Counting Down to Prom: The Ultimate Checklist

There’s a reason we see film after film recreate the iconic prom scene in teen movies; there are few rites of passage as memorable. Counting down for your own iconic prom night? With so much to do before the big event, the process can sometimes feel a little overwhelming! Planning things out ahead of time can make your prom stress-free and effortless, allowing you to focus on the most important part—having a good time.

Here’s your all-inclusive list of everything you’ll need and when to follow through to help you have your best prom night ever!

3 Months Before

  • Start pulling inspiration for your prom style of choice. Going Old Hollywood? Glitz and Glam? Staying Classic or going trendy?
  • Note any dress-code rules for your school that need following before you start shopping for attire.
  • Confirm if you’ll be attending with a group of friends, a date or rocking it solo.
  • Start saving a little money for prom expenses by picking up odd jobs, like tutoring, dog walking or mowing lawns.

2 Months Before

  • Purchase your Prom Tickets or make sure your date has got them covered.
  • Shop for your Prom Dress, Suit or Tuxedo. Don’t forget to check out local formalwear shops like Hip Chics in Clemmons and Nitsa’s in Winston-Salem!
  • If your formalwear needs a little help in fitting, schedule an alterations appointment.
  • Start finding inspiration for Hair and Makeup online or in magazines.
  • Book plans for transportation and any after-prom activities with friends (limousine, party bus, hotel reservation, beach rental, etc.).

1 Month Before

  • Book your hair, nail and/or makeup appointments, if needed.
  • Purchase or borrow any accessories or jewelry for the big night.
  • Finalize all alterations for your attire.

2 Weeks Before

  • Start breaking in new dress shoes you’ll be wearing, to make sure you’re ready for the dance floor
  • Order your date’s corsage or boutonniere from your local florist, like George K. Walker Florist in Winston-Salem.
  • Make dinner reservations, if you’re planning on a pre-prom bite out.


1 Week Before

  • Start pampering yourself a little early! Get lots of sleep, take care of your skin, and drink plenty of water!
  • Coordinate your plans with friends; who’s meeting, at what time and where?
  • Schedule pre-prom photos with your parents, friends’ group and anyone else you want to include.

1 Day Before

  • Pack your bag for any after-prom overnight or weekend plans with friends.
  • Create an emergency kit of anything you may need and will want with you (e.g., garment tape, bobby pins, Tylenol, cash, etc.)
  • Print out or save to your phone any inspirational images for your hair and beauty appointments.
  • Attend a nail appointment or do them yourself at home or with friends.
  • Get a good night’s sleep—you have some partying to do the next night!

The Big Day

  • Make time to eat and drink. You need food for energy and you want to stay hydrated!
  • Be sure to charge your phone and camera.
  • Attend hair and makeup appointments earlier in the day.
  • Get ready an hour or so before you are supposed to be ready, to make sure you have everything you need and can avoid rushing.
  • Photos! A selfie or two are great, but have someone get some shots of you and your fellow prom goers that will last a lifetime.

Prom Night

  • Remember—safety first! Look out for yourself and your friends.
  • Have a blast! Don’t stress and have fun. Remember, this isyour special night!

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