- Publish Date
- Monday, 7 August 2017, 2:19PM
This is the precious moment an elementary school teacher is led down the aisle - by 20 of her pupils.
Indianapolis resident Marielle Slagel Keller, 25, invited her entire class to her wedding because she said the big day "wouldn't feel right without them".
The girls donned white dresses and floated up the aisle carrying a garland while the boys trotted behind them, with one bringing up the rear and clutching the precious rings, according to the Daily Mail.
Marielle said the ceremony was "perfect", even though some of the little ones shielded their eyes when she locked lips with new husband, medical student Mike, 26.
"It was magical," the newlywed said of the happy day. "Having the children there was really special.
"Everyone was crying when I came down the aisle but it wasn't because of me, it was because all the kids were there.
"Before the day I talked to the class about my wedding and they said, 'Are you guys gonna kiss?'
"A few shielded their eyes at that moment, but it all went to plan. The girls managed not to drop the flowers and the boys walked down the aisle perfectly.
"Teaching is my passion and I couldn't have imagined it without them. They're a part of who I am."
Mike asked Marielle, a teacher at IPS Butler University Lab School, Indianapolis, to marry him in April 2016.
He popped the question using a children's book he had made to tell the story of their relationship, and when she got to the end, he got down on one knee.
As soon as they started planning the big day, Marielle from said she knew the children would have to be involved.
The kind-hearted teacher invited them - and their parents - with handwritten invites addressed to them individually which were placed in their school mailboxes.
The children, who are aged five to seven, also helped plan the special day and even picked Marielle's dress after she narrowed it down to the final two.
They walked down the aisle at First Baptist Church in Indianapolis on June 24.
After the ceremony, there was a special cupcake reception for the children with a private bash for friends and relatives afterwards.
One mom, Brooke Starnes, 34, whose seven-year-old daughter Annie is in Marielle's class and was a guest at the wedding, said it was "fantastic".
The full-time mom-of-two said: "Marielle is an amazing teacher. She has created a community of all the families and is really changing the lives of the kids.
"The wedding really was just the icing on the cake. Annie had the most magnificent experience.
"She went into the church knowing that it was quite a special thing to be invited to a teacher's wedding and even more so to be a part of the wedding party.
"It was the event of the summer for the entire class."
Marielle added: "After the day Mike said to me, 'I didn't tell you this before but I thought it was a crazy idea inviting 20 six-year-olds to the ceremony.'
"But he said they were perfect. It was a risk but it paid off.
"When you spend eight hours a day with a group of people every day it feels like you live with them, so they had to be there.
"They are very deep thinkers and they are so kind.
"We have a great relationship - I feel like I've got 22 kids."
The lovebirds recently returned from their honeymoon to Italy and Greece.
This article was first published on Daily Mail and is republished here with permission.