Sometimes sighted people can easily forget that beauty isn't just something for the eyes to experience. It can be heard, smelled, and touched as well. Nowhere was this more evident than at Anthony and Kelly Anne Ferraro's wedding on October 2.
Anthony is a blind Paralympian and winner of the gold medal in the 2018 USA Judo National Championships for Blind & Visually Impaired. He's also an accomplished guitar player and motivational speaker.
Kelly Ann wanted her husband to experience her in a beautiful dress so instead of having one designed that was pleasing to the eye, she reached out to Loulette Bride to make one that felt amazing to the touch.
"Kelly really wanted to ... make it really special for me," he told Newsweek. "She went above and beyond" to find the wedding dress, which was made "tactilely pleasing" with use of chiffon, lace, silk, and velvet.
The dress has a beautiful fringe on the arms that looks angelic when she waved her arms. It probably feels wonderful, too.
In a traditional wedding, the groom isn't allowed to see the bride in her dress until she walks down the aisle. At the Ferraro wedding, he wasn't allowed to touch the dress until that magic moment.
"She wouldn't let me know anything about it until she came down the aisle and I got to touch it, so it was incredible," he said. "It was so beautiful to me ... I could picture her in my head perfectly," said Ferraro.
"The textures are everything," said Ferraro. "I see through my fingers, and through my hands, and through ... touch."
A video clip of the wedding posted by Anthony on social media has gone viral because people love the idea that beauty isn't just about what we see with our eyes. Since it was posted on October 13 it has over 550,000 views.
One commenter called the dress "the sweetest thing ever."
🤍🎥I married my camera person @turmericteatime #blind #wedding #relationshipgoals #lucky #pov
The couple met in 2018 after being introduced by friends. Anthony told USA Today he felt an "instant connection" when they first met. Their relationship inspired Kelly Ann to learn how to create a safe living space for Anthony by putting bubble wrap or pillows over sharp objects in the house.
She also learned to appreciate his love of the feel of soft fabrics such as velvet.
Studies show that blind people have heightened senses of hearing, smell and touch. Researchers from Society for Neuroscience also found that blind people have the ability to process sensations associated with touch faster than sighted people.
"Our findings reveal that one way the brain adapts to the absence of vision is to accelerate the sense of touch," Daniel Goldreich, PhD, said according to Science Daily. "The ability to quickly process non-visual information probably enhances the quality of life of blind individuals who rely to an extraordinary degree on the non-visual senses."
The wedding dress was an incredibly thoughtful gift for Kelly Ann to give her husband on their wedding day. It also sends a wonderful message to the rest of the world. Every couple is different. Every person is different. But when we branch out and learn to experience the world the way others do, we can find beauty in places we never imagined.
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