Timaru ball rules adapt to smartphone age
Texting, Facebook, and even Snapchat are in vogue when asking a partner to the ball in South Canterbury.
There is a definite etiquette on how to do things when it comes to ball season, but it's not how the older generation know it.
Males, it would appear, have the simpler task.
Boys from both Timaru Boys and Roncalli agree the one stop shop is buying a suit, which includes a shirt and tie, from Hallensteins for $200 in Year 12.
That sorts out their ball wardrobe for their high school years. They may mix it up and buy a new shirt or hire accessories to go with, but that is the standard "look" for guys.
Pupils at Craighead Diocesan estimate they spend $600 to $800 on their own school ball.
That cost includes dress, hair, make-up, shoes, accessories, spray tan, eyebrows and eyelash tinting.
The Craighead girls all agree they only spend that amount of money on their own school ball and cut down severely when going to other school's balls.
Many only wear part of their outfit for a short part of the evening.
But this can be a controversial issue.
Craighead pupils Rachel Buckman, 16, and Charlotte Brown, 17, disagree on length of time they should be worn.
Rachel said as long as you have them on for the photos it does not matter if they are taken off for the rest of the event.
However Charlotte disagrees.
"If you can't keep them on for the whole night you are wearing the wrong shoes. It does not look classy if you are walking around with bare feet," she said.
Who buys the tickets?
It seems it's the person who does the inviting who pays for the ticket. The best ball to attend in Timaru differs depending on who you talk to.
Roncalli student Libby Taylor, 17, thinks Roncalli's ball is the cream of the crop as everyone knows each other, but the boys' high boys and Craighead girls think the boys' high ball is the one to go to.
"It's because everyone from all the schools go to boys high's so it's a nice social catch up," Rachel said.
Another Craighead student, 17-year-old Emily Copland, agrees. "All of Timaru is there."
In year 12 the pressure is on more so than in year 13, as it is their first time to shine.
"It's your first ball. You are more concerned with who you arrive with and what you wear," Emily said.
Libby said it's important for the walk into the ball but once inside they all group together so it doesn't matter.
"I'm not even taking a partner this year," Craighead pupil, Charlotte Brown said.
The arrival to the ball is a big deal in South Canterbury.
Craighead principal Lindy Graham said she had never come across anything like it anywhere else. Red carpet is rolled out and thought taken as to the vehicle.
Boys' high pupil Tim Coleson, 18, said he would see what the theme was before deciding on transport so he could try and work it in.
And back to the infamous Snapchat request. The boys' high pupil who asked his date via that medium was Taylor Worthington-Thin, 17.
"It was a classy Snapchat though," he said.