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Excitement growing for ‘Garden de L’amour’ prom

Sarah DeRise, a junior, interviews Activities Director Matt MacDonald about the tradition of prom and how it gets put together. Photo by Bella Batula

Bruins are dancing with excitement for prom.

Students are ready for the Garden de L’amour prom on May 20th. The dance is from 7 to 11 p.m. and tickets are $50. Passes for guests under 21, which had to be cleared by Vice Principal Cathy Peterson, were due last week.

Leadership teacher Matt MacDonald predicted sizeable attendance.

“We expect close to 400 people there,” he said. “Last year we planned for 300 but we ended up with 400 people. We had more than expected and we think that we’ll get around the same number, which is about as many as we get at the Jungle Dance. It is for juniors and seniors unless they ask somebody who is an underclassman and they have to fill out a permission slip to be able to go.”

Leadership members explained how the theme was chosen.

“We found a lot of themes online,” said senior and ASB President Amanda Potts. “We narrowed it down to our favorite ones and we collaborated as a class. Then, we put it up for a vote for the students to decide. So the student body actually decided what the theme was gonna be. The runner-up theme was ‘black and white.’ But they were all really close.”

“All of the elected officers get together and we talk about different theme options,” said Mr. MacDonald. “Ultimately the senior class runs prom. The seniors are in charge of booking the venue and they also pick the theme. We brainstorm a bunch of ideas and they get feedback. This year they did a survey for seniors that they posted on their social media site just to see. We narrowed it down to three and let people give feedback. They liked this one. It was pretty overwhelming; the garden of love type of idea.”

Mr. MacDonald expanded on how the venue would look.

“You’ll see a lot of flowers, a lot of special lighting dealing with flowers,” he said. “Some very spring time colors all throughout the decorations and centerpieces. It’s gonna be really fun. We spent more money on the DJ, more money on the lighting, the food, and the venue. That’s why it costs so much more. The DJ’s got some custom lighting he did just for us that says ‘Garden de L’amour’ up in lights. We are renting a limo that’ll drive people that can’t get called in the gate. They can park at Bear River and drive in the limo over to Lake of the Pines.”

Students expressed how they feel prom has changed.

“I like that it’s always different,” said Potts. “The setting of the two I’ve been to have been different, so it’s been kinda cool to get a different feel every time, but I like that we’re keeping the same at LOP this year because, even though it’s the same location, it’ll be different just with the theme and the DJ that we’re getting as well as the food. The overall culture is different every year.”

“I feel like everything was more classic in the early 1900s,” said Karinne McDonald, a junior. “I feel like now it’s just about being glamorous. Like everyone wants to look their best and I think it’s being more overdone than it was before.”

“Some things change here and there, but for the most part things stay the same,” said senior Emily Downs.

“This is my first prom, but I don’t feel like it’s changed much from tradition,” said junior C.J. Paul.

Mr. MacDonald explained the changes for prom for this year as well as past year’s traditions.

“The venue had changed a lot,” he said. “The venue is always changing. A lot of the same traditions stay the same and we try to keep a lot of the same traditions intact as much as we can. The big thing for this year is we’re adding a lot on the lighting so with the DJ we’re booking he’s gonna do a lot more cool lighting effects all throughout the room. That’s gonna be a big addition. This year we got a bigger photo booth. In the past we’ve only been able to have a photo booth that holds four to six and this year our booth can hold 10 to 12 which means more people can do that and fit more friends in there. We’ll have desserts and drinks as well.”

Students described their preparations for prom and navigating the costs.

“It’s a long process,” said Potts. “Dress shopping takes forever. Went to about four different stores there. Personally, I have a hair and makeup appointment at one and I’ll get my nails done that morning or the day before, and then pictures start at four; pictures and then dinner and we go. What my group is doing is an at-home dinner at one of my friend’s lake houses and since the dance is on the lake were gonna take a boat over. Were gonna buy a bunch of different kinds of pastas and then just split the cost of what that all was so dinner ends up being $5. With your dress, finding one that’s on sale helps a lot and so does just using shoes that you already have.”

“I make sure I get a good night’s rest the day before and wake up fresh with a good breakfast.” said Downs. “I get ready for my appointment for whatever I need to do whether it’s my hair or my make up. I’ll come back and put on my dress. I want to smell clean, I want to look clean and come with my date to prom. I spend about $150 or above and that’s just because hair and makeup are very expensive to do and the dresses obviously cost a lot. It’s honesty all worth it.”

“I’m getting my nails done and I’m getting jewerly,” said McDonald. “I got my dress a couple of weeks ago and I’m buying shoes. Literally buying everything. Buying tickets and boutonniere and corsages, and just the basic things you need for prom. My dress is $120. That’s a lot and it’ll probably be like $300 by the end.”

“I’m talking with my date as well as some other people that we are probably going to dinner with to decide where we are eating dinner at and what we are probably going to do before and after the prom and what time we are all going together for prom,” said Paul. “The costs are getting up there. I mean my ticket, my date’s ticket, my tux, our dinner, or our little flower thing we’re going to get, but it’s probably raking up to about $600 now.”

Students express why prom is special to them.

“It’s a really fun event to go to and it’s just a really fun experience,” said Downs. “It’s not like a regular dance because you get to dress nice, you get to wear heels, a whole bunch of jewelry, and get your makeup and hair done. It just makes you feel so great about yourself. You get to walk in with your date and dance together and match and that just a lot of fun. I like this year’s theme because it’s all floral and flowery and who doesn’t like flowers? I’m pretty sure its gonna look pretty.”

“Prom is just a cool coming of age thing,” said Paul. “It’s a rite of passage where you’re old enough to get to go to prom and you get to do it like all of the past generations have. It’s just that big coming of age dance that you get to go to with somebody that you like. It’s just the pinnacle high school dances.”

“It’s a day to get dressed up and look really good,” said McDonald. “I feel like everyone should go to it. It’s high school, you should do everything you can while you’re in it because it doesn’t last forever.”

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Excitement growing for ‘Garden de L’amour’ prom