Kelly Ann Ferraro surprised her husband, Paralympian, musician, motivational speaker and blind man Anthony S Ferraro, by wearing a tactile wedding dress on their big day.
“I’ve also said she’s my eyes in this world, but for her to have a dress custom made so I could feel and touch it meant the world to me,” Anthony Ferraro told USA TODAY. “I could feel her. I could feel she looked beautiful.”
Kelly Ann was continuing a tradition she started on the couple’s first date in 2018, when she wore a velvet dress so he could “feel how she looked”. Her wedding dress was embedded with woven cotton flowers and lace, and in a Tiktok video shared by Anthony, he sounded overjoyed that he was able to “feel how beautiful she was” on their wedding day.
The couple’s first date took place at the New York premiere of Anthony’s documentary, ‘A Shot in the Dark’, which chronicles his journey as a blind wrestler and athlete. After meeting Anthony, Kelly Ann researched blindness, including blindness experienced by those who can perceive some light, like Anthony.
She learned to place pillows and bubble wrap around sharp objects in their shared apartment, and after learning that he loved the feeling of velvet and soft fabrics, a tactile wedding dress seemed like an obvious choice. Kelly Ann collaborated with Loulette Bride to create a dress that featured woven cotton flowers, a velvet waistband, and soft, gentle fabris like chiffon and lace.
Speaking to USA Today, Kelly Ann said, “The whole time at the aisle I was whispering to him ‘touch my dress, touch my dress,’ and it made me so happy to know he could feel and enjoy my dress as much as I did.”
Kelly Ann and Anthony’s mother planned the whole wedding with Anthony’s comfort in mind. Prior to the ceremony, Kelly Ann wrote Anthony a letter in braille. They were married on a beachfront property in Maine, and the wedding was held during the day since Anthony can perceive shadows and light. The reception was held in a tent, and the poles were wrapped in bubble wrap disguised with decorations so Anthony could safely move around. “The thoughtfulness and work behind making our wedding accessible for me meant everything. She’s truly my best friend and like I said, ‘my eyes in the world,'” Anthony said.
Describing Kelly Ann as his “partner in crime”, Anthony says in the viral video of their wedding day, “I can’t wait to spend so much more time together and create so many more beautiful memories on our adventures in life.”
“Our story sheds a lot of light on just joy and unity, even for those with disabilities like me who didn’t think love was possible,” Anthony said. “The world needs more light and I hope our story shows some of that.”
Image: Anthony S. Ferraro/Tiktok
This article first appeared on Over60.