Prom only happens once a year, so it's important to make the most of it. Don't just drop into prom and call it a night. Instead, be sure to plan ample time for pictures with parents, a pre-dance dinner, fun at the main event and a fun, safe after-party among friends.
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Parents and Pictures
The night should start with a trip to both parents' houses for pictures. You also should visit grandparents if they are in town and this is feasible. Remember that while this is you and your date's big night, these are the people who helped get you there and they should be honored as well. Be sure to take lots of pictures, and be patient and polite with over-eager parents who can't seem to let you out the door. If time allows, be sure to get a shot each with your mom and dad, one of the couple, another of the couple and parents, and any other photo combination you think you may want later.
Hopefully you have made dinner reservations by prom night, or have at least called ahead to make sure there is available space. You may opt to dine with your date alone, or with friends; either is entirely acceptable. Don't eat like a bird because you will need the energy for dancing, but you should probably avoid any saucy or oily dishes to protect your attire.
Even if you have a more interesting after-party to attend later, do take your time while you are at the prom. It is important to meet and greet all of the people who have been important to you through the years, as this is the last time you will all be together under one roof. Be sure to log in some time with friends at photo booths or in front of cameras, and don't forget to take a formal shot with your date or friends. This should be done as early in the evening as possible, before your hairstyle and makeup start to fade. After photos, dance to your heart's content, and when you and your date are bored, it's time for the after-party.
The after-party is ideally a home gathering consisting of you and your closest friends. This is a chance to enjoy each other in a more comfortable setting before everyone divides up and goes their separate ways. Movies, music and conversation over late-night snacks are a fun way to spend a prom after-party. Be sure you know what you are getting into before the party, however, as alcohol and sexual behavior find their way into some of these gatherings.