April 28th, 2013

Prom Etiquette

by Jacqueline Whitmore

Brian and I took Abigail and Cooper to the Pooch Prom this year.

Brian and Abigail. Cooper and me.

Proms are not just for teenagers. Brian and I recently attended the 2013 Pooch Prom with our pups, Abigail and Cooper, at Downtown at the Gardens last weekend. Dogs and their owners were dressed to the nines to raise awareness for the Drug Abuse Treatment Association (DATA).

Various contests were held throughout the evening and Abigail was voted “Most Spirited” and “Smartest Dog” by a panel of celebrity judges. She was also selected as a finalist for Pooch Prom Queen!

If you’re going to a human prom this year, don’t forget your manners. This is an opportune time to show your generous supply of intelligence, charm, personality and feelings for others. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

Restaurant Etiquette

Traditionally, the person who does the asking does the paying. In other words, if a guy asks a girl to prom, he may be expected to pay for the entire meal unless the couple agrees on other arrangements, and vice versa. If you go with a group of people, the time to ask the server for separate checks is when you place your order.

Guys: In social situations, pull the chair out for your date.

It’s best not to carry a cell phone into the restaurant. If you can’t live without it for a few hours, avoid the temptation to text or make a call. Put your date first.

Don’t talk with your mouth full. This is a good way to lose points.

Be kind to your server and address him by name. I promise, you’ll get better service. Leave an 18-20 percent tip.

Carry some breath mints and pop them into your mouth after dinner so you have fresh breath for the rest of the evening. Avoid chewing gum.

This is me at my Junior Prom. My dress was handmade by one of my mother's customers.

This is me at my Junior Prom. My dress was handmade by one of my mother’s customers.

A girl will generally wear a corsage, either pinned to her dress or worn on the wrist, and a guy will wear a boutonniere pinned to his lapel.

Guys: If you want to impress your date’s mother, bring her a small bouquet of flowers.

Check with the limo company to see if the gratuity is included in the fee. If not, it’s common practice to give the driver a 20 percent tip at the end of the evening.

Common Courtesies
It may sound old fashioned but it’s good manners to hold the door open for a young lady or give her your jacket when she’s cold.

Be sure to introduce your date to your friends and include him or her in the conversation.

When you’re at the prom, stick with your date. Alienating your date for an extended period of time is a big no-no.

Just do it. You don’t go to the prom to just socialize and eat. If you don’t think you’re a great dancer, dance anyway and dance like nobody watching. Life’s too short to sit around and wait for someone to ask you to dance.

If you go solo or with a group, it’s perfectly okay for a girl to ask a guy to dance. If someone other than your date asks you to dance, it’s polite to check with your date before accepting.

Show Your Gratitude
Show your gratitude by writing your date a thank-you note the next day. This will leave a positive lasting impression.

What tips can you add to this list? I’d love to hear from you!

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