October 5, 2015

Celebrating in style – Debutantes can spend a whopping €1,115 on the big night, Ireland’s biggest female celebrity, fashion, beauty and entertainment news website reveals the real cost facing Irish girls preparing for their Debutante Ball.

Lifting the lid on the infamous rite of passage, the popular female focused website, SHEmazing! can reveal that the average amount spent by girls preparing for their Debutante Ball adds up to a whopping €1,115. With over 900 young debutantes surveyed, the true cost of attending the traditional graduation ball from secondary school, otherwise known as the ‘Debs’ does not seem to reflect the contents of their purse.

As part of SHEmazing!’s in-depth research we asked debutantes for full disclosure and a breakdown of costs. Shockingly, figures reveal that debutantes spend an average of €132 for a pair of tickets which explains why 27% debutantes opt to enjoy the night with friends rather than bring a date.

Tickets (x2) €132
Dress €209
Shoes €77
Accessories €81
Beauty treatments €105
Hair €83
Make-up €73
Photography €62
Transport €26
Drinks €75
Sub-Total: €923
Limo €134 (if applicable)
After-party (Entry) €33 (if applicable)
After-party (Transport) €25 (if applicable)
Total €1,115

Astonishingly, research shows young female debutantes in Ireland spend an average of €367 on the perfect dress, shoes and accessories and an additional €261 on hair, make-up and beauty treatments. In fact, over half (54%) of girls start their Debs preparations 3-months before the big day investing in beauty treatments to perfect their appearance. Worryingly, 91% of respondents feel there is a lot of pressure placed on young women to emulate the red carpet look on the night of the debutante ball.

Over half of debutantes (51%) surveyed report feeling under pressure financially when it came to covering all the costs associated with the ball. Three out of every five (61%) debutantes receive financial assistance from family to help them cover all of the costs involved.

The Debs – who pays?
• 32% of debutantes use their savings
• 31% of debutantes have their parents cover all of the costs
• 29% of debutantes share the cost with their parents
• 4% of debutantes say their extended family help pay some of the costs
• 31% of debutantes use some of their earnings from part-time work
• 19% of debutantes try to be savvy and cut costs where possible

Delving further into the attitudes and behaviours of debutantes, SHEmazing!’s research provides a unique insight into whether the ‘Debs’ night lived up to their expectations.

The Debs – Expectations Vs Regrets:
• 56% of debutantes say the celebrations lived up to their expectations
• 51% of debutantes have no regrets from the big night
• Of the 49% who do, the main regrets include:
o 48% wish they hadn’t drank so much
o 37% wish they asked someone else to the ball
o 20% regret their choice of dress
o 14% say they argued with friends
o 8% wish they hadn’t brought a date

Commenting on the research, Susan Vickers, spokesgirl for, said:

“SHEmazing!’s research highlights the huge cost involved in attending a debutante ball with celebrations costing in excess of a thousand euros. Although the Debs is a once in a lifetime event, it is shocking to think school leavers are spending so much in preparation for just one night in their growing social calendar.”

“Our SHEmazing! girls tell us they are feeling under huge pressure to emulate the kind of red carpet looks they see their celebrity idols pull off so easily. And while money is not a problem for these wealthy stars, paying for their big day is the single biggest worry facing Irish girls planning their perfect look this Debs season. With this in mind, our SHEmazing! fashion stylist has put together a range of glamorous looks for less, which are sure to appeal to the style-conscious but savvy girl shopping for their big night.”

“The social pressure facing young girls today is greater than ever before. With every aspect of these young girls lives captured, commented upon and replayed through social media, our research highlights the additional pressure facing young women preparing for their Debs. The competition amongst friends to look their best often leads to girls skipping meals in the days leading up to their big night, which can be lethal when mixed with too much alcohol on the night itself. And with drinking too much reported as our girls’ biggest regret from their Debs night, we are urging the young ladies attending their balls in the coming weeks to pace themselves, so that they can enjoy their night, and remember it for years to come.”