Kingsbury students surprise teacher, fiancé with a wedding ceremony

By Shelby Stewart-Soldan
Staff Writer
OXFORD TWP. — On May 24, Grace Rivard was surprised with a wedding. The guests were her students and their families.
“When I got engaged this past summer, the families decided to throw a wedding since I wanted all the kids and families involved,” said Rivard, a Kindergarten teacher at Kingsbury Country Day School in Oxford. “Being in this community, the families are so supportive. You have such small class sizes, so you really get to know the kids and the families on another level. They care about us, and when I think about our wedding day, I think about having all those families there. They’re like our other family, our family away from family.”
Since November, the students and families have been practicing and planning a wedding day for her and her fiancé Zach Wichman at the school.
“I just knew the date and time and to wear white,” said Rivard. “Beforehand I waited in my classroom, and a mom came in and did my hair, we were completely blown away.”
Rivard said when it came time to walk down the aisle, the students all sang her favorite song, “Breathless” by Taylor Swift. And when they stood under the arch, the parents read off vows that the students wrote.
Rivard vowed to turn on the lights if Wichman gets scared, and Wichman vowed to buy Rivard a dog when she wants one.
“They wrote the vows, they gave me away,” she said. “I had no idea they were going to learn my favorite song, and I just couldn’t believe they would take time to learn that, it was so sweet and heartfelt.”
Even the reception afterwards was catered to the couple, with a handmade bench for everyone to sign, friendship bracelets, as Rivard loves Taylor Swift, and a granola making station, since she likes hiking.
“It was so special, and I was completely blown away the love and care that went into this,” she said.
Rivard has been a Kindergarten teacher at Kingsbury for two years, and has always known she wanted to be a teacher.
“My mom was a teacher, my grandma was a teacher,” she said. “It’s always something I just thought was in my blood. I just love working with kids and getting to be a part of them learning.”
Rivard and Wichman have their official wedding planned for September, and next year she’ll start the school year with her married name.
“I’m so incredibly thankful to have the support system here,” she said. “I’m so thankful.”

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