Watermark’s Wedding Bells: Tiara and Robert Kelley

By : Aaron Drake
Comments: 1

The Rev. Tiara Latrice Kelley and her groom Robert Charles Kelley IV date their first meeting back to November 2016, during the first day of training for a call center job.

“We had an introduction game in class; at that time, I disclosed I was a transgender woman who was a local advocate,” Tiara shares. “Afterwards, while on a break, he came and introduced himself to me by saying, ‘Hi, so you’re trans, huh? That’s pretty cool! My name is R. Kelley, except I don’t have his money and I don’t pee on lil girls,” Tiara laughs.

Tiara and Robert Kelley

Robert recalls when he knew Tiara was “the one.” “It was probably like our fifth date. We were at dinner with my old roommate, who didn’t know that Tiara and I had started seeing one another, he thought we were friends. I walked up to Tiara and looked into her beautiful eyes and I knew I wanted to be with her and her only. I looked at her and said, ‘So when do we tell ‘J’ that we are dating?’ Her reply was, ‘When were you going to tell me?!’”

But for Tiara, it was very clear, too. “I knew when I was admitted to the hospital last year for 17 days. I was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, and placed on dialysis. Robert spent every night in that bed with me. He literally went to work and came to the hospital, going home only to shower and change—all 17 days! That‘s when I knew.”

Robert popped the question to Tiara last year and the pair bought a home in Apopka in September. They officially tied the knot on New Smyrna Beach, where Robert is from. Tiara moved to Florida from Niagara Falls, N.Y.

“I pretty much planned the whole thing by myself, DIY-style,” Tiara says. “So just seeing Rob and I’s hard work finally all come together made the moment special.”

“While the officiant was opening the ceremony, Tiara and I stood there under the arch on the beach at sunset and we looked one another in the eye and let out a huge sigh,” Robert says. “At the same time we said, ‘We did it, we made it.’ That was a beautiful moment for me.”

The two had a potluck-style reception. Tiara was worried there wouldn’t be enough food, though that wasn’t the case. “We ended up with so much we gave leftovers to the homeless!”

The wedding cake was extra special, baked by Tiara’s best friend Shanna and her husband Chef Jack Lindsey. “They paid for the cake out-of-pocket as a wedding gift for us,” Tiara says. “They made everything from scratch, and even went and picked fresh strawberries the day before the wedding.”

The two wrapped their special day with a first dance to one of their favorite Rihanna songs, “Lemon.”

Tiara overshares, “We dance around the house naked to that song, so of course it had to be our first dance song!”

Engagement date: Aug. 10, 2017

Wedding date: May 5, 2018

Venue: The Islander Beach Resort, New Smyrna

Colors: Purple & Yellow

Wedding Song/Artist: “Lemon” by Rihanna

DJ Service: Kirk Davinci Entertainment with DJ Baze

Officiant: Elder, Savannah Victoria Bowen, Jacksonville

Cake Bakery: Shanna & Jack Lindsey

Cake Flavor: White with fresh strawberries

Theme: Beach

Photographer: Ronnie Sargeant

Share this story: