Disasters aside, fashion is still king at the prom, according to Casey Lewis, the prom expert at About.com. Even in a recession economy, teens are spending hundreds of dollars on dresses, tuxedos, hair-dos, nails, corsages and other accessories.
"People are still laying down money, even parents who've lost jobs," she said.
"It's a big deal because of the tradition," Casey told ABCNews.com. "Your parents went to prom and talk about it, your grandparents reminisce. The expectations are really high."
But some things have changed, according to Casey. "You can go with your girlfriends or your guy best friend," she said.
Such was the case with Victoria Najjar, who works for a California pharmaceutical company. She and three girlfriends found themselves dateless for the San Carlos High School prom in 2003.
"The four of us ended up on the dance floor with everyone else's dates," the 24-year-old from San Carlos told ABCNews.com. They all wanted to dance with us because we were having so much fun together."
"We thought we would have a better time going with friends, rather than trying to babysit a date," she said.