Special education teacher Kinsey French is so devoted to the students she teaches that she invited all of them to her wedding. Not only would they attend but they would play an indispensable role as her bridal party.
Then-25-year-old French had been teaching for three years at a school in Louisville, Kentucky, where they offer a program for children with Down syndrome. It’s an opportunity to make the school more inclusive while educating students with special needs.
Her class, then aged between 7 and 11 years old, would be honored with the roles of ring bearers and flower girls as they accompanied her down the aisle with her middle school sweetheart soon to be her husband.
She met Josh (the groom) in 7th grade at the Christian Academy in Louisville Rock Creek.
Right from the time he proposed to her, Josh knew how dedicated she was to her classroom. He had surprised her by asking for her hand in marriage right in front of her students and the staff from her school.
Later, she told Josh that she wanted her kids to be a part of the wedding ceremony, and he was supportive.
“I wanted to grow up and get married to my Prince Charming, and have all my loved ones there with me,” she had told Today in 2016.
“When I told Josh that I wanted my students to be a part of the wedding, he was totally supportive and so excited to include them in the special day.
“We talk a lot about my students, and he said, well, they’re like family to me too.”
French then sprang a surprise of her own by presenting her class with her wedding invitations during a school award ceremony. They were absolutely tickled pink.
One of the students’ moms was there for the presentation, and she was also moved by the invite. Traci, mother of 10-year-old Kate, said that her daughter’s face lit up upon getting the invitation.
“I was a little emotional when [Kinsey] asked Kate and the kids,” she said. “I just felt like Kinsey and the teachers treat our kids like family.”
Kate was so excited that she told just about everyone in town, her mom added.
There were eight kids in total that made up French’s bridal entourage—in addition to her students, there was her niece and Josh’s nephew as well.
Each flower girl got their own pearl necklace and a dress especially made for them by French’s mother—an experience designed to make them feel like princesses.
Afterward, little Kate described how it all went: “I loved watching Miss Kinsey getting married … I got to throw out flowers [onto the aisle], and the mashed potatoes [at the reception] were so good.”