What Happens on Prom Night

prom girls

Before heading off to prom you may wonder what happens on prom night. This unforgettable event is a rite of passage for teens that has been the subject of many movies and is often highly anticipated.

The Lowdown on What Happens on Prom Night

From the moment you start getting ready until the end of prom night, a lot of things will happen. You will likely have much excitement and high expectations. Everyone wants to have a good time and knowing what to expect will make your dream prom a reality.

Before the Big Event

Prom night is a formal occasion and most people will be dressed up for the entire evening. Guys typically wear tuxedos, while girls choose formal prom dresses. Many girls will also have their hair, nails, and makeup done professionally. Getting ready for prom and traveling to the dance are some of the highlights of the night. With a little preparation you'll be ready for a prom to remember.

If You're a Girl

Make sure you're ready when your date arrives. Your hair and makeup should be complete and you should be prepared to walk out the door. There is nothing worse than leaving your date alone with your parents in the living room. This can lead to awkward conversation and a great deal of nervousness. Let your parents answer the door, but make sure you're ready to get going.

If You're a Guy

Figure out your transportation to pick up your date and let her know what time to expect you. Many people ride in a limousine to prom, which adds to the air of excitement. If your dance does not provide dinner or if you want to go eat somewhere, make sure the limo driver will take you to a restaurant and factor in the time for eating. You don't want to feel rushed or miss too much of the dance.

For Your Parents

Agree on a curfew with your parents and discuss your after-prom plans. Before you leave the house you'll probably also want to have some photos taken. Your parents will likely take pictures of you and your date or group of friends. Think of places you'd like to pose for pictures in advance and make sure the camera battery is charged up. When the glamorous photo shoot is finished, give your parents a wave goodbye.

The Dance

Whether you are at prom with a date or a group of friends, dancing is the name of the game, so don't be a wallflower. The actual dance might be a bit of a letdown after all the anticipation, but you can make it memorable by getting out on the dance floor. At some point, the prom king and queen are crowned and there might be a special dance for the prom royalty.

The After Party

The after party is probably the most elusive part of what happens on prom night. After spending so many hours getting ready, most people want to squeeze in additional activities. Sometimes there will be after prom parties at a person's house or an event planned by the community that includes games, late night food, and socializing into the early morning hours.

Precautions for Prom Night

Some people use prom as an excuse to engage in high-risk activities, such as underage drinking, drugs, or sexual activity. Don't do anything you'll regret the next morning. Use good judgment to make sure that what happens on prom night is something you want to remember.

If you suspect a friend has been drinking, be sure you have the means to pay for a cab or call a responsible adult. Getting behind the wheel after drinking is an absolute no-no. You don't want to spend prom getting arrested, in the emergency room, or causing an accident. Make it a rule never to get in a car with someone who has been drinking.

Some people might also use prom as an excuse to engage in sexual activity. While this is a serious subject and abstinence is the best policy, know that if you choose to be sexually active, birth control is a must. Know what you must do to project yourself and bring up any questions with a trusted adult beforehand.


Prom night is a special time and you deserve to make it a night to remember. Carefully plan your entire prom night in advance and prepare to stay safe and have fun.

What Happens on Prom Night