Portsmouth friends celebrate delayed school prom with fun photoshoot

Friends Evie Tikner and Lily Drennan’s disappointment after their school prom was cancelled left the pair deflated - but the girls found joy again in a post-prom photo session in a prime location.

Monday, 26th July 2021, 7:06 pm
Evie Tikner and Lily Drennan wearing boots and trainers beneath their prom dresses. Picture: Sophia Benham, Beside The Seaside Photography

With every detail arranged from the dress, hairstyle and mode of transport for arrival at their school, Charter Academy, it’s no wonder the students opted for a personalised grunge alternative to celebrate their school leavers day.

Evie and Lily, now both at Portsmouth College, Baffins, were papped in full prom attire at The Rose Gardens, Southsea, on June 26.

Evie, 17, from North End, says: ‘We wanted to do the photo session because we both had prom dresses that we had planned to wear.

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Evie and Lily at the Rose Gardens, Southsea, on Saturday, June 26 2021. Picture: Sophia Benham Beside The Seaside Photography

‘Of course, with prom being cancelled, we never got the full experience, and we thought it would be a shame to let the dresses and the excitement of wearing them go to waste.

‘We chose the rose gardens because it’s local but also really beautiful.

‘There were a lot of spaces that made for some pretty scenery,’ she added.

The duo found comedy because neither of them was suited to wearing heels and opted for heavy boots and trainers to accessorise flowing prom dresses.

Lily Drennan (left) and Evie Tikner at the Southsea Rose Gardens Southsea Picture: Sophia Benham Beside The Seaside Photography

Lily, 16, from Portsmouth, says: ‘We didn’t plan to wear boots and trainers, I was going to wear trainers to prom anyway, but when we both showed up I saw Evie was wearing boots and we found it hilarious.

‘After a few photos, we thought it would be a funny idea to take photos with our shoes showing.’

Lily is studying sociology, criminology, and biology at college to go to university to learn something linked to crime or medicine.

She explains why now - one year on - she and Evie wanted to create memories through the photo session.

Evie and Lily's prom session. Picture: Sophia Benham Beside The Seaside Photography

‘We decided to have this prom photo session because, in 2020, we missed our prom due to Covid-19.

‘It was meant to be rearranged, but since we had multiple waves, we were never able to.

‘Evie and I are such good friends, and out of all of our friends at Charter Academy, we were both always talking about prom.

‘When prom was cancelled, I was quite sad because it is something that everyone thinks about in year 11 since you think of it as a milestone in your life.’

The friends saw a silver lining amongst all the uncertainty and worry over an occasion that so many school leavers mark their final send-off before moving to their next stepping stone of life.

Evie reflects on the memory: ‘The best part of the session was being able to let loose.

‘Getting dressed up and forgetting about the world for a couple of hours was really liberating. It was really good fun, and I would recommend it to someone who couldn’t attend prom.’

A message from the editor, Mark Waldron.

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