I was recently given the opportunity to shoot one of the most different (and educational) weddings to date.
One of my dear friends has a daughter who attends Farley Elementary school in Topeka, KS. She approached me with a volunteer opportunity to photograph....a kindergarten wedding.....? At first I was caught off guard but it was further explained that it was to teach the kindergarteners about the letters "q" and "u" and how they are always joined together in the English language (every rule has an exception) I was all in. So here I found myself preparing to photograph two alphabet letters in holy matrimony.
The night before I went and helped the parents and teachers set up the aisle, seating, wedding arch, reception tables, and decorations. The reception tables were decorated with qu- words like queen, quarters, quack, quilt, and quest. This was the 4th year for the Q + U wedding which was started by teacher Nikki Meier. The first year it was only her class of 20 students and has grown to include all of the kindergarten classes at Farley. As I got a chance to chat with Mrs. Meier she further explained this project based learning not only teaches them the important rule that Q and U always go together but also a life skill of proper wedding etiquette.
The next morning 86 kindergarteners and their parents gathered together for the wedding of Mr. Q, played by student Jaxon Adams and Ms. U played by Arianna Heble. The ceremony was officiated by the Western Hills Church youth minister Parker Dane who pronounced Jaxon and Arianna, Mr and Mrs /QU/.
After the ceremony the kids moved to a reception area and were treated to cupcakes from SmallCakes Cupcakery and Creamery. They showed off their skills of waiting patiently for the bride and groom to cut the cake, toasts to be given, and crowd favorite of being dismissed to the dance floor! The kids had a blast doing the chicken dance, the hokey pokey and other wedding favorites. You could tell they were all having the best time dancing and singing with their friends in which they practiced all week long.
This wedding drew tons of attention with the local news networks as well as the Topeka Capital Journal. Jaxon and Arianna were interviewed by the Journal and were so calm and poised! I was so impressed with them as I would have fainted (as a grown adult let alone 5/6 year old)! Events like this are wonderful for kids where school and learning becomes more enjoyable and something children look forward to.
Thank you to all the parents and vendors who donated their time and services to make this event possible. Here are a few of my favorite images from the Q+U Wedding!