Teacher invites 80 students to her wedding because she 'couldn't picture getting married without them'

Newly married teacher Ashlyn (Houck) Kurtz considers her students family. So when it was time to send out the invitations to her Philadelphia wedding ceremony, it was a no-brainer that the third grade teacher would invite her “kids.”

“We spend a lot of time together during the school year and they become a very important part of my life, and I just couldn’t picture getting married without them as a part of it,” Kurtz tells Yahoo Lifestyle.

She invited the third grade class and a class of fourth graders she taught the year prior to her June 22 nuptials — about 80 students total — with superhero-themed invites to match her hero-decorated classroom. With the support of their parents, about 30 children showed up at the ceremony at St. Cecilia’s Church, the church associated with the school that Kurtz has taught at for the last four years.

Photo: Courtesy of Jacquelyn Gaffney Black
Photo: Courtesy of Jacquelyn Gaffney Black

Guests and the photographer alike snapped photos of the blushing bride surrounded by a group of smiling students, who have been involved in the wedding festivities since the beginning. The teacher’s now-husband, Matt Kurtz, involved her class in his proposal in 2014 and the parents threw the couple a surprise superhero-themed bridal shower leading up to the big day.

The couple didn’t believe that their wedding should be any different.

“As a class, we share our lives. They tell me all about what is going on in their lives and I do the same,” she says.

She also wanted the students to know how amazing love is.

“They are not just students in my class during the school year, but at your wedding you want your special people there and that I want all my special people with me all the time. That they are ‘my kids, my heroes,’” she said.

Photo: Courtesy of Jacquelyn Gaffney Black
Photo: Courtesy of Jacquelyn Gaffney Black

A mom of two daughters in the third grade class tells Yahoo that the wedding was a great experience for her twin daughters: “She is an incredible teacher.”

Of course, it wouldn’t be a full-on school affair if a school bus wasn’t involved, which the Kurtzes used as their wedding transportation.

Photos courtesy of Jacquelyn Gaffney Black
Photo: Courtesy of Jacquelyn Gaffney Black

“With my love of teaching and him proposing in my classroom, it just felt right,” she says.

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