Kelly Anne Ferraro and Anthony Ferraro met in 2017. They were hanging out with mutual friends at the Jersey Shore. When Kelly Anne learned he was blind, she took it upon herself to guide him around. “Kelly grabbed on to me and was helping me the rest of the day,” Anthony said. “I was like, ‘This girl’s amazing.'”
Their first official date came a month later when Anthony invited her to the premiere of his documentary, A Shot in the Dark. For the occasion, Kelly bought a dress he could feel. Something “no one has ever thought to do that, like ever,” according to Anthony. 
“I remember my sister making fun of me because I was like, ‘I’m going to wear a velvet dress so he can feel it.’ And she was like, ‘That is so corny, he’s not going to feel your dress just because he’s blind,’” Kelly said. “And I was like, ‘No, he might! You don’t know.’ And it ended up being something that was so important to him.”
And when they married on October 2, 2021, Kelly Anne chose a tactile gown that he could “see” — just like her first date dress.
Finding the Dream Dress
Before the couple became engaged, they traveled all over the world as Anthony attended Judo tournaments.
“My whole life changed when I met Kelly. I remember just not being able to see anything when I traveled, you know,” he said. “She would describe these landscapes to me, visually, where it would paint these pictures in my head. And she literally became my eyes for the world.”
Kelly Anne works in tech, while Anthony works as an athlete, musician, and motivational speaker. He is also training to compete in judo at the 2024 Paralympics in Paris. Their love grew through their travels and after four years of dating, they got married.
Kelly put a lot of thought into her wedding dress. So she got it custom so it’ll incorporate many textures. “I really want something that’s a whole experience for Anthony,” Kelly recalled saying. His friend recommended a bridal shop in Brooklyn that makes gowns out of recycled fabrics. Kelly, not being a “shopper”, was nervous about the trip. However, she managed to find her dream dress made of several fabrics with embossed flowers and velvet tassels. “When I looked up, I started crying,” Kelly said. “This is the dress I dreamed about.”
She also got a matching jacket with long velvet tassels on the sleeves. The velvet was especially significant. It was just like the dress she wore on their first date.
“Seeing” The Dress For the First Time
When she arrived at the altar, Anthony was able to “see” the dress for the first time.
“My mind was blown. I started crying. And it was just like – was able to see Kelly. That was the best part, I was able to feel her dress.” he said.
Meanwhile, Kelly was so excited, she exclaimed for him to feel it even before the ceremony began. “The second she got to me, it was incredible,” he said. “She had a velvet strip around it and all this silk, and this beautiful fringe, and lace — all these materials. And it wasn’t weird textures. It was beautiful, tactile, pleasing, sensory.” 
Not only that, but Kelly ensured the entire wedding venue was accessible. The day before the wedding, Anthony accidentally hit his head on what he referred to as the tent’s “death poles”. But Kelly wanted him to be safe on their big day.
“The day of the rehearsal, we go there and she’s like, ‘I have a surprise for you.’ They all went out of their way and wrapped the poles in bubble wrap, and then wrapped them with burlap and put flowers around them to make it look all pretty,” he said. “Everyone thought it was a decoration the day of the wedding, but it was really just to help me not hit my head.”
The beautiful and emotional wedding photos received thousands of likes on Instagram and many comments wishing them blessings and congratulations. The tactile dress is a stunning symbol of love and devotion no matter the challenges.
“Kelly and I, we dream big,” Anthony said. “People will think we’re crazy for wanting to do certain things, but if you have a vision, and it’s a positive vision, and you’re doing something for good, it can be done. And you will run into obstacles, but you just have to break through them and keep pushing forward. There are great things on the other side.” 
- “Bride wears special wedding dress for husband, who is blind.” CBS News. Caitlin O’Kane. October 27, 2021
- “Bride Wears Tactile Wedding Dress to Surprise Blind Groom: ‘Meant the World to Me’.” People. Kaitlyn Frey. October 26, 2021
- “A bride wore a tactile wedding dress so her blind husband could ‘feel how she looked’.” Insider. Talia Lakritz. October 25, 2021