PHOTOS: Marietta seniors gather at Brumby Hall for annual prom photo

Apr. 29—MARIETTA — Bright, sequined-covered dresses of all colors shimmered in the sun as young women in high heels laughed, hugged one another and took turns taking selfies during the traditional Marietta High School senior pre-prom group photograph Friday evening at Brumby Hall.

Young men sporting tuxedoes grinned and shook hands as they gathered for the photo before heading to the Hilton Marietta Conference Center for their "starry night" themed prom.

The pre-prom tradition dates to the 1960s, when high school seniors, along with their friends and family, had their photos taken on the steps of the Kennesaw Avenue home of the late state Rep. A.L. Burruss. It was moved in 2011 to Brumby Hall to accommodate the increasing size of the graduating classes.

While the seniors were busy being photographed at Brumby Hall, Marietta High School's juniors had their own tradition to observe, gathering at Ivy Grove, a 10,000-square-foot antebellum mansion near Marietta Square owned by former Councilman Philip Goldstein. Goldstein, who bought the property in 2016, said one year Brumby Hall wasn't available for the senior photo, so the students gathered at Ivy Grove. That started a tradition of juniors gathering for their photo in front of his home.

"Put your phone in your other hand," a parent yelled at the students as they prepared to take the group picture at Brumby Hall. "Heads up, stand up straight, we're looking at the camera, we're smiling, let's go Class of 2023."

After a few screams from the photographers to move closer together, the ocean of youth parted, finding family and other loved ones for more pictures in the Brumby gardens.

"My last high school dance," mused Cora Ocampo, elegantly dressed with black gloves. "It will be great hanging out with my friends."

Beauman Ivester, a future broadcast major at Auburn University, was looking forward to digging into a huge steak at the Capital Grille in Buckhead.

"This is great," Ivester said while soaking in the scene.

Icy McFall, who will be attending the University of Alabama in the fall, said she was excited for dinner.

"We're going to Pricci and then back for prom on a party bus," McFall said. "I'm just looking forward to having a good time with my friends."

Ben Parrotts, who will be attending the University of Tennessee, said he was excited about the dance.

Wearing a bright orange dress and holding a bouquet of white roses, May Ison squinted in the sun.

"Creating memories with good friends, this is just a fun way to end high school," said Ison, who will be heading to the University of Kentucky.

Parents talked, looking emotional as they took photographs and dodged young people hurriedly wandering around trying to get snapshots with their friends.

Clad in a black dress with sparkling sequins, Nora Hooley, who will be attending the University of Georgia in the fall, said she was excited for the after party.

Tia Lenear was looking forward to having a nice, sit-down dinner with friends. She's attending Georgia State in the fall to study psychology.

"This is going to be a fun night," she said.