Bridal Bliss: Spelman And Morehouse Grads Kelly And Brandon Returned To ATL To Say “I Do”
Courtesy of Brandon and Kelly Lee

Brandon and Kelly (or “Mocha” as he calls her) met while they were students at Spelman and Morehouse college in Atlanta. He first spotted her walking back to Spelman, in her red jacket and jeans, and was immediately taken. You might assume from there that they immediately fell in love, became college sweethearts and rode off, husband and wife, into the sunset. However, their love story isn’t that simple.

“It was bad timing,” he tells ESSENCE of his first attempt to shoot his shot after finally meeting her through a mutual friend. “She had a boyfriend at the time. It took me like 20 minutes to go up and talk to her only to find out she had a boyfriend. I respected that, but I told her, ‘Whenever you want something real, let me know–I think we can be something special.'”

Years later, while she was single, he decided to shoot his shot again, sending a text message. It worked out, as there was nothing holding them back that time.

“Brandon wished me a happy birthday and did a ‘checking on you’ message that led to an hours-long conversation,” she says. “We grew from old friends to newly in love, and here we are today!”

The years, and the distance (she was living in Maryland while he was in Atlanta at one point) could have broken them down, but they remained bonded and in love.

“It took us some years to find our way back to each other, but I always knew that we would come together at some point,” he says. “I knew that I was going to marry Kelly Nicole Harper during our first year of dating, but I knew that she was the one when I met her in college. Our timing never aligned until several years after college, and that’s when I knew that God orchestrated our reunion.”

Sure they were placed together through divine intervention, when Brandon had his chance, he made his biggest move yet: He asked Kelly to marry him. He popped the question in 2019, giving her a handwritten poem he put in a bottle (a romantic message in a bottle moment) during a romantic anniversary dinner. After she said yes, they planned their big day for September 2020, not knowing that COVID-19 would arrive and throw a major wrench in things. But after years of waiting to be together, they decided they could wait a bit longer.

Brandon and Kelly would become Mr. and Mrs. Lee on June 25, 2021, returning to Atlanta, where it all started. They married at the Piedmont Room in front of 130 guests in person and 70 over Zoom. The ceremony and reception was full of fun, charming details: a jumping of the broom; a Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated stroll from Kelly and her mom (also a member of DST); Kelly’s dad, a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated “hopping” for guests, and the use of some beautiful sparklers to help the bride and groom make their exit. It was a celebration guests and the couple won’t soon forget.

Check out lovely photos of their big day, learn more about how it all came together after being halted by the pandemic, and learn more about how these almost college sweethearts ended up #HappiLeeAfter.

Want your wedding to be considered for feature in Bridal Bliss? Email us a few wedding photos and the story of your big day, with a few quotes, at bridalbliss@essence.com.

Vendors

Planner: Kristin Veronne of Pop + Fizz

Cake: Cakes by Anna

DJ: DJ JayBee of Exquisite Sounds Entertainment

Makeup Artist: B.Gandy of B For Beaute.co

Hair: SmackHair

Bride’s Attire: Sweet Elegance Bridal

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Groom’s and Groomsmen Attire: Big Man Culture

Florist: Stylish Stems

Premarital Counselor/Officiant: Rev. Michael and Larraine Forrester of A Relationship Ministry

Venue: The Piedmont Room

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