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Experts Have Some Advice On Reducing Costs For Prom

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- From the promposal to primping, going to prom can be a pricey proposition for high school students.

But as CBS2's Vanessa Murdock reported, some experts say there are ways you can save some serious dollars.

High school seniors Francheilly Paulino, Dayse Cayetano and Celided Colon oozed excitement as they geared up for prom in White Plains. Colon picked out what she described as a "beautiful purple dress."

They found the perfect dresses and accessories thanks to Operation Prom.

"A lot of the dresses we have here have tags on them and they cost $2-300," said Operation Prom founder and president Noel Dallacco.

At Operation Prom, the dresses are free, as long as the students are passing all of their classes. Dallacco said the outfitting the young women makes their dream prom possible.

"The cost of prom just keeps getting higher and higher," she said.

According to a Visa prom spending survey, families in the Northeast shelled out an average of $738 on prom night last year.

"The more money you spend, the higher your expectations of prom are, so it's not a good idea," said parenting expert Erika Katz.

Katz stressed that prom is one night, and should be about having fun. The easiest ways to save, she said, are to do one's own, nails, makeup and hair.

"Most people can do their own hair, and you end up putting it in a ponytail at the end of the night," she said.

But Cayetano said she will be getting her hair done, because, she said, "I want everything to be perfect."

Cayetano expects to spend $100 achieving perfection, but she said she is footing the bill herself and it will be money well spent.

Transportation is another opportunity to save, Katz said.

"Don't hire a limousine," she said. "Limousines can be $7-800."

Katz said to opt for Uber or Lyft instead.

Colon has her own strategy.

"Instead of us separately going to prom, we decided to go all in a bus. That way, we cut the cost of a limousine," she said.

For those still searching for the perfect gown, Katz also had some advice.

" has a lot of great prom dresses for under $100," she said.

Going vintage is also an option.

"Not only can you save money but you can have something that not everybody else will be wearing," said Stephanie Ieggio of Pretty Funny Vintage in Tarrytown.

At Pretty Funny Vintage, a plum bell dress with pearls, or an Asian cocktail dress with pearl earrings, will set you back $150.

And for the boys, there are cufflinks at Pretty Funny Vintage. Boys are also advised to rent a tuxedo rather than buying one.


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