T.C. seniors have early prom date

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Early graduation means early prom for T.C. Williams High School seniors. This Saturday, the Grand Hyatt in Washington will host the 2007 T.C. prom: Tonights Dreams, Tomorrows Memories.

Madeline Wingate-Alfonso and Bob Trout are this years senior class sponsors and are responsible for helping to organize and chaperone the prom. We started selling tickets in January and finished ticket sales on March 30, so that made things a bit better, said Wingate-Alfonso. We sold 550 tickets, many more than in the past and I think it was because we started early and let the kids know they were available.

The cost was $60 per ticket.

The Grand Hyatt was chosen because there just werent any local venues available for the date we selected and the Grand Hyatt can easily accommodate our large crowd, Wingate-Alfonso said.

More than 50 T.C. staff members have volunteered to help chaperone and, while there will be security, that isnt really a concern for the chaperones. We dont usually have any real problems at this dance. The kids tend to behave the way they are dressed, said Wingate-Alfonso.

The prom begins at 8 p.m. and ends at 1 a.m. The doors will close at 10 p.m. so if youre not there by then, you wont get in, said Wingate-Alfonso. We will serve hot and cold hors douvres, pastries and punch.

The king and queen will be crowned at midnight and Life Touch will be there to take pictures. We are all looking forward to the evening, she said.

Lots of planning
Proms require a lot of planning. Theres the dress or tux; hair and makeup; jewelry and flowers. According to USA Today, dresses can cost from $150 to $500. According too edressmes.com, this year pink is in and black is out. Ruffles are good but sequins are not. Sequins have been replaced by beads.

As to tuxedos, while men have fewer choices than women, there are some. Costs range from $70 to $250 and most young men still rent their formalwear for the prom. The main variable is the vest and cummerbund. It is still popular to select these items in a color that complements the girls dress. While some young men choose retro tuxedos in colors such as powder blue, black is still the color of choice for most.

We tried to help keep the cost of tuxedos down this year by getting After Hours involved, Wingate-Alfonso said. They came to T.C. and have offered discounts to our students.

Hair is always a challenge. The cost of a do for the prom $15 for guys to as much as $150 for girls. Freehairstyleadvice.com offers some advice on choosing just the right look. You should consider having a trial run. This way you can check that your dress, shoes, hair, and accessories all work together.

If you are wearing a dress that has a high or a fussy neckline, then it is often best to wear your hair up if you have medium length or long hair. Because the neck of your dress is such a feature, you will want to keep your hair simple and elegant.

Match the style of your dress and the style of your hair. If you are wearing a timeless elegant gown opt for a classic hairstyle such as a French roll. If you are wearing a funky dress then try some funky updos.

Continue the line of your dress all the way up to your head. If you are wearing a dress that has a soft and floating skirt then think about wearing your medium-long length hair down. The movement of your hair will complement the movement in your skirt. On the other hand, if you are wearing a stiff skirted ballgown style dress than an updo will best complement this style.

Say it with flowers
In the rush to select a dress and the right hairstyle, dont overlook flowers. Flowers can be just as important an accessory as jewelry, said Nicole Morella, a sales consultant with Conklyns Florist in Alexandria. Kids today are much more sophisticated about flowers than we were or our parents were.

The cost of flowers ranges from $20 to $30. We charge $8.50 for a standard boutonniere and $20 for a corsage, Morella said.

Roses are still the most popular flower for both and most girls prefer wristlets. The color of the girls dress guides flower choices, Morella said. White is always safe and we can use color accents or rhinestones instead of the standard silver elastic band so that it looks more like a bracelet.

Orchids and calla lilies are an alternative to roses, although they are more expensive. We can really do almost anything, given enough time, Morella said. Ideally, she would like two weeks notice for corsages that are a special order.

I have made a corsage for someone who was on the way to the prom but that is not the best alternative. If we have enough notice, we can work with the buyer and help them chose what is right for them and their date, Morella said.

Dinner at the club
Before the prom, a number of T.C. students will have dinner at Belle Haven Country Club. From Belle Haven, they will travel by limo to D.C. Choosing a limo can be confusing and costly.

According to Joe Slaibey, one of the owners of Choice Limousine, prices range from $85 per hour to $250 per hour. It just depends on the vehicle, he said. A lot of kids want the Hummer Stretch limos because they have all of the gadgets three flat screen TVs, two mini bars, CD/DVD players, leather seats and mirrored ceilings. The Lincoln Stretch limos have the same things but some of the kids think they just arent quite as cool, he said.

When choosing a limo, Slaibey recommends that parents make certain that the drivers have chauffeurs licenses; read the contract carefully, inspect the vehicle and plan the itinerary.

Drivers shouldnt go any place that isnt on the itinerary, he said. Also, parents should expect the driver to inspect all bags that the kids bring with them to make sure that there is no alcohol or anything else that is illegal. If our drivers find such things, we call the parent who rented the limousine and the job is over. We want the kids to have fun but we want everyone to be safe and our vehicles to be kept nice.

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