The former Nicole Kristin Allen and Kellan Renard White were married in a formal ceremony on Oct. 4, at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology and Anthropology. The formal evening ceremony was officiated by the Rev. Lorina Marshall-Blake. Nicole, given away in marriage by her parents, was absolutely stunning in her Pronovias Orce gown. The soft tulle gown with a sweetheart neckline featured delicately feathered appliqués and a mermaid skirt accented by a silver jeweled belt. Nicole carried a fragrant bouquet with white roses and peonies with silver accents and feathers like those in her gown.
Nicole, 28, is the daughter of Dr. David Allen and E. Debra Chandler. The native Philadelphian is the director of policy and community engagement for the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance. She graduated magna cum laude from George Washington University and Drexel University School of Law. She is the co-founder of the Pattison Leader Ball, a Black tie event that brings together young, civically-minded and politically-motivated professionals for an evening of networking, dancing and discussion about the future of Pennsylvania policy and politics on the night of the Pennsylvania Society dinner. She also sits on the board of the Spruce Foundation and the Advocacy Committee of Young Involved Philadelphia and is part of several Young Friends groups.
Kellan White, 28, is the son of John White Jr. and the late Deborah White. He is also a native Philadelphian and a graduate of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he earned a bachelor’s degree in sports management. Kellan works as community relations and special events manager for the Office of Philadelphia Councilwoman-at-Large Blondell Reynolds-Brown. Kellan is also the director of the Philadelphia Chapter of New Leaders Council and co-founded the Pattison Leader Ball with Nicole. He sits