Some teachers truly think of their students as an extension of their family.
Kelsey Moeller is a kindergarten teacher Hugh Goodwin Elementary School in El Dorado, Arkansas. She’s the sort of dedicated teacher who says, “my kiddos are my life,” so as she made her final wedding preparations she wanted to find a meaningful way to include her students.
“I come to school excited to see them, and leave thinking about them,” said Kelsey. “I think a lot about how I can be better for them and how to make learning exciting. I strive to be that teacher that they always remember.”
Kelsey’s wedding photographer, Angi Gibbons of Flying Pig Photography, came up with a sweet idea to take the first pictures of the bride in her wedding gown in Kelsey’s classroom so that her students could be the very first ones to see her in her dress. She jumped at the chance, and the pictures are absolutely magical!
The first look photos were taken right before the school shut down in March due to the novel coronavirus, so Kelsey was grateful for the pictures. “It was the last thing we got to do together before COVID-19, and I will forever be thankful for that memory,” she said.
As Kelsey waited in the classroom in her gown, Angi corralled the curious children in the hall before guiding them in. Their faces said it all: they were stunned to see their teacher looking so different — and so beautiful!
“Their reactions were the best,” Angi said. “The girls giggled and were so excited, and the boys, well, some of them were so in awe and some wouldn’t even look at me! Their moms texted me later that they came home talking about it and said they were just smitten.”
Kelsey’s mother Jerri Beth Smith is now retired, but she used to teach at the same school! She helped organize the first look photo shoot, sending a note home with the kids so their parents could help them dress up for the pictures. She also set the scene in the classroom. “There were rose petals, and team bride and groom glasses and the children had created a hand-painted dress as a surprise gift for their teacher,” said Angi.
The children had made Kelsey a dress emblazoned with their own names and artwork!
Kelsey officially tied the knot on May 30th, but those first-look photos with her students will always hold a special place in her heart.
“Some days teaching is hard and you have really bad days, but you get to start over the next day and be better,” Kelsey said. “Those kids come to school to see you and learn from you. They are so excited to see you and that makes those hard days worth it! I wish everyone loved like a kindergartner because let me tell you, that is some big love.”
What an adorable idea! These kids will always remember how special they felt to be a part of their teacher’s special occasion.
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