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The Evolution of the UK Prom

23 Jun 2017

Prom has become one of the most prized nights of the school calendar for many school leavers. An evening of fun, dancing and a final hurrah for many friends going away to different universities or work. Originally a tradition that began in the USA, this June tradition is all about ball gowns and ill-fitting tuxedos.

But, how did proms become so popular in the UK and do they hold true to their American origins?

USA Origins

Short for promenade – a formal parading introduction of guests at parties – the prom of modern day can find its origins as early as the 19th century. However, this early celebration was a much simpler one and began as a banquet for the graduates of American universities. This older prom audience was pushed back in favour of the younger, largely as a result of the growing teenage culture that America witnessed at the turn of the 20th century. By the end of the Second World War, the prom we know today was a reality in the US.

It was the growing post-war economy that allowed for proms to venture outside of the high school gymnasium. Hotels, country clubs and even the White House for one memorable occasion in 1975 (it pays to be the daughter of the President during prom season). Floral corsages, prom royalty and questionable themes developed over time to become a staple of prom traditions.

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The UK Adoption

There are many different explanations for the growing popularity of proms in the UK. High school movies and television shows such as Back to the Future, 10 Things I Hate About You, American Pie, Friends and even Twilight, for example. Formal dinners, cutesy discos and a ball paled in comparison to such Hollywood glamour and so the UK prom began to take shape.

The need for the perfect makeup, hair, jewellery, dresses, tuxes and much more have meant a boom to an industry that is still new to the UK. On average, teenagers spend £244 each on this special night. With nearly every school holding a prom or a ball, this June is bound to see many teens party the night away throughout the UK.

Around the world, rites of passage are held to celebrate the end of school, but the prom has become the most prevalent form of celebration in the UK with over 85% of schools holding one. The dawn of social media, the internet and ‘teen’ culture has produced this momentous celebration which marks an important time in a teenager’s life.

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So, ensuring it is as perfect as possible is integral to upholding the new traditions set down from our American cousins and making the night magical. With that in mind, you should be sure to hire the best car possible to arrive at prom in style. A range of luxury chauffeured cars are available to whisk you away for a night you will never forget.

If you are interested in hiring one of our luxury chauffeured cars for your prom night, then please don’t hesitate to contact us; simply call us on 020 7792 1191 and one of our friendly members of staff will be more than happy to help you make this a night to remember!

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