Life Skills Mock Wedding
Freshmen taking a Life Skills class checked off one of life’s major events with a mock wedding at Tates Creek High School. “It’s not that simple,” said Angelic Henderson, a former flower girl-turned usher. “It makes you realize all the planning that goes into it,” added classmate Lexi Jones, who recalled standing up as a junior bridesmaid in her brother’s wedding.
Angelic and Lexi’s real-life experience probably helped as their class put together the mock ceremony – complete with white bows, a nervous couple, and a cupcake reception in the school’s media center. The project- and performance-based learning opportunity was the finale of the relationships unit in the Family and Consumer Sciences introductory course, in which students have discussed everything from personal development, friendships, and dating, to serious relationships, parenting, middle age, and retirement.
In preparation for the mock wedding, the young teens considered the many roles and responsibilities such as event planner, photographer, caterer, and deejay, and realized all the hard work involved. The classes also looked at marriage traditions in other cultures. “Tates Creek has a lot of variety, and students bring their experiences to the table. Everybody is a different person, and your wedding or marriage looks different from your neighbor’s or friend’s,” noted teacher Natalie Mullins.
The project called for making a budget, booking the venue, picking the dress and tux, and handling countless other details as with a real event. After drawing numbers, students participated as bride, groom, officiant, wedding party, ushers, floaters, and more; and fellow ninth-graders filed in as invited guests. Mullins hoped her students came away with a better understanding of the whole process and why such ceremonies and celebrations are important.
In addition to relationships, Life Skills covers career options (resume, interviews), consumerism (advertising, money management), food and nutrition (meal prep, healthy choices), fashion and interior design (elements in clothing and space), and child development (parenting strategies, cost analysis of raising a family).
“It’s relevant to students’ lives nowadays,” said Mullins, who leads three classes totaling nearly 120 freshmen. “The topic changes every six weeks, so it keeps them interested and prepares them for life outside Tates Creek someday. We’re trying to teach real-world experiences and make classroom experiences meaningful for what they’ll be doing after high school.”