When Catie Zwier was planning her wedding, she always imagined that her pupils would be there to celebrate with her. Catie, who is a teacher at Good Shepherd School in Golden Valley, Minnesota, came up with a novel concept when she started planning her wedding to her fiance Kevin Zwier in the autumn of last year.
“I’ve taught so many of the students here and they are such a big part of my life,” she tells the publication. “The wedding of our friends and family members took place during the week of Catholic Schools Week, which is a week in which every day is a new day to dress up. She continues by saying, “It seemed like the perfect fit to have the kids think it was ‘Fancy Surprise Day’ and then show up to our wedding during the school day and then attend the ceremony.”
On February 1st, Catie, who has been a teacher for nine years, tied the knot in front of her pupils and other members of the staff. On February 2, the pair carried out a second wedding ceremony, which took place the day after the first.
During the time when Catie and Kevin were getting ready for the unexpected school wedding, they had a meeting with their priest, Father Ben, to carefully lay out all of the particulars of the ceremony. Catie acknowledges that the most challenging aspect was in fact keeping it a secret, but she also mentions that the instructors and faculty members in whom they confided were really helpful.
Catie describes how, on the day of the major event, Father Ben made the announcement of the surprise from the other side of the church, much to the amazement of the pupils. In the first, the children were taken aback and confused of how to respond; nevertheless, very quickly, the room was filled with clapping and shouts.
“They were beaming with smiles and excitement, and their responses were absolutely perfect,” she remembers with fondness.
After the wedding was made public, Father Ben questioned the pupils, inquiring as to whether or not they were aware of how the couple had first met. It was playfully said that the first answer was “at a bar.” Catie remembers that the two individuals really met in October of 2020 in a garage that was located outside of their apartment building, despite the fact that it was a nice and hilarious encounter.
“I have always referred to my classroom as “Corken’s Crew” (Catie’s maiden name is Corken), and now that I am a Zwier, they had all of the children who were a part of Corken’s Crew sign a large commemorative blanket for me. She continues by saying, “Every name brings up a lot of memories connected to teaching, and it’s really cool to know that they were all there at our wedding.”
In preparation for the wedding, the couple asked the pupils to perform the roles of flower girls and attendants. A significant number of the youngsters that took part in the event were either the children of friends or the offspring of other staff members from Good Shepherd. Catie had previously worked as a summer nanny for the two kids who were selected for the first and second readings. Both of these students had been in Catie’s kindergarten class in the past.
Catie, who is also the coach of the school’s Spirit Squad and can often be seen dancing in the halls, adds that the whole school lined the corridors with glistening silver pom-poms, and that the speaker system was filled with music that was loaded with positive uplifting messages.
To encourage us to kiss, some of the children even had cowbells in their hands, which they were ringing. I don’t believe I’ve ever grinned with such a broad grin in my whole life. When we saw the entire school cheering for us, it was an overwhelming and incredibly special experience; we could definitely feel the love that was being shown to us. She screams out, “I had the sensation that I was floating!”
Witnessing the immense affection that the school community had for Kevin’s wife was a genuinely incredible experience for Kevin. “Catie is adored by this community, and from the moment we attended a school gala together, I’ve been embraced with open arms,” according to him.
“On the day of the wedding, I was standing just beyond the doors as Father Ben announced that they had gathered to witness the wedding of Ms. Corken. I witnessed the ceremony firsthand.” He goes on to say that “you could feel the silence as the children processed what was happening, before they erupted into joyful chaos.”
In addition, he says, “As I made my way down the aisles, I could feel the excitement that was buzzing across the atmosphere.” It was very different from anything else I had ever dealt with before. There was a palpable sense of excitement in the air as Catie made her debut. The youngsters were shining with joy. They gave a superb performance throughout the readings and responded with passion to Father Ben’s questions all throughout the performance. Each and every aspect of the event greatly above any and all expectations that Catie and I had.