Prom 2016 Inspiration

Today I’m talking about a high school experience for me that was bittersweet. PROM! I’ll also share some inspiration for those looking for a nontraditional, out of the box dress.

Junior Prom

Junior prom was a little rough for me, not gonna lie. I dated this guy pretty much all of high school and decided to break up with him the week before. This left me with no prom plans and no prom date.

Finding for the perfect dress was SO. HARD. I didn’t want anything traditional – no princess gowns, no overly sexy cutouts, no sparkles, no skin tight silhouette. I found a black dress WITH POCKETS (!!!) at White House Black Market for less than $100 and had a custom crinoline made in the prettiest peach color (around $30).

The shoes were my favorite part. I found the coolest pair at Aldo. And those aren’t sparkles, y’all. Those are spikes!! That’s where most of my budget went. I guess I was going for a edgy pin up look?

Patricia Meszler Photo

Senior Prom

Since I graduated early from high school, I didn’t plan on going to my senior prom at all.

My sweeter than sweet friend (we’ll call him B) made it his first priority to give me the best prom I could ask for since junior prom had sucked so much. I found this pic of Rosie Huntington Whitely in a stunning navy gown:

…and wanted to recreate that look. I tried on SO many floor length dresses but there was one problem: since I’m 5’11”, floor length dresses don’t actually exist. Through my old dance studio I found a lady that could whip up a dress similar to Rosie’s and make it specific to my height. Instead of adding sparkles to the back like Rosie’s dress she braided the piece. I added some pops of orange (my favorite color) and added a big statement necklace to make the look a little more preppy.

For my hair we went away from Rosie’s up do and tried a pony with some volume instead. It worked since I hate it when my ears show completely and my hair is WAY too heavy to put all of the way up.

Y’all, you should’ve SEEN the looks these other mamas gave me when I showed up to take pictures with our group! I was super excited to try this daring neckline and I really think I found a way to make it classy. I worked closely with the girl who created the dress to make sure the low cut wasn’t TOO low but feminine and pretty. Three words: So. Much. Tape.

I was pretty much stripped of a great junior prom experience since I was still upset from the break up (rightfully so) and I will never be able to put into words how grateful I am for B and his attention to detail throughout the whole senior prom experience! It was SO fun to do the classic prom stuff with him, like designing my corsage and his boutonniere with the local florist or sending him different pics of dresses so he could help me choose. It was so important to me for both proms to wear something I felt 100% comfortable in but also felt 100% ME in. No one had the same dress as me both years and I got so many compliments on the originality of my choices! Here are some dresses I’ve found that I would LOVE to wear if I could do prom all over again:

2 3 4 5

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10 // 11 

For those of you who have already been to prom, what were your dresses like? Did you have a good experience? For those getting ready, I hope these picks inspired you and steered you in right direction!

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  • You are stunning in both of your proms! I’m homeschooled, so I probably won’t get a prom, but I love looking at prom dresses. That laced one is gorgeous!

    Mikayla | A Seersucker State of Mind

    • Savannah Ward

      Hey Mikayla! Wow, I didn’t know you were homeschooled! My mom says she wished she wouldn’t done that for me since high school was a little rough socially. Thanks for reading! 🙂

  • I had so much fun both times I went to prom! The first year I had a simple, strapless dress that was mint green and the second time I went I wore a druzy purple gown that was kind of a look-alike Elie Saab! It was so fun 🙂 Loved both of your dresses!


    • Savannah Ward

      I love mint green, I’m sure you looked beautiful! Hope your Monday is off to a great start!

  • I went to prom three times, and I always had the best time getting all dressed up! You looked so beautiful at both of your proms!

    Mackenzie |

    • Savannah Ward

      Thanks so much! I had friends that went all 4 years of high school and they loved it!

  • Sami Mast

    I didn’t have a date for either of my proms, but then again neither did most of my group of friends! I have some of my greatest memories from prom including being nominated for prom princess (junior year version of prom queen)! You’re dresses were stunning! I did a similar thing with finding a celebrity dress that I was obsessed with(Jennifer Lawrence’s red oscar dress), except I unexpectedly found the dress when I was out shopping with my friends on super clearance! Ugh I wish there were proms in college!


    • Savannah Ward

      Hey Sami! WOW that’s super cool about your nomination! I love Jennifer Lawrence’s style.

  • Oh, prom. What a bittersweet *old* memory. I’m so glad that you had a redeeming senior prom and love your dress! Thanks for sharing your experiences and dress picks!

    • Savannah Ward

      Hey! Thanks for reading pretty girl! I’m super glad I had the chance to have the perfect prom before I graduated 🙂

  • I love 1, 3 and 8! I only went to my senior prom because I figured that I should at least go to one school dance. But I went with a friend. 🙂

    • Savannah Ward

      I wish I would’ve only gone to senior prom too, it would’ve saved a lot of stress!

  • Kayleigh

    I had a similar situation before my prom with a break up! But these dresses are gorgeous!

    • Savannah Ward

      Oh no! 🙁 High school is such a weird time hahah Hope you’re having a great Monday!

  • Allie Bigoness

    I definitely agree my senior prom was wayyyy better than my junior prom. Both of them pretty awkward, oh high school. I loved my senior prom dress, it was strapless and silver.

    • Savannah Ward

      I can’t rock strapless but I’m sure you looked beautiful!! Silver is such a cool color.

  • Hannah Madison

    You look so beautiful! I am so sorry that you didn’t have a good prom experience the first time around!


    Hannah from HMS Jewels

    • Savannah Ward

      Hey Hannah, thanks so much! 🙂 I hope you had a great Monday! xoxo

  • Both dresses are so pretty! I definitely didn’t have a great prom experience either, my date left me at prom for his ex! I was so mad at the time but I look back at it with a sense of humor!


  • I am in love with that cobalt blue dress, gorgeous girl!

  • Sara Kate Steadman

    You look gorgeous in both of those, but I love that blue dress!! Great suggestions. Thanks for sharing.

    Sara Kate Styling

  • Beautiful! I miss prom so much and I’m 25, haha! My boyfriend and I are high school sweethearts so some of my most cherished memories are from prom. I hope you had a wonderful time! Xoxo Mindy

  • Seriously the only thing I ever miss about high school is prom, your dresses were gorgeous. So cool that your dress from senior year was custom made!

  • I absolutely adore this pictures. You’re so adorable in all of these! I wish I was going to prom…

  • We have similar experiences! I got dumped right before junior prom, and then I graduated early and ended up going to senior prom with one of my girlfriends who had also graduated early. I prom dress shopped out of state because I was terrified someone would end up with the same dress as me! Haha. You are stunning, and I LOVE that blue dress that you had custom made. I hope you found an excuse to wear it again!

    XO, SS || Seersucker Sass

  • Amanda K

    You look so pretty in these dresses! I went all 4 years of high school and went with my boyfriend (now husband) to 3 of them except one since he was in the army at the time. So many great options here.
    Amanda ||

  • Sierra Bailey

    I never went to prom, which I’m not really upset about. However, I’m really sad that I never had the chance to by a pretty dress. Number 7 on your inspiration board is stunningly elegant.

  • It was so fun to hear about your prom experiences!! I’m seriously obsessed with your senior prom look too – you totally rocked that daring plunge line!

    Pick Your Beau

  • Ah prom was almost four years ago now, that is crazy! You look gorgeous

  • Emily Watson

    Sadly, the cheap necklace ruins the look. Perhaps if you join a sorority (doubting that it will be top tier based on your blog) you can go to a formal. I’m highly doubting you’re a debutante though so your next option to “dress up” as you childishly refer to it will be at your wedding.