Prom? The promposal and creative ways to ask your date to the big night

Prom season has started!!

Saturday night was the annual John Carroll Senior Prom. The Class of 2014 did something new this year. They chartered the “Spirit of Baltimore” and cruised from the Inner Harbor and past the Key Bridge for a night of dancing under the stars on the water. The weather was beautiful, though chilly, and there were plenty of great photos.

The Promposal:

Times have changed drastically.

The high school senior prom is still an exciting night of glamour with lots of dancing and staying up all night. But the biggest change is the creative ways our young people ask each other to be their date on this memorable night of nights.

There are lots of articles and photos on the internet that share ideas for our high school students to surprise their prospective dates.

It’s not your parents’ verbal invite anymore….

I asked the John Carroll seniors about their “promposals” and got some fascinating stories.


A hiking surprise:

Emily told me that she had “the most adorable story” to share with me. When we caught up a few days later, she told me how her boyfriend Jordan asked her on a “surprise date.” He said that it would not be like their normal dates of dinner or a movie, and she was to wear older clothes that could get dirty or muddy. Emily’s curiosity was piqued.

Jordan picked her up from badminton practice and drove her to the secret location, which turned out to be Susquehanna State Park where they would go hiking. Emily shared that it was a beautiful early spring day and she thought the surprise was going hiking.
But when they got close to the top of the trail, Jordan surprised Emily with a sunset picnic overlooking the clearing and the river. With the beautiful view and sunset, accompanied by Emily’s favorite foods, Jordan asked her to the prom.
They don’t have any photos of this well-planned promposal because one of the rules when they hiked was no phones so they can enjoy the beauty of the nature.

Emily shared a few photos they took on a previous hike at Kilgore Falls when it snowed.



Pizza promposal:

Catherine emailed and told me that “Camillo asked me to prom in the cutest way!”
Camillo, whose family owns several Italian restaurants in Bel Air, including a pizza place, took Catherine out to dinner to the Fortunato’s in Bel Air where the waiter brought out a pizza that said “PROM” on it with the Vineyard Vines whale logo. Catherine also got roses and chocolates as well. She was delighted.


D.C. dessert:

Julia told me that she recently took her boyfriend to Washington, DC for the day. Since it was his first time going, they did all the things he wanted to do, including going to the wax & spy museums. At the end of lunch when Julia’s boyfriend ordered dessert, it came out saying “Prom?” on top. She was pleased with the big surprise.


A golf match:

Gianna told me that her boyfriend Brian greatly surprised her when he asked her to prom on her birthday. After having birthday dinner with her family, Brian left for home. Shortly thereafter, the doorbell rang and Gianna’s Dad called for her to answer the door. She didn’t see anyone there, but at closer look, there was Brian in her front yard with “PROM?” spelled out in golf balls. He was holding a sign that read, “You’re up to PAR, will you go to prom with me?”


Beary clever:

Devin told me that he went to Build-A-Bear and made a teddy bear that, when its hand was pressed, said in Devin’s voice, “Madysen, will you go to prom with me?”


That takes the cake:

Another Emily told me that she asked her boyfriend to prom by getting him a fish with the attached note “Out of all the fish in the sea, will you go to prom with me?”
Sadly, the fish died, so Emily baked him a cake this time saying “Let’s try this again… Prom?”


Fashionably asked:

Meredith shared that Michael asked her to prom at the Parent Association-sponsored Fashion Show at school on March 9. As Meredith walked down the runway modeling an outfit, the Moms in the audience started laughing. She told me that she thought they were laughing at her and that something was going wrong. When she turned around, Michael was standing at the back of the stage with a big smile holding a sign with photos of them and the message “PROM?” in the middle.

Meredith assured me that she was relieved about the cause of all the laughter and definitely said Yes!!


Chalking it up:

Karly told me that she wrote “prom” in chalk in her driveway when her boyfriend Thomas was coming over to surprise him. I was the one who was surprised when she shared the photo with me. That must have taken all day to do!!


Karly and Thomas’ (on left) promposal is above; Kaley and Jae’s stories are below.


Part 1: Lighting the way:

Kaley told me how she was supposed to see her boyfriend Jae, a 2011 JC grad, after a long weekend Footloose practice in February, but he put her off that morning and wouldn’t confirm the time saying he had “stuff to do.” Feeling like he was blowing her off, Kaley was not in the best of moods during practice. Her Mom texted and asked her to stop at Panera and pick up a baguette on her way home, and then texted several times for her to come home without delay. Kaley shared that as she drove down her street, she could see something glowing near her garage. As she pulled into the driveway, she saw Jae sitting among what turned out to be 400 candles arranged in the shape of “PROM?” Come to find out, he had been secretly planning to surprise her for about a week and her family was helping coordinate times to make sure that Kaley was surprised.

Part 2: Winging it:

Kaley went on to share that since it’s her prom, she wanted to also ask Jae in a creative manner. She explained that most people think that asking someone to prom has to be a big deal, so that’s what she was planning to do until Jae told her that he would prefer something low-key. Since he was preparing to leave soon for a service trip to Panama, Kaley realized she needed to do something quickly. So she picked up his favorite wings on her way over to his house and attached two signs to the container. The one on the outside of the container read “I’ve never done this before, so I’m just gonna wing it…” and the sign on the inside of the container said “Will you go to prom with me?” According to Kaley, they wound up splitting the order of wings, which was good, and Jae said yes to her promposal, which was even better.


