Who Pays for Prom Tickets and Prom Expenses?

Who Pays for the Prom

You might be wondering who is responsible for paying what when it comes to the prom costs. Below you'll find a set of prom guidelines exploring what the guy and what the girl each normally pay for. It's important to remember that these are just guidelines. Each person will have a different financial situation. The most important thing is to talk to your date and to be honest about what you can pay or what you're willing to pay.

Prom Tickets

The guy, traditionally, pays for the prom tickets for his date and himself. However, the modern rules of etiquette say that whomever asks to the other person is responsible for the ticket costs. Many people feel that if a guy and a girl are just friends, and are going to the prom but not considering it a date, that they should split the ticket price evenly between them. This is one of those cases where you want to make sure to talk to your date about it before hand or someone may end up getting hurt.

Some schools have their proms at the school and their tickets can be quite affordable, other schools rent out reception halls and prom tickets can cost several hundred dollars. If your school has expensive tickets it is a nice gesture to offer to pay your half of the ticket.

Dresses, Tuxes, Shoes, Make up, Hair, etc

Whatever each person wears to the prom, or what they do to get ready for the prom, comes out of their own pocket. Your date is not responsible for your expensive salon bill just like you shouldn't pay for his tuxedo.

Prom Photos

The cost of the formal photo taken at the prom should be split between the couple. If you want to purchase a larger, more expensive package so you have more pictures you need to pay the larger portion of the bill.


The guys pay for the corsage they buy their dates. And ladies pay for the boutonnières they give theirs.

The Limousine

This is the trickiest expense to sort out. Generally most couples split this cost (and usually go into the rental with several friends to make it affordable for everyone). If your date cannot take on this added cost, or of you want a very extravagant rental, the right thing to do is pay for it yourself.

Before and After Prom

Many couples start the night early with dinner and then go out afterwards to celebrate. Usually the guy pays for the pre-prom dinner and the couple splits the after prom expenses but again, if you are just going with a friend, you should split the pre-prom dinner bill when it comes.