The juniors of Thomas Aquinas College, California, fêted their fellow students with one-last pre-Lenten dance on Saturday night — in connubial style. Inspired by Ash Wednesday’s falling on Valentine’s Day this year, the Class of 2025 decided to host a wedding. 

Dancegoers arrived in a romantically half-lit St. Cecilia Hall and found the walls covered with flowers and tables full of fine food, including, of course, a tiered cake. “I felt like I was at a real wedding!” laughed Catherine Guinee (’27). “The juniors did a wonderful job.”

Students arrived in formalwear, many breaking out their finest suits and gowns in keeping with the theme. The evening began, of course, with entertainment: a wedding ceremony in which everything that could go wrong, did — including an unexpected visit from a gorilla. Though perhaps secretly hoping that their own future nuptial days would unfold more auspiciously, students applauded the shenanigans and took to the dance floor.

In addition to the usual swing dances, the juniors also ran salsa, rumba, and tango competitions, in which sophomores were the overwhelming victors. Estevan Henderson (’26) salsa’d his way to victory with Trinity Chester (’25), siblings Michael (’26) and Anna Rivera (’24) won the rumba, and classmates David Grimm (’26) and Paige Zwibel (’26) danced a first-placed tango. 

As at a real wedding, students celebrated deep into the night. “It was sensational,” said Nate Whittaker (’24). “I’ve never seen such a vibrant and full dance.”