Few events in high school inspire as much excitement, angst, drama, preparation and parental hand-wringing as prom night. It holds iconic status in popular culture (nearly 200 movies feature the word “prom” in the title). And whether a teenager embraces, rejects, tolerates or suffers through it, it’s a night he or she will likely never forget.

Thing is, those memories don’t come cheap. Some families find creative ways to cut costs: Boys wear a suit or borrow their dads’ tuxes. Girls shop at consignment stores like My Best Friend’s Closet in Rockville or get lucky with a sale.

But for those who decide to go all out—as many in the Bethesda area do—prom can quickly add up to a costly night out, as we learned when we checked with a number of area schools and businesses.

See the cost breakdown in the gallery below.