Real Wedding: Kelley and Ornette

After years of friendship, this pair realized they were meant for each other.

Kelley and Ornette on their wedding day on October 19, 2013. All photographs by Audra Wrisley Photography + Design.

When Kelley Carter and Ornette Coleman met at the age of 15 at an amusement park in Virginia, they had an inkling they could be good friends—but neither suspected they’d end up wanting to spend the rest of their lives together. After becoming pen pals in high school they maintained a close friendship throughout college. It wasn’t until years later, on Labor Day weekend in 2008, that the two finally decided to give romance a shot and went on their first official date to a museum exhibit. After five blissful years of dating, Ornette, a designer and creative technologist, proposed to Kelley, who is in e-commerce product management, one quiet morning in their home. A stunning ceremony in Mitchellville, Maryland, followed eight months later.


Photographer: Audra Wrisley Photography + Design

Venue: Newton White Mansion

Event Coordinator: Courtney Porter, Dogwood Events

Officiant: Reverend Bill Cochran, Say I Do Your Way

Bride’s Gown: Cosmobella

Hair/Makeup: Jasmine Gerald, Jasmine’s Salon

Groom’s Tux: Vera Wang, Men’s Wearhouse

Caterer: Spilled Milk Catering

Cake: Fluffy Thoughts Cakes

Cake Flavors: Almond cake filled with caramel and vanilla Italian meringue buttercream, and yellow cake filled with lemon curd and lemon American buttercream

Cocktail: St. Germain and Champagne

Florist: Twinbrook Floral Design

Flowers: White garden roses, white spray roses, white freesias, white ranunculuses, dusty miller, seeded eucalyptus, mini hydrangeas, and succulents

Videographer: Thomas Bowen Films

Music/Entertainment: DJ Premonition, Scratch Weddings

First Dance Song: “By Your Side” by Sade and “Bonita Applebum” by A Tribe Called Quest

Invitations: Minted and Paper Presentation

Quartet: Cherry Blossom String Quartet

Limos: A Touch of Class Limousines

Bride’s Favorite Detail: “My great-grandmother’s opal ring that I wore as my ‘something old.’”

Groom’s Favorite Detail: “Groomsmen’s memorial Superman cuff links.”

Biggest Surprise: “Our friend and the most amazing dancer Doug, who completely sweated through his shirt on the dance floor.”

Favors: “Succulents nested in gray pails with mini crafted thank-you hearts.”

Theme: Classic, romantic, modern

Four Words That Describe the Wedding: Beautiful, loving, family, cherished

Honeymoon Spot: Italy

Where They Currently Live: Weehawken, NJ