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Mock Weddings in High School Teach Budgeting

Times Staff Writer

The bride wore white with pink ribbons.

The bridegroom wore a tuxedo and a nervous smile.

Under the shade of two trees last Thursday morning at Bolsa Grande High School in Garden Grove, in front of 40 classmates and teachers, Dina Durment and Glen Eads, both 18, recited their marriage vows. The wedding party then went inside, to the school library, for an elaborate reception.

Teachers and students agreed that the mock-wedding project had been well done.

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“We learned a lot,” said Eads, the make-believe bridegroom. “Like, it costs a lot for a wedding.”

Added Durment, the make-believe bride, “We figured this one would have cost $5,000, and that’s cheap.”

The pseudo best man, Randy Edwards, 18, said he and his class partner figured the hypothetical “wedding” would have cost $10,000, including the honeymoon.

“The students in my classes plan all the details of a wedding,” said Jean Mangan, a home economics teacher. “This is part of their consumer education.”

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Mangan’s “Preparation for Adult Living” classes teach teen-agers economic survival skills for the urban-suburban environment. For instance, “they price apartments and learn the costs involved in living away from home,” Mangan said.

“Even if they don’t get married, many of them are thinking about getting a roommate and living away from home. This way they learn about the costs.”

Study Financial Aspects

Since getting married is a major financial step, Mangan gets her students involved in several hypothetical aspects of marriage, like creating a budget or shopping for a home.

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But the high point, she admits, are the mock weddings.

Three couples from her classes held mock weddings last Thursday at various times during the school day. Each was completely planned with formal wear and a wedding cake and other foods suitable for a reception.

“We get excellent cooperation from parents and merchants,” Mangan said. “The students usually borrow their dresses and tuxedoes.”

The mock wedding of Durment and Eads was so realistic that a visitor easily could have been fooled. The three bridesmaids and three groomsmen were impeccably attired in their formal dresses and tuxedoes.

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Authentic Atmosphere

Students and teachers took their outdoor seats with dignity. They sat quietly, talking in muted tones about how nice the wedding arrangements looked. There was no horseplay or laughter to indicate the ceremony was anything but real.

Finally, the make-believe minister, Jim Ball, whose daughters have attended Bolsa Grande, strode into the garden-like setting. Ball, wearing a clerical robe, was followed by Eads, the nervously smiling bridegroom, and Edwards, his best man.

The bridesmaids came down the grassy aisle, and, true to life, one was so nervous her bouquet was shaking.

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The first bars of the “Wedding March” came from an outdoor piano, and the blonde bride, smiling as brightly as the sun above, came to join her dark-haired bridegroom.

“Dearly beloved . . . .” intoned Ball.

Afterward, the student audience chorused “ooohh” as Eads kissed his make-believe bride.

“We’ve known each other since the seventh grade,” Durment said at their reception inside. “But, no, we don’t date each other.”

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Mangan said future classes will go beyond the wedding ceremony and explore the financial aspects of married life. “We even get into what happens with the dissolution of marriage,” Mangan said.

“That part,” Durment said with a grin, “will be the fun part.”


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