One of the biggest events any high school student dreams of is attending their senior prom: Spending an evening dressed up with their friends, riding in limos, forging memories that will last a lifetime.
Who says seniors should have all the fun?
Four juniors at Langley High School who have played an active role in the preparation of this year's prom, to be held June 4 at the Crystal City Marriott, say they're just as excited about attending the prom as their older classmates.
"We're not going to do anything too expensive, we're waiting for next year to go all out," said Ricki Schryber, a member of the decorating committee and a fashion student who is making her prom dress herself.
Abi Rainie, another member of the decorating committee, said she was going to be using her sister's dress because the blue color fit in with the "Frozen in Time" theme. "My boyfriend is trying to find an old blue tux to wear."
"I'm on the hunt for a cool looking tie," said Danny Jolles, president of the prom committee.
The Alexandria ballroom of the Marriott was reserved a year in advance for the Langley Prom, he said. "It was the only night they had available so we took it while we could."
In keeping with the "frozen" theme, the room will be decorated with "lots of blue and white gossamer, huge ice sculptures, a fountain with blue Gatorade and giant clocks," said committee vice president Jason Lewris.
Despite having another go-round to look forward to next year, the students said this prom will still be special for them.
"Our class is really close with the seniors so this is a way for us to give them a chance to relax and just enjoy it," Lewris said of the hard work they've put into planning the prom.
'We still feel like we've got a strong part of the prom," Jolles said. The seniors may be honored that night, but "it's much more inclusive" of the junior class.
"I'm really excited to go but I know next year I'll be even more," Rainie said. "I've got my dress and my shoes all set but I forgot about getting the purse and jewelry."
She will be riding in an Excursion limo with a group of 20 friends, she said, one of the few splurges of prom night that couldn't be resisted.
The post-prom destination of choice will most likely be "a friend's house where their parents don't mind staying up late," she said.
Next to the driveway of Langley High School sat a car wreck, a reminder to students of the consequences of driving drunk.
"There haven't been any assemblies on it or anything, but the principal gets on the announcements in the morning and talks about being responsible and not drinking," Lewris said.
The focus of such a big party should be about the fun and not the pressures of preparation.
"We guys are responsible for asking, that's kind of stressful," Jolles said. "Sometimes another guy will beat you to the punch and you'll have to ask a few girls before you find someone to go with you."
"I don't think guys stress about it as much as the girls do," she said. "Guys need like three minutes to get ready."
Schryber said she has the fabric for her dress but some finishing touches are still needed. "Everything else, like shoes and jewelry, are based on that."
Lewris said he and a friend spent months, not minutes, preparing for the event.
"A homecoming, a buddy of mine and I decided to schedule everything ahead of time and it turned out so much smoother for that dance, we did the same for prom," he said. "But it will only take about three hours to get ready."
Lewris and Jolles are hoping the hotel will have the room available early in the afternoon on June 4 so they can begin decorating as soon as possible.
"The hotel just went through some major renovations, there's mirrors along all the walls. The room has its own elevator," Lewris said. "And if anyone needs to take the subway in, that area's been remodeled too so it looks nice."
"We're going to start decorating at the entrance of the hotel and go all the way back to make it more special," Jolles said. "I can't wait to see it all decorated and see all the work we put into it."
"You don't normally get a chance to get all dressed up and go dancing," Rainie said. "Prom is the ideal high school night."
Even though there's always the possibility of another prom next year, this prom will be special.
"It gives you something to look forward to, going to prom as a junior," Schryber said. "You know if this is good, next year will be even better."
Prom is something "you look forward to from the time you start high school," Lewris said.