Elaborate prom invites get new name: Prom-posals

Apr 19, 2012, 7:36 PM

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) – Never mind a text that meekly asks “will u go 2 prom w/me?”

Today’s teenagers are taking a cue from elaborately staged wedding proposals, inviting each other to prom with flash mobs, scavenger hunts, homemade music videos and even airplane banners flying over the beach.

And while coming up with clever or romantic ways to ask someone to prom isn’t an entirely new concept, the effort and expense going into the big ask these days has given rise to a new term: Prom-posal.

“This year is the first time we’ve done prom invitations,” said Remy Colin, owner of Aerial Messages, a company that charges $600 for a plane to fly a banner with a message on it. “It’s expensive as hell for a high schooler who doesn’t have any money, but we’ve done two in the past three months,” one in Myrtle Beach, S.C., and one in Tampa, Fla.

Alex Chichkov, 17, arranged for a plane trailing “Come to prom with me, Kayla?” to fly over a student fundraiser his girlfriend Kayla Bennett was attending at King High School in Tampa in March.

“I’ve seen it for weddings and I wanted to do something huge or unique,” said Alex, a senior who paid for the flyover with money he earned working at a family business. “I didn’t want to do anything generic. In the history of the school, no one has done anything that big. It’s going to be my only prom, first time ever, last time ever, with someone who’s been my girlfriend for two and a half years, so it deserves to be that big.”

The plane flew over a student Relay for Life event, which raises money for the American Cancer Society, right before the talent show, while a sound system played a Michael Buble cover of the Frank Sinatra song, “Come Fly With Me.”

“Everyone was cheering and she had the biggest smile on her face,” Alex said. Naturally, Kayla said yes.

Rebecca Leet, 17, had an audience of over 250 people for a prom-posal from her boyfriend, Joe Nelson, 18. Rebecca and Joe both worked on a school performance of “Thoroughly Modern Millie” at Collierville High School in Collierville, Tenn. At the end of the show, their teacher, Keith Salter, told the audience to stay put for one more thing.

Joe came out on stage, got down on one knee and pulled out a box with a ring in it. “It’s not what you think!” Salter quickly assured the audience, as some gasped, thinking it was a teenage marriage proposal.

Then Joe popped the question _ the prom question. “She got all teary and said yes,” Joe said. “It made my day just knowing I did something memorable and she really enjoyed it.”

Nancy Darling, an Oberlin College professor of psychology who studies adolescent development, said teenage relationships go through stages, one of which is taking the romance public. “It’s a public declaration of `I really want to go to the prom, and I like you!'” she said.

She added that despite stereotypes of teens “as sex-driven and aggressive,” data shows kids are now becoming “more conservative” socially, with less sexual intercourse than previous generations. “We’re back to being romantic,” she said.

And while some prom-posals come from girls, most are planned by boys, letting them show off “this whole sweet side that doesn’t get a lot of chance to come up,” said Darling. “We’ve really underestimated the romance of guys.”

The Heart Bandits, a “romance event coordinating company” that usually arranges marriage proposals, has, for the first time this year, gotten requests for help with prom-posals, said Michele Velazquez, co-owner of the company. The Heart Bandits created a scavenger hunt in Santa Monica, Calif., that led a girl to a classroom with candles, rose petals and her prospective date holding a “Will you go to prom?” sign. In Michigan, signs were posted on a road ending with an invitation to prom. Velazquez said she’s had inquiries from other teens, but most can’t afford the $300 pricetag.

But many prom-posals are creative without costing a fortune. In East Greenwich, R.I., baker Michael Valente at Felicia’s Coffee got an order for a cake with a frosting heart and the words, “Juliana, Prom?” “It was something new for me,” Valente said. “But I think it was so sweet.”

Search YouTube for “prom invitation” and you’ll find homemade videos of lone Romeos crooning to their beloveds, flash mobs dancing to taped songs during the formal ask, and groups of kids wearing T-shirts that spell out “PROM” one letter at a time. Keith Naranjo, a senior at a high school in Manhattan, Kan., put together a fruit basket with cute notes for each fruit like “Let’s go to the promegranate” and “I’m berry serious.”

