally you'll find one who catches on...
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I know of several cases where 2-4 couples have gotten together to rent a prom limo. Proms have sort of become group events for some reason.

I think that a kid should pay his/her own way. Of course, I also think kids should buy their own cars...so how provincial am I? :-)
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I think that a kid should pay his/her own way. Of course, I also think kids should buy their own cars...so how provincial am I? :-)

I'm right there with you...
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Just say "no."

L
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First year we got a van and a friend's sister drove us. We had a great time, it was safe, but it took two vans to bring our crew. It definitely saved money but there was not the pizazz of driving up in a limo. They brought us to the dance, picked us up, brought us to the after party, and everything. Not only that but we had an older person to buy us alcohol (WHAT, PEOPLE DRINK AT THE PROM???????).

Second year we got the limo. It was nice and very safe. It was a little more private than the van, but very expensive. No to mention, we didn't really need privacy (WHAT, SOME PEOPLE THINK THAT MANY NORMAL PEOPLE REALIZE THAT IT IS CLICHE AND TAKES AWAY FROM ONE LAST PARTY WITH FRIENDS TO TAKE A DATE'S VIRGINITY ON PROM NIGHT????????).

The limo was neat, but everyone had one. Not to mention, with the tux and everything else it was so expensive that everyone ditched it after arriving at the dance. Now, granted, a lot of alcohol was sweated out, but then everyone got into a car afterwards and drove (kind of defeats the purpose of the ride there, in my opinion). I stayed sober for this reason (I think it would have been more fun to drink...there is nothing more boring than being sober when everyone else is drunk...you just can't get the jokes).

If I could go back, I say that the van and getting a "cool" person to drive beat the limo 2 to 1, especially since some limo drivers were not nice at all.

Friend just went to a funeral to bury a girl. They decided a bus wasn't cool for senior trip (even as a younger person who hates rules, I fought for my girlfriend's brother not to be able to drive, but I lost). Well, the girl fell asleep at the wheel only 20 minutes from their destination...only twenty minutes from all-night drinking that she would never have remembered anyway. Now the price of being cool is death.

So I would try to discourage my child (when I have a prom-aged kid, oh 25 years from now), but not for monetary reasons as much as monetary reasons plus "coolness" and "safety" reasons.

If you want a better drawn up argument tha a child may agree with more, I will be more than happy to write one up for you, as kids want to do what their peers do but sometimes they don't realize that their peers don't actually do the things that they assume their peers are doing (if that makes any sense at all).
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Do you see the prom limo as a foolish luxury, a necessity, or what?
Did you have one?

Will you try to ...
encourage / discourage
your kid to get one for his or her prom depending on whether
he or she thinks it's a ...
waste of money / necessity?


I didn't have a limo for my high school prom, and I don't think it is a necessity, but I also don't think it is a small-f foolish luxury either.

If I ever have kids, and they want to have a limo for prom, they will just have to understand that THEY will have to save money to pay for it, MOM will not. If they decide NOT to do the limo thing, more power to them. Basically, while I think prom is a neat tradition for high school kids, I don't think it is the responisbility of the parents to pay for the trappings of the prom.

d
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LowCountry,

Our daughter's high school has a semi-firm rule about this very subject. We got a letter stating that limos are discouraged. Some kids used them, anyway, and their parents backed them up.

The reasons for discouraging limos were many, and we agreed with them. We believe that the parents who decided to let their kids ignore the "rule" were just teaching their kids to show disrespect for authority as well as teaching them that it's cool to impress the other students by showing off - that not only did they and their parents flaunt authority, that they also had the means to be able to rent a limo.

Our daughter attended a Catholic all-girl college-prep high school - the students have above average to superior grades, and most of the families have a comfortable to high income ( we consider ourselves middle-class, only comfortable because of LBOM.) The tuition there is over $6000/yr. Books and various fees adds another $1000.

I would suggest checking with the high school to see if they have any kind of directive on this.

jmbellv
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My 16-yr old sister just went to the prom last month. There were 5 couples altogether (10 people) and everyone chipped in to pay for the limo. A limo for one couple I think is a little excessive, but in this case it wasn't a huge monetary issue given the number of riders. I'm not a parent, but if I were I'd sure be happy that my kids were driven around by a professional on that night, no matter what the cost - not that 16/17 year olds drink these days or anything.

BTW, my sister was showing me the prom favor that they gave out to everyone, it was one of those rubbery candles in a little glass holder/cup thing - or so the chaperones thought. Well, pop out the rubber candle and you get a shot glass. Strangely enough, if you looked in the parking lot on the way out you would have found dozens and dozens of rubbery candle things without the holder.

nparsn


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nparsn,

I completely agree with you about the safety issue concerning drivers. In my daughter's case, MANY parents took on that role, and, surprisingly, there wasn't much complaint from the kids. After the prom, all of the kids were invited to parties hosted at various parents' homes - there were only a few who opted to go to restaurants, and I know of at least one group who spent the night at a hotel suite, complete with all-night swimming, etc., chaperoned by a large group of parents.

I'm not so sure about the message they got about the ok for the hotel; I'm just happy my daughter went to the all-night party at her best friend's home and that I was in the group of parents chaperoning.

jmbellv
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not that 16/17 year olds drink these days or anything.

hehe, yeah...by 16 or 17 they are tired of alcohol
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Let's divide things up here.

