Respectfully Yours: Son’s prom manners
My son will be going to the prom soon, and he asked for my help in doing everything right and being a gentleman. I thought that was very endearing, but I don’t really know what to tell him. What are some proper prom manners I can share with him?
I am thrilled your son cares and wants to make a good impression on his prom date.
To be prepared for a prom date, or any date for that matter, there are a few rules to follow that can make or break the evening. As always, simply knowing the proper ways to behave in certain situations can put everyone involved at ease.
Proms may be a little different today than in years past, but the atmosphere and expectations are probably similar. Regardless, there are some rules of etiquette that should be observed.
Be sure to have a conversation about the flowers he needs to purchase in advance. Traditionally, the guy is responsible for buying the corsage for the girl, and the girl is responsible for buying a boutonniere for the guy.
Corsages need to complement the color of your son’s date’s dress, so he’ll need to find out what color her dress will be. Florists get slammed at prom time, so he shouldn’t wait until the last minute to order it. Encourage your son to be in charge of ordering the corsage.
Dinner is typically part of the prom experience. You might suggest he brush up on his dining etiquette; napkins in laps, cell phones off, and elbows off the table. Gentlemen leave their jackets on at the table and pull the chair out for their date.
The day of prom, a young man should be prepared and gather everything he’ll need for the evening. His list should include: corsage, prom tickets, cash, and umbrella in the car in case it rains.
He should go the extra mile to make sure the car is clean.
Opening all doors for his date, including the car door, is still considered appropriate.
Prom manners are really just good manners.
Have a question? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Jacquelyn Youst is owner of the Pennsylvania Academy of Protocol. She is on the board of the National Civility Foundation.
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