"Promenade" ~ A ceremonious opening of a formal ball consisting of a grand march of all the guests (noun, Merriam-Webster Dictionary); To take a leisurely walk in public, especially to meet or be seen by others (verb, Dictionary.com). A centuries-old tradition throughout the world, "Promenades" were formal societal events, restricted to an area's upper crust and their very special guests. By the 19th Century, this concept had shifted to formal events at universities designed to "display" a particular school's annual graduating class. Over the last 250 years, while many universities still have their own version of this event, what is now widely-recognized by its nickname of "Prom" involves high school students getting all gussied-up and "marching around" on display for everyone to see. (continued below...)
Prom has evolved significantly from its historical requirement of a pairing "two-by-two" to attend such an event. The original pairings were arranged by one's family as an initiation to a possible marriage proposal (also arranged), the purpose of which was often a joint venture between two geographical powers. Today, some students still attend Prom with their current - or hopeful - significant other, but many attend Prom as a group of friends, in order to enjoy the event with their BFFs and not have to worry about who has an "official" date for the party. With all of the changes that Prom has seen, the effort that everyone puts into getting ready, and celebrating the event itself has held its own during the last several hundred years! Shopping for gowns, suits, tuxedos, shoes, socks, jewelry, and other accessories is as time-consuming and involved (and sometimes stressful!) a process as it has ever been, and Prom supports entire industries, such as hairstylists, manicurists, florists, and clothing retailers. But the end result is always stunning, as these fancily-dressed young adults parade around for their family and friends, neighbors and teachers to see the fruits of their labor and that of their parents and other helpers. And then off they go to enjoy their night together, many for the last time before they go their separate ways off to college, jobs, or the military.
I had the great pleasure to serve as the event photographer for these seven fantastic young adults and their families as these best friends gathered to attend Prom this year. They were all beautifully dressed, perfectly manicured and styled, and full of genuine and contagious smiles, which made my job, on behalf of Bamboo Dreams Photography, so very much fun! I wish all of them the very best of luck in all of their future endeavors and look forward to capturing their beautiful moments for years to come!
I hope that you have enjoyed seeing part of their wonderful event!