Fairport-E.Rochester Post
  • One girl’s search for a prom dress comes full circle

  • It’s all about the dress.

    High school girls generally agree the dress makes their prom experience.

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    It’s all about the dress.
    High school girls generally agree the dress makes their prom experience.
    Dianne Hutton, owner of One Enchanted Evening in Packett’s Landing, Fairport, said girls should start looking for their gowns as early as January if they want a good selection. Unlike wedding gowns or other formal dresses, she said the many manufacturers have one cutting a year for prom dresses and when those are gone, they’re gone.
    Carly Kreitzberg of Irondequoit, 17, and five of her friends began their search in March at One Enchanted Evening, where two of them bought dresses. Carly, a junior at West Irondequoit High, wanted to continue looking. She’s going to her first prom May 28.
    “We looked everywhere,” said Carly’s mom, Gloria. “We traveled all the way to Williamson looking for a prom dress. We went from store to store, and we couldn’t find a dress. She found her perfect dream dress online.”
    Carly ordered a beautiful “Flirt by Maggie Sottero” dress from a South Carolina shop, which guaranteed to ship it by April 19.
    “Every day, she came home from school and waited for the UPS truck,” Gloria said, noting that two weeks after the promised shipping date, Carly called the shop and was told they had e-mailed her two weeks earlier that they were out of stock.
    “I was so upset,” Carly said. “I was devastated because I had three weeks before prom and I had no dress.”
    After she calmed down a bit, she called One Enchanted Evening and explained her plight. Heather, Hutton’s daughter, took Carly’s size and starting browsing through the racks. She found a dress she thought Carly might like and gave her the catalog number so she could see it online. Much to Carly’s surprise, it was her dream dress — even in the same color she had selected online.
    “The first dress she pulled out was this one,” Carly said, modeling the gown at One Enchanted Evening. “I freaked out. I literally screamed on the phone, ‘You don’t understand, this is THE dress.’”
    Dianne Hutton said the dress had just come in and, it being late in the season, she even thought about returning it — but Heather convinced her it would sell. A short time later, the phone rang.
    “It’s fate,” said Carly. “That’s all I kept saying. It was on sale, too. They were freaking out on the phone with me. I thought I couldn’t even get this dress. The dress makes your whole prom experience. I love the beading. It doesn’t look like every other dress out there. It’s unique like me. We’ve been planning what we were going to wear to junior prom since fifth grade.”
    Page 2 of 3 - Gloria said it was like an angel came down and put the dress for Carly at One Enchanted Evening.
    “We love to be able to provide good service,” said Dianne. “It makes us feel really good. We tend to get a little excited around here. It should be a fun experience.”
    The costs behind the big event:
    The dress: $40-$500 plus
    Traditional gown choices have been replaced by sleeker, slim-lined dresses, coming with less fabric for a bigger price tag.
    Dianne Hutton, owner of One Enchanted Evening in Fairport, said her dresses range from about $119 for a short one up to $500 for a long gown. Add in shoes, jewelry, a prom garter and hair accessories, and the price range jumps to $250 to $900.
    The hair: $15-$100 plus
    Updos start around $40, but guys can squeak out a cut at about $15. Some updos and professional styling for the day of the prom could cost close to, if not more than, $100.
    The limo: $300-$1,000 plus
    A six-hour rental for a limo that holds six people could set you back $300 — for just the basics. A limo for a bigger group could bring you close to $500. Add in the optional televisions, colored lighting and other luxuries, and prices could near a grand.
    The tuxedo: $70 plus
    Tony Benson of Tony’s Bridal Shop and Tux Rental in Webster says the traditional tuxedo will cost about $70, with a rental for the weekend. Prices can jump for specialty tuxedos, but the traditional black and white will remain at a lower cost. Guys can personally accessorize their own tuxedos with matching or patterned ties.
    The shoes: $10-$150 plus
    Outfitting the feet could be a pricey addition to total prom costs, too. Stopping by a local discount shoe dealer could provide hundreds of dollars in savings, costing as low as $10 for a quality pair of dancing shoes to match the dress.
    Makeup artist: $50 plus
    If you’re not too savvy with a makeup brush, salons in the area offer makeup artists to help get you ready for the night out. Bringing in the professionals for application could cost more than $50, for an hour or so of assistance.
    Dinner: $15-$50
    Dining out at a fancy restaurant prior to the dance could cost a pretty penny, with most entrees starting around $12 — and if you choose the steak or fancier meals, costs could slowly build.
    Flowers: $9-$15
    Flowers remain on the cheap end of the prom cost spectrum. A basic boutonniere will average at less than $10, and a corsage will stay below $20. Bringing in ribbons to match the dress or tuxedo colors is always recommended to finish off the total prom look.
    Page 3 of 3 - Total possible costs of prom: $519-$2,145
    Many girls only wear their dresses once. Some lend them to friends for subsequent formals. A good way to get more use out of the dress is to donate it to less fortunate girls so they may have a dream prom too. Donations may be made to Fairy Godmothers of Greater Rochester (www.fairygodmothersrochester.com), which conducts an annual prom fair early in the year to outfit girls.
    Send us your prom photos for use on the web and in print to mpoe@messengerpostmedia.com

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