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Prep for Prom with the Project Inspired Prom Checklist!

Prom may be a few months away, but as any good planner knows, it’s always best to prepare ahead of time to avoid last-minute stress. Making a checklist and budget now will allow you to finish all of your little tasks in plenty of time, make the best decisions for your wallet AND have more fun the day of the big dance!

To help you prepare, we’ve created a prom checklist to act as your guide. Since many of you will have your proms at different times this semester, you can take this to-do list and customize it to fit your needs. You can copy/paste ours into a Word document and rearrange it however you like!


5 weeks before prom: 

checkBuy your dress! Start searching in department stores, discount shops (like Marshalls or T.J. Maxx), thrift shops, online stores or wherever you think you’ll have the most luck finding a dress you love within your budget. This also gives you enough time to save up some money if the dress of your dreams is a little out of your reach at the moment.

4 weeks before: 

checkMake your day-of appointments. Are you planning to get your hair, nails or makeup professionally done? So are a lot of other girls in your town, so be sure to secure your favorite spot early! Nails can be done a few days early, if need be, but hair and makeup will need to happen the day of prom.

3 weeks before: 

checkMake sure you’ve got your transportation locked down. Renting a limo? Driving with a group of friends? Grabbing a ride with your mom? Secure your plans to get to the dance, and who will be going with you.

checkThis is also a good time to confirm who you’ll be going to prom with. If you have a boyfriend, that aspect will probably be obvious, though if he goes to another school you’ll want to make sure he has the correct date cleared on his calendar. If you’re wanting to ask someone or go with friends, confirm with them that you’re all on board.

2-3 weeks before: 

checkSecure all of your accessories. You’ll obviously need shoes, but you might also want a necklace, earrings, bracelet or corsage for your date. Bring a good photo of your dress with you to help you style your full look!

2 weeks before: 

checkIf you’re planning to be cost-effective and do your own makeup, nails and hair, you’ll want to start doing research on products you’ll need and styles you like. This way, you have time to buy everything you need (search online for price comparisons!) and do some experimenting leading up to the dance. Just because a hair tutorial features a gorgeous photo and seemingly easy-to-follow steps, for example, doesn’t mean you’ll be able to recreate it to positive results day-of. If you’ve test driven everything and allowed for trial and error, your time spent getting ready on prom day will be smooth sailing!

1 week before: 

checkCheck that you have everything you need in order: dress, shoes, accessories, makeup, nail polish, etc.

checkMake sure you’ve test driven everything–tried on your dress with your shoes and accessories and played around with your hair and makeup.

checkYou’ll also want to make sure you’ve chosen undergarments that don’t show through your dress or cause any discomfort. May sound crazy, but trust us, it’s important and the last thing you want to be worried about at prom is a visible bra strap!

checkAll good? Now you just need to confirm any appointments you may have, steam your dress if necessary and be sure to wash your face twice a day to prevent any unwanted breakouts.

Day of prom: 

Relax, you got this, girl! Because you took the time to plan ahead, your prom day should be smooth sailing and fun.

check Give yourself a couple of hours to get ready so that you don’t have to rush and can enjoy it. If you’re alone, put on your favorite music and take a relaxing bath before getting into your dress. Getting ready with friends? Pack up a bag and double check it a few times before leaving home.

Girls, are you planning on going to your prom? Will a checklist like this be helpful to you? What would you add? Tell us in the comments!

Image: iStockphoto | ThinkStock + Project Inspired


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  1. ChloeJones

    Posted by ChloeJones on March 29, 2018 at 13:05

    Hoping to go to prom for the first time since it’s senior year (expenses and scheduling are the only reason it’s a maybe)… this checklist is great! Maybe in the future we could see an article on getting ready for prom with friends? I’m going alone but am considering getting ready with my bestie 😉
    I’m considering inviting a friend of mine to go with me though because I know I’ll have a lot of fun with him there… we’ll see!

  2. Project Inspired

    Posted by Splenda22 on March 14, 2014 at 18:28

    I’m planning on going to prom and this is my first time and I’m a junior. And yes this checklist will defiantly help.

  3. Project Inspired

    Posted by Penguinlover54 on March 7, 2014 at 16:37

    I’m a junior and this is my first time going to prom. I’m going with a huge group of people, so we’re taking a limo. I’m definitely going to be using this checklist!

  4. Hollydolly4-1

    Posted by Hollydolly4-1 on March 7, 2014 at 16:33

    Ah I can’t wait for prom! Unfortunately, at my school going stag is kind of frowned upon, so I really hope I get asked. All my friends are totally planning on going, so I’m crossing my fingers that I can go too 🙂

  5. Marilyn344

    Posted by Marilyn344 on February 27, 2014 at 19:32

    I’m making my prom dress. I started it. It’s a high low that is a medium to light purple. I am done with the top (that was the hard part) and I’ll be working on the 2 skirt parts very soon. I’m thinking of wearing silver shoes with it…

  6. purplelover97

    Posted by purplelover97 on February 27, 2014 at 15:58

    I’m planning to go to prom even though I’m a sophomore in high school. One of the boys that goes to my youth group asked me if I would become his girlfriend and take me to Prom. He is very sweet and tall as well as compassionate. I already have my dress and accessories. LOVE the checklist as well! 🙂

    • Eemma

      Posted by Eemma on March 22, 2014 at 07:14

      Oh my gosh, that is so cute!!!

    • naynay141516

      Posted by naynay141516 on February 27, 2014 at 18:06

      How sweet!!!

    • Champ2343

      Posted by Champ2343 on February 27, 2014 at 16:28

      That’s awesome purple lover! Wish someone would ask me! 🙁 you’re so lucky! 🙂

      • purplelover97

        Posted by purplelover97 on February 27, 2014 at 17:11

        Thank you Champ2343! 🙂 I do right now an online school here in Ohio called OHDELA which stands for Ohio Distance Electronic Learning Academy. It is headquartered in Akron which I live very close to. He goes to ECOT which stands for Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow which is headquartered in Columbus, the state capital of Ohio. I love him dearly as a brother in Christ! 🙂

  7. Champ2343

    Posted by Champ2343 on February 27, 2014 at 15:48

    This will be my second time going to prom (I only have next year to go so yeah!) Love this checklist and it will be really helpful! Now all I need is a list of prom dresses. 😉


    Posted by BFFofGOD4EVER on February 27, 2014 at 15:46

    It’s my senior year, and it looks like I still won’t be going to prom. 🙁

    • Deborakami

      Posted by Deborakami on March 10, 2014 at 09:44

      Why! If it’s your senior year you should totally go. It’s a must you can’t miss out on it com on. 🙂

    • _Shelby_Renee

      Posted by _Shelby_Renee on March 3, 2014 at 06:16

      You don’t have to have a date for prom if that’s the problem! Go with friends! It would still be super fun

  9. naynay141516

    Posted by naynay141516 on February 27, 2014 at 13:49

    Thanks for the tips! I can FINALLY go to prom this year and am excited. Following these ideas are definitely going to help me. 😀