Real Wedding: Kyle and Kelly

This groom surprised his bride with a gift inspired by her grandparents’ 60-year marriage.

Kyle and Kelly on their wedding day on December 22, 2013. All photographs by Annabelle Dando

It didn’t take long for Kelly Harper and Kyle Pumroy to realize they were meant to spend the rest of their lives together. The two were introduced by Kelly’s colleague Jen, who grew up with Kyle; sensing a possible love connection, she invited them on a boat ride. “I knew it was a setup; Kyle didn’t,” says Kelly, who works at the Pentagon. “At the end of the day Kyle asked for my phone number, and we went on our first date the very next night.” Just nine months after that first date, at Acqua Al 2, the two knew they wanted to tie the knot. “We knew we wanted to get married even sooner—it was right, and it was easy. Like no happiness we’ve ever known,” says the bride.

For the proposal, Kyle, who is in the Air Force and works at the Joint Chiefs of Staff, chose the roof deck of his apartment, the same spot where the two shared their first kiss. “The deck was covered in candles, music was playing, and it was all about us. It was perfect,” says the bride. Nine months after that, they tied the knot in a Christmas-themed wedding, at which Kyle surprised his bride with a red raincoat similar to the one Kelly’s grandfather surprised her grandmother with on their wedding day. “My grandparents were married for almost 60 years. If we have a small bit of the success they had, we will have a very long, happy marriage,” says Kelly.


Photographer: Annabelle Dando

Venue/Cake/Caterer: The Willard InterContinental

Bride’s Gown: Jenny Lee dress, Maria Elena headpiece and belt, all from Carine’s Bridal Atelier

Hair: Hair by Giselle

Makeup: Leah Margosis

Groom’s Wedding Band: Custom-made by Dejan Jovanovic

Cake Flavors: Lemon chiffon

Cocktail: Peppermint martini and an Old Fashioned

Florist: Edge Floral Event Design

Flowers: Red seasonal blooms, holly, hypericum berries, boxwood, and cranberries

Music/Entertainment: Kristen Jepperson from DC Harpist for ceremony and cocktail hour, and DJ Dennis from Sumo Sounds for the reception

First Dance Song: “Ho Hey” by the Lumineers

Videographer: Blue Sky Films

Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas

Photo Booth: ShutterBooth Washington

Bride’s Favorite Detail: “I’ll never forget the moment I turned the corner to walk down the aisle. Edge Floral did the decor for our wedding, and it was simply amazing—particularly the lighting on the stage and the floating candle wall that served as the background behind Kyle as I walked into the room. It was like I was literally walking toward the happiest, most joyous moment in my life. It’s a memory I’ll have for the rest of my life.”

Groom’s Favorite Detail: “The moment we finished walking up the aisle together after becoming husband and wife will be my most lasting memory. We reached the back of the room, and Kelly gave out the loudest, most excited cheer of joy. It surprised me—I’d never seen her do that before! It was incredibly humbling that the person I so completely love, admire, and respect was so exhilarated to be married to me.”

Biggest Surprise: “The red raincoat Kyle gave me as a wedding gift. We were married on my grandparents’ wedding date, and it was the same gift my grandfather gave my grandmother on her wedding day in 1950 after he’d just returned from the Army. My grandmother passed in 2010, but she and my grandfather, who walked me down the aisle, were married for almost 60 years before that. It’s a symbolic gift of love’s endurance, and I will treasure it forever.”

Favors: “I surprised Kyle with a photo booth at the reception, and we gave picture frames to our guests as favors. My matron-of-honor wrote the insert for the frames using the words from a Christmas carol,” says Kelly.

Decor Details: “Christmas everything! Also the thank-you picture with the wedding party. I worked hard to find just the right wooden letters and had a brave photographer who managed to get us all in the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue traffic to get the perfect shot,” says Kelly.

Theme: Christmas

Four Words That Describe the Wedding: Elegant, joyful, touching, fun

Honeymoon Spot: Belize

Where They Currently Live: Alexandria, VA