Hot New Trend: The Obscenely Expensive Promposal

By
"Will you go to prom with me?"
"Will you go to prom with me?"Photo: Valeria Patino/Twitter

Remember when Ted Cruz asked Sarah Beaver to prom? Or when Yeezy asked another girl? How about that entire stadium field, via a plane? Puppies, coffee cups, and Beyoncé tickets all for a seven-word question that now costs over $300: “Will you go to prom with me?”

A Bloomberg trend report points out all the ways big brands are capitalizing on (and ruining) promposals — and most notably, it includes Visa’s annual prom spending report (somehow, a thing), which tallied national promposal spending for the very first time. As it turns out, teens (mostly, their parents) are shelling out an obscene amount of money for it.

In 2015, according to the Visa report, the average American family spent $324 on the promposal alone — about one-third of the $919 total cost of prom. For New England teens, promposal spending goes up to $431; $342 in the West; $305 in the South; and $218 in the Midwest.

Overall, families who made less money paid more for prom night than richer families: Households with less than $25,000 in annual income spent $1,393, while families making more than $50,000 paid $799. Dads spent nearly double what moms did — $1,160 versus $710 — and all parents were increasingly willing to splurge on prom in general: In 2015, parents agreed to pay 73 percent of teens’ prom costs, up from 56 percent the previous year.

The promposal is taking over elsewhere: This year, Men’s Wearhouse made March 11 National Promposal Day and reached 2 million people on Facebook and Instagram; the campaign’s Snapchat filter was used nearly a million times. Prom-dress stores are blogging about promposals to get more business, while some event planners are charging $1,000 to $2,500 to plan promposals for teens (at least five families have taken one Los Angeles planner up on it).

What will happen next? Just ask Pope Francis.