‘Promposals’ go beyond tradition

Prom date hopefuls used out-of-the-box techniques to pop the question.


Convent & Stuart Hall seniors Laura Herren and Dante Cheung at prom. The couple won two free prom tickets due to the most likes and votes on their promposal.

Julia-Rose Kibben, Design Editor

From the stereotypical poster and flowers to a live musical performance, high school students entered the “promposal season,” finding creative ways to ask their dates to prom — but “going stag” remained an ever-present option for some.

“Going to prom is a rite of passage,” junior Mackenzie Maly, who promposed and brought her boyfriend of over one year, said. “I think it’s fun to have someone to go with, but part of why prom is such a big deal is because of the tradition of bringing a date.”

Prom-asks have been coined “promposals,” and the Internet is home to a wide variety of promposal videos and pictures.

“Part of the fun of taking a date to prom is the promposal,” senior Laura Herren, who was promposed to at the Community Art Show, said.

Seventy-five percent of prom “couples” who attended the Convent & Stuart Hall prom were initiated by a promposal, according to the survey.

In many instances, the asker holds a sign with a clever saying. In other instances, promposals exceed a simple sign or bouquet of flowers.

Senior Dante Cheung, who asked Herren to prom, did so after he sang “Kiss the Girl” with the Acahallers, the Stuart Hall a cappella group, at the art show and performance in the Syufy Theatre in front of attendees including students, faculty and families. After the song, he brought out signs spelling “PROM?” with a bouquet of flowers, saying into the mic, “Laura, I’d be really jazzed if you went to prom with me.”

“It’s punny, because I’m in Jazz Band and he sings a cappella,” Herren said.

The average West Coast family spent $596 on prom night in 2015, according to Visa’s Plan’It Prom app, which claims to help its users budget and manage prom spending and collect information on users’ spending habits.

The app, which considers the costs of attire, transportation, tickets, accessories, memorabilia, food and other expenses, considered promposal costs for the first time in 2015. Promposal expenses alone raised the regional spending numbers by an average of $324.

“It was established that we were going together,” Maly said about waiting to be asked to prom by her boyfriend before she took the initiative to ask him herself, “but the promposal is such a big part of going to prom, and so I had been waiting.”

A Facebook group page was activated in order for all students to post videos and pictures of their promposals.

The Facebook promposal videos inspired others to ask their potential prom dates in out-of-the-box and unique ways, according to junior Alex McDonald.

“I liked that ‘likes’ meant votes, because that’s when you saw people trying really crazy ways of asking,” McDonald said.

The promposal Facebook post with the most likes won two free tickets to prom, a $120 value.

“I don’t know if it’s the best idea to have the people with the most likes win the free tickets because that sort of makes it a popularity contest,” Herren, whose promposal won with the most likes, said.

Forty-two percent of “promposers” who asked their dates to prom said they felt pressured to plan and execute a good promposal, according to the survey.

Promposing is seen as something that one should want to do, according to McDonald.

“The weird thing is that nobody ever stresses out about getting a date for any of the other dances,” Maly said. “So why is it such a big deal for prom? It’s just another dance.”