When Roberto Fontanez attended his high school prom in Fort Worth, Texas, about three years ago, he wound up going with someone who wasn’t too thrilled to be dating him. Neither had anyone else to go with thus they went together.
“I just went with the wrong person. It was just a fall back date,” he said.
His future wife, Olivia Fontanez, found herself in a similar situation for her high school prom as well. Without a date for her first two proms, she wound up going with her best friend instead.
“Neither one of us got asked. We just went with each other just to hang out. The third prom I went by myself. The fourth one I met a guy there, and we hung out. When I was a high school senior, I got asked to that one. That one was better,” she said.
As a result of their high school prom experiences, the Fontanez are planning a “Married Prom.” It’s open to any married couple whether they got married yesterday or have been together for decades. It is scheduled from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., Sept. 18, at Rexburg’s Smith Park. There is no charge to attend the Married Prom.
A professional D.J. will provide the music. There will also be a booth set up for couples to take prom pictures.
Olivia Fontanez got the idea for the prom after her husband shared with her about his less than spectacular high school prom experience.
“We were talking one day about how he didn’t like any of his high school proms. I wish we could have gone together. That’s when the idea popped in my head,” she said.
Olivia Fontanez started advertising for the dance on Facebook, and so far the feedback has been positive.
“People are very excited. People are trying to find babysitters. I went the other day to get my prom dress at The Glass Slipper for this event. I met another couple there shopping for a prom dress for our event. The shop owner was thanking me for it,” she said.
The Glass Slipper owner Alicia Jacobson says that the married prom has brought in at least six customers looking for a prom dress.
“They are just so excited. They say, ‘We didn’t go to the prom with the people we’re married to,’” she said.
Another couple told Jacobson they were going through some serious financial problems and needed a break from daily worries.
“They wanted to go and do something for themselves. I’ve helped give them a very generous discount, so they could actually go, have a dress and have fun,” she said.
Jacobson had seen the Married Prom advertised on Facebook.
“Within a week, I started having customers. I asked them which event they’re going to do, and they said ‘the prom at Smith Park.’ The word’s getting out,” she said.
Jacobson has encouraged her customers to attend the prom in a dress that feels most comfortable.
“How many times are you going to go to a prom? I say ‘Let’s go all out and have fun with it,”’ she said.
The Married Prom will give residents a chance to have a great time at a prom with someone who wants to be with them and who loves them. Hopefully, the event will make up for any bad experiences they had at their high school prom, the Fontanezes said.
“You can go with the person you actually want to go with now. Not everybody had a perfect prom. I don’t think I’m the only one” Olivia Fontanez said.
This is the first time that the Fontanezes have put on such an event. To hold the event, Olivia Fontanez is getting all the paperwork and gathering permits in place to reserve the pavilion at Smith Park.
“We are expecting 20 or 30 people max. It’s exciting. It’s a little nerve wracking. It’s going to be fun, and I’m excited for it,” she said.
The hope is to provide a fun experience for married couples and to make it the best prom they’ve ever attended, Olivia Fontanez said.
“The hope is to ensure a positive experience,” she said. “It’s just going to be like a youth dance. There will be pop music, slow dances, line dances – stereotypical stuff.”
For more information on the upcoming married prom visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/ilovelifeinrexburg.