For going between homes and the prom, the limo is IMHO silly. However, there's a great deal about the prom that is silly, and it's rather a special occasion.

But nobody said each couple needed their own limo.

A typical limo can hold 2-3 couples comfortably. Depending on where your homes are and where the prom is, it might be able to make two round trips in an hour.

Next:

Quite a lot of couples go to after-prom parties, and some of these parties involve alcohol or other (less legal) recreational drugs. They shouldn't, these are underage kids, but they do.

For getting home after the party, SOME kind of designated driver is essential. The limo can provide this service, while letting the kids think they are keeping secret just what they were up to.

Parents can also be designated drivers, or on call. The hazard there is "I'm not calling Dad, he'll kill me for drinking!" You have to take care of this in advance... make it clear that there will be a SMALL penalty for drinking/etc, NO penalty for calling you to come get them, and a HUGE penalty for driving after drinking...
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My daughter just went to her prom last night with her date and four other couples. She and her date and one other couple decided that renting a limo was tacky, so they didn't do it. I'm very glad! I don't see the point!

BTW, I didn't have one for my wedding, either, and I don't feel I missed out on anything.

phantomdiver
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Only If the child paid for it with there own money...

Ho-Lo
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I grew up in an area in which I don't think I could have rented a limo if I had tried. On the other hand a number of my college friends grew up in NYC, didn't know how to drive, and in some cases their parents didn't either. Given the choice between a limo and a series of taxis I think a limo made sense for them.


To put another perspective on limos we recently used a limo to and from the airport for a family trip. When you factor in that many taxis don't have the space for everything one needs to travel with a toddler, and that the airport parking is expensive per day, we actually saved money compared to some of the other reasonable choices. Our plane tickets cost less by making our return flight land after midnight, and some of that money went to paying someone to meet us instead of my leaving the family in the airport at 1am while I took a shuttle to a satellite parking lot to retrieve the car.


There's a lot more context involved than just whether or not one is riding in a limo, and without that context one can't accurately judge whether the riders is being Foolish or not.

-Michael


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It isn't necessary. The first prom I went to, my date's mom said she would pay for a limo if he got all A's on his report. He did, so we rode in a limo. Senior year, my bf and I went to two different high schools, so for his prom, he rented a mustang, and by the timemy prom rolled around a month later, his dad has just bought a new car, so we rode in that.
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Do you see the prom limo as a foolish luxury, a necessity, or what?
Did you have one?


After reading over a dozen responses, I see that nobody has asked about "the elephant in the room." (The elephant is too big to ignore, but nobody mentions it.)

Is Prom mandatory?

I went to Winter Formal, where the guys wore suits instead of renting tuxes. For about double (to less than triple) the tux rental price, I got a *great* suit. I used that suit for scholarship interviews during high school and job interviews prior to college graduation. It served well in my first job, back when people wore suits to visit customers. I still have it, but a after few years of marriage it didn't fit so well.

I never went to Prom because I wasn't dating anybody at the time. It might be a fun event if you've got a regular bf/gf, but I saw plenty of people who went as "just friends." I couldn't see spending that kind of money, just to "not miss" prom. One girl I knew spent an obscene amount on dress, shoes, getting hair done, etc. She spent the night holding her friend's hair out of the toilet. (I suppose the friend was even worse off--all that expense, and nothing but *bad* memories of the evening.) I didn't know her date, so I don't know how he felt about renting a tux, buying a corsage, paying for tickets, and then spending the evening sitting around waiting for his date to come out of the bathroom.

So, when you ask "Do you see the prom limo as a foolish luxury?" I can only answer that I see PROM as a foolish luxury. If you're buying a Ferarri and ask if heated leather seats are a luxury, someone is bound to answer that buying a Ferarri is a foolish luxury, or that buying a new *anything* is a foolish luxury when a three year old Ford or Chevy is a better value.

I realize that it takes all kinds, and if somebody's getting a joy from something that's worth their money, I don't need to understand it. That said, if there's a lesson for your kid, it's "Go ahead and get whatever you can afford."

I knew a group of kids who rented a limo on their last day of school. Since there's not much demand for limos on weekday afternoons, they got an incredible deal...split nine ways. Unfortunately, Prom is the high demand event.
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For my prom, my date put a fresh coat of wax on his car and that was it. I thought limos were ridiculous - a bunch of (usually drunk) kids acting immature - puking all over the place.

Hardly romantic.

AND my mom and shopped around and found a $50 black cocktail dress that went with my nice black heels - an outfit I've worn maybe a dozen times since at special events.

AND my date and I went out for a nice dinner before prom at a small (but fancy) French restaurant and the owners were so impressed with our behanior (I guess) that they wouldn't allow us to pay our bill!

I think I had the best and more LBMM prom experience ever.

I think spending $500 or more on prom is insane and there's no way I'd let my kid spend that kind of money - unless it was his or her own money from a job - and in that case, they could waste the money if they really wanted to.
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I think that a kid should pay his/her own way. Of course, I also think kids should buy their own cars...so how provincial am I? :-)

As provincial as I am. While I personally think a limo for the prom is money better used elsewhere, if my son decides he wants a limo for the prom, as long as he's having to use his own money, he's more than welcome to rent one. Considering some of his other priorities, I doubt he'll decide to, once he realizes how many hours he's had to work to pay for that ride.

Pam
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