“Hey Ho, But I can sing a song…”

Alex asked his girlfriend Annie in a way she will never forget. Annie’s parents did everything they could to delay her from going to work and picking up her paycheck since he had to rush from track practice to get everything he needed for this memorable promposal. When he arrived at her house, he backed his truck into her driveway and quickly put the “PROM?” poster in place and plugged his guitar into the amp before her parents led a confused Annie out of the house. As she rounded the corner to the driveway, Alex started to play their special song “Ho Hey” by the Lumineers. Alex told me that Annie immediately burst into tears and couldn’t stop smiling. When he finished playing, Annie jumped up into the truck and gave him a big hug and said  “Yes” through the laughter and the tears of joy. Alex shared that even now Annie still gets tears in her happy eyes when she thinks about it.


Part 1: Praying for (with) a date:

Bearing in mind again that the promposal often goes both ways with both personas inviting the other to the same event, here is Jessie’s story:

Jessica wanted her Calvert Hall boyfriend to ask her to prom even though he doesn’t go to John Carroll. They both attended Mount 2000, the Eucharistic retreat for high school students, over the February 7-9 weekend at Mount St. Mary’s University. Jessie told me that she was not in a good mood on the first evening and when there was a short break after the opening Mass, Patrick asked if she wanted to pray. Now Jess was confused since they had just left the Mass… Pat pulled out his Bible out of his bag and opened it to a page on which he had written the word “Prom?” at the bottom. The next thing out of the bag was a yellow rose. Jessie’s mood was changed immediately!!


Part 2: Now it was Jessie’s turn to give the promposal:

Pat is part of the cast of the musical “Monty Python’s Spamalot” at Calvert Hall which was scheduled for the last weekend of March and the first weekend of April, which just so happens to coincide with Jessie’s prom. Set in medieval times, Pat was cast as a cowardly knight. Jessie joined his family for opening night. Afterwards when she asked him to help her get something from her car, Jessie produced a poem she wrote about medieval times, asking him to be her knight in shining armor. While he read the poem, she produced a Styrofoam sword and a sign with “Willst thou go to prom with me?”

Jessie shared that Pat was particularly selfless when it came to her prom and his show having overlapping dates. When he cast in a lead role after the holidays and found out the conflict with Jessie’s prom, he convinced the theater director to allow him to have an understudy, something that is pretty unusual for Calvert Hall shows. This led to Pat learning two roles for the show—a major and a minor role— so that he and another student shared both roles and performed each one for half of the shows. Jessie was very grateful: “This was a big sacrifice and I just wanted to brag about how wonderful Pat is and how excited I am for this night.”


Another beary clever ask:

Madi asked her boyfriend Ben from Loyola Blakefield to the JC prom in another creative way. She went online and customized a teddy bear that said, “I couldn’t bear going to prom without you.” With some help from Ben’s mom when he was not home, Madi set up the teddy bear along with balloons and a poster with PROM in lights at the top of his driveway so he would see it when he drove up.


The “heart attack” award goes to…

My final story gets the “heart attack” award:

How do you ask your girlfriend to the prom in a way that is sure to make her scared and crying? Just ask Gus for pointers.

Gus asked his girlfriend Sophia to have dinner at 8:30 on a Sunday night. She was pretty surprised since it was so late on a school night, but she agreed. Gus arrived in his Mom’s Mustang, the first time he was given the keys to her car, so it seemed like a fun occasion just to take be in this nice car. When Gus suggested that they eat at the Green Turtle in White Marsh, Sophia suspected that he might ask her to the prom since she loves turtles so much. But they actually wound up at the Olive Garden and Gus spent much of the evening texting on his phone, checking messages, and what later became clear, stalling for time. Sophia told me that he took 40 minutes just to decide what to order for dinner!! After they finally finished, Gus told her that he wanted to stop somewhere and get ice cream. Again, she was pretty surprised because it was late on a Sunday night. Gus started driving a little fast and Sophia told me that she started lecturing him about slowing down and driving his Mom’s car carefully. She said that Gus in fact started driving too slowly, letting other cars pass him on the road, and then very randomly, he sped up and drove quickly past a police car that was on the side of the road. Lights on, the police officer pulled them over and asked Gus for his license and registration. He also asked Sophia for her license and claimed that he saw her playing with her seat belt when they were being pulled over. She told me that she explained that she left it at home since she was not driving and that she was definitely not playing with her seat belt. When he asked her name, she burst into tears. The officer went to his car and Sophia told me that she sobbed as she chastised Gus for getting them into this mess. When the officer returned, Gus received a warning for speeding. He walked around the other side of the car and handed Sophia a folded citation, telling her to open it to acknowledge receipt. Written at the bottom was the message “Sophia, Gus would like for you to go to the PROM with him. Surprise.” Sophia told me that her tears continued to flow, but now they were happy tears. She found out that the officer was a family friend and that Gus had been texting him throughout the evening as their plan came together.

I assured Sophia that this was definitely the promposal that merited the “heart attack” award!! Poor girl. We had a lot of laughs as she went through the story with me. Gus is lucky that Sophia has a great sense of humor!!


Prom season is now underway:

What are your prom memories?

Let me know your stories.

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