“A lot of times you’ll see notes written on kids’ car windows with markers,” said Will Sherwood, a student at Plant High School in Tampa who hid his prom invitation in a bouquet of flowers. “Or there will be 2,000 sticky notes and each sticky note makes a letter. I saw one on Facebook where someone left tiny candles lit on a front porch that spelled out prom.”

He added that “because of social media, people like to take pictures of it and put it up on Facebook, and then other people will say, `You have such a good guy!'”

Just be careful where you hang those signs. Last year, James Tate, a student at Shelton High School in Shelton, Conn., was barred from his prom because he had put the invitation in big cardboard letters on a school wall. Fortunately, after the story made national headlines, the school headmaster relented, and Tate was allowed to go.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

United States News

FIFA President Gianni Infantino answers questions during a 2026 soccer World Cup news conference Th...
Associated Press

Group asks for living wages, labor rights for 2026 World Cup

With this year’s World Cup in Qatar clouded by labor and human rights issues, there’s a push for the North American cities awarded games for the 2026 tournament to commit to livable wages, equitable hiring and worker protection. The Dignity 2026 coalition has brought together groups including the AFL-CIO, Human Rights Watch and the Independent […]
1 day ago
FILE - Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, center, and his wife Fran, right, talk with specialist Emily Milosevi...
Associated Press

Army Guard troops risk dismissal as vaccine deadline looms

WASHINGTON (AP) — Up to 40,000 Army National Guard soldiers across the country — or about 13% of the force — have not yet gotten the mandated COVID-19 vaccine, and as the deadline for shots looms, at least 14,000 of them have flatly refused and could be forced out of the service. Guard soldiers have […]
1 day ago
Karen Sloan said she's a registered Republican who backs abortion rights, Friday, June 24, 2022 in ...
Associated Press

Dems hope to harness outrage, sadness after abortion ruling

YARDLEY, Pa. (AP) — The shock quickly turned to sadness for Victoria Lowe. The 37-year-old lawyer, working outside a cafe in suburban Bucks County, Pennsylvania, said she couldn’t believe the Supreme Court stripped away the constitutional right to abortion that women have had her entire life. She started to cry. “I don’t understand how they […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Today in History: June 25, Anne Frank’s diary published

Today in History Today is Saturday, June 25, the 176th day of 2022. There are 189 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On June 25, 1876, Lt. Col. Colonel George A. Custer and his 7th Cavalry were wiped out by Sioux and Cheyenne Indians in the Battle of the Little Bighorn in […]
1 day ago
FILE - Planes sit on the tarmac at the Des Moines International Airport, Monday, June 13, 2022, in ...
Associated Press

Airlines aim to shift blame for flight problems to FAA

DALLAS (AP) — Airlines under scrutiny for widespread flight disruptions are renewing their criticism of the government agency that manages the nation’s airspace, saying that understaffing at the Federal Aviation Administration is “crippling” traffic along the East Coast. Airlines for America, which represents the largest U.S. carriers, said Friday it wants to know FAA’s staffing […]
1 day ago
FILE - Investigators search for evidences outside Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, May 25, ...
Associated Press

Graduating Uvalde High School class remembers slain children

UVALDE, Texas (AP) — Almost 300 high school seniors received their diplomas Friday in Uvalde in the shadow of the massacre of 19 elementary school students and two teachers one month earlier. The 288 red-gowned Uvalde High School seniors sat in 100-degree heat at the school stadium on the one-month anniversary of the mass shootings. […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air

Tips to lower your energy bill in the Arizona heat

Does your summer electric bill make you groan? Are you looking for effective ways to reduce your bill?
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

ADHS mobile program brings COVID-19 vaccines and boosters to Arizonans

The Arizona Department of Health Services and partner agencies are providing even more widespread availability by making COVID-19 vaccines available in neighborhoods through trusted community partners.
...
Canvas Annuity

The secret to guaranteed retirement income

Annuities aren’t really a secret, but they are so misunderstood that they might as well be. Once you understand what an annuity is and how it can benefit you, you could decide this “secret” is the perfect supplement to your retirement plan.
Elaborate prom invites get new name: Prom-posals