Rockford High School students dance at their prom at the Pinnacle Center in Hudsonville, Mich., on May 12, 2012. (Emily Zoladz/Grand Rapids Press via AP )

One way to ask someone to a prom is to walk up to ask. Financial cost: nothing. But today we have “promposals” — the name for extravagant invitations to proms that are becoming increasingly popular in some schools around the country; a new survey says they are costing an average of $324 for 2015.

The survey results, by Visa, are drawn from several thousand interviews of American families and don’t claim to be nationally representative of any particular subgroup. They also are anticipatory results, because the proms by and large are yet to occur. But the results still shine some light on the extent to which teenagers and their parents say they will spend money on the annual prom.

The survey says that overall prom costs are actually down 6 percent this year this year for the average family with teenagers, from $978 for clothes, limo rental, tickets, flowers, pictures, dinner, after-party events, etc., down to an expected average of $919 for this year. What’s more, this year parents are planning to cover more of prom costs — from 56 percent of the total last year to 73 percent of the cost this year. One concerning finding: families making under $25,000 plan to spend a total average of $1393 for prom, while families making more than $50,000 annually will spend an average of $799.

A third of the total average prom costs ($324) are now being used for promposals, which have included invitations on a Tiffany’s card, along with jewelry; invitations made via skywriting, invitations made by entire school choirs.

The survey found that families spending the most on prom live in the Northeastern United States, with the least in the Midwest. Here are the breakdowns:

  • Northeastern families will spend an average of $738 on prom night and an average of $431 on “promposal” for a total spend of $1169
  • Western families will spend an average of $596 on prom night and $342 on “promposal” for a total spend of $937
  • Southern families will spend an average of $544 on prom night and $305 on “promposal” for a total spend of $849
  • Midwestern families will spend an average of $515 on prom night and $218 on “promposal” for a total spend of $733

Here are some promposals: