The Freshman-Junior Wedding


Students symbolically marry during Freshman-Junior Wedding

The Freshman-Junior Wedding was one of the many events that comprised the traditional sister class activities designed to bring the freshman and junior class members closer together during the fall semester.

The Freshman-Junior Wedding appears to have grown out of a traditional Freshman-Junior party that started in 1913 or 1914. The first of these parties took the form of a circus performed by the juniors for the freshmen. The themes of the parties in the following years varied widely until 1918 or 1919, when the first wedding appears to have occurred.

The weddings were held in November and were meant to symbolize the union of the two sister classes “until graduation do us part.”


Freshman-Junior Wedding bridal party, c. 1931

As with most traditions, the Freshman-Junior Wedding underwent some minor changes in detail from year to year, with the basic structure staying the same. The President of the Junior Class took the part of the groom, while the President of the Freshman Class took the part of the bride. Each party was dressed as realistically as possible, with the groom’s party of the best man and ushers wearing tuxedos and the occasional false mustache.

There was usually a “stag party” held the night before for the members of the junior class, and the wedding itself was staged in full, right down to the wedding cake. Members of the faculty were in attendance, taking the part of the parents of the bride and groom.

In the early years, The Simmons News would often do an article on the wedding, starting out with the announcement of the marriage of, for instance, Mr. ‘23 to Miss ‘25. The News would also give the name of the participants, as well as a description of the bride’s attire.


Invitation to Freshman-Junior Wedding between classes of 1929 and 1931

The wedding seemed to have continued unchanged until 1940 when, according to the Class of 1944 Student Handbook, it was moved from its traditional date in November to January. In 1945, the wedding was discontinued and was replaced by the Freshman-Junior Jamboree.

The Jamboree took the form of a costume party, accompanied by a talent show and the singing of university songs. The entire tradition appears to have been abandoned in 1955 or 1956, since no reference to it appears in the Class of 1960 Student Handbook or any of the subsequent Handbooks. However, in more recent years, freshmen and juniors have been thrown together in the “big sister-little sister program” at Simmons.


Freshman-Junior Wedding bridal party

The Freshman-Junior Wedding