Is it a Matric Dance or a Wedding?

My daughter is 7 and showing no signs of being pushed forward 11 grades, so with that in mind my thinking about Matric Dances now might have an entirely differently perspective as my daughter is in Grade 1, versus when she is sitting in Grade 12 and I have Matric Dance Intoxication Fever!

I was sitting at the hairdresser (yes I appreciate how suburbs that sounds) – at a certain point no matter who much shampoo I lather on it still looks like crap, so I need to bring a qualified person and professional help.

I was sitting there and the lady sitting next to me is explaining how she and a few friends had clubbed together and “sponsored” a student’s matric dance dress.

I smiled as I sipped my tea, and thought what a great idea – I mentally started wondering how I could do that, you know find 4 like minded people and throw a few rand towards a girl’s dress from Truworths and some blingy shoes.  PROJECT my inner voice screams – clapping hands simultaneously, so exciting.

I nearly spat on the GHD emblazoned mirror when she (the person sitting next to me, sorry did not catch her name) said that they were presented with a bill for R5 000.00 – for JUST THE DRESS!

A girl who cannot afford a dress, went to a store that sells dresses for R5 000.00 and thought hey that’s okay for my sponsors  First off, I think this girl is either not doing well at Grade 12 “Life Skills” or needs a slap against the side of the head, or a bit of both actually.

Then I started wondering how much money are parents spending on Matric dance dresses and Matric suits for boys?

I get that it is a big day, but my concern is that as parents you are sitting there and putting down 2 months bond payments on junior miss or junior mister to have a cool party and a snappy outfit.  The idea of reasoning with a hormonal whiny desperately-needing-peer-approval child seems like something a bit alarming.

I can’t recall matric dances being this big a deal back when I went.  Back in my day, we spent R150.00 on a dress, borrowed shoes from your aunt, and did your own hair and makeup.

When exactly did matric dances turn into the extravaganza which they appear to be now – and more importantly if they do cost as much as I am thinking, then am I the only one who is having a serious sit down with my child in grade 10 and explain that they have 2 years (or more if they fail) to save towards their matric dance.  What ever they save, I will match – and that is the limit of what they have to spend in total for the entire day.

But my daughter is in Grade 1 and my son is in Grade 4 – I have a few years yet before this is really is a big issue in my world.  But seriously how much money are parents spending at the moment?

I saw this image on Super Mom and had to laugh (and cry a bit) as I think I had a very similar matric dress ….

I remembered this from Cat’s  Juggling Act of Life  Blog that she posted some time back –  and this makes me smile sort of lopsided every time I see it …. crikey, it is all sorts of wonderful … who knew you could get a dress, stockings and shoes to match that perfectly … GO CAT!!!

Promise to dig mine out – I need to get them scanned in as it was a bit before digital or CDs actually ……

Leave a comment


  1. I’m so glad to read that I’m not the only one who feels that our kids grow up in a world of excess. I’m so often reminded when I watch my son play with the tupperware in the kitchen cupboard how little our kids really need to be happy. I hope that when he gets to Matric he’s not pressured to wear a R5000 tux. The answer will be No!

  2. I’m so glad I’m not the only person who feels that our kids are growing up in a world of excess everything. I’m reminded so often that our kids really need so little to be happy. I’m so lucky that I have a boy, hopefully when he’s in matric he won’t be pressured into wearing a tux that costs R16000!

  3. The worst is they actually all just want to get to the after-party! RM, that saving thing is a great idea!

  4. It’s preposterous actually! I’m going to a gala fundraiser at the Hilton in a few weeks time, and I balk at spending that kind of money on a dress I’m only going to wear once! “Not Tonight Josephine” here I come.

  5. Carrie

     /  August 3, 2012

    It is a very special day – for girls and boys. But there is no reason for it to cost so much!!! I did the whole “before party” with a photographer while friends and family came in to give me little compliments while I went through about 5000 different poses for the photographer (I love the limelight a little too much). Also did the trial hair and make up. Fancy shoes I wore only once. But i think in total it came to about R1,500 for the whole thing. (ok 12 years ago). We hired an old-fashioned London cab (which was great since my date threatened to wheel me up in a PnP trolley!)
    There was also a red carpet at the school and half the students (and their parents) standing outside (having lined up since 4pm that afternoon), all screaming your name as you walked the red carpet – kinda like the Oscars 🙂

  6. countesskaz

     /  August 3, 2012

    oooh, this is one my favourite subjects to bang on about. It’s all a load of pretentious bullshite. I truly think that pretentious lot over at Top Billing have a lot to answer for when it comes to weddings and Matric farewells. The waste of money is truly vulgar and shameful!

  7. One Parent Short

     /  August 3, 2012

    A friend of a friend forked R16 000 for her daughters Matric dance two years ago. There was even a “before party” for people to come and view her in her dress, with a professional photographer, also, she had to have the hair and make-up “trial run” a week before. I’m so glad I have son’s. Mr Suit and my Toyota Corolla. If his date doesn’t like it, then she clearly didn’t take enough time getting to know her date’s mother before agreeing to go with him. I don’t care if I’ve won the Lotto five times, I’m still not throwing that kind of money at what is essentially a glamour disco.

    • countesskaz

       /  August 3, 2012

      16000 South African Rond is a shite load of money. I’m glad I have a son too. However have been hearing stories about expensive car rentals that boys insist on etc etc. scary stuff..

  8. Hilary

     /  August 3, 2012

    No offense ladies but MAN those are some seriously bad dresses. The pink one is actually not that bad – until you get to the part below the knees.

  9. ANd it does not stop at the dress apparently. chatting to a day a while ago who’s son matriculated at Kenridge. The other BIG THING for the evening is how to get there. Not just stretch limos’ but helicopters, strecth Hummers and even a bulldozer (!). It’s a mardi Gras parade just to get to the venue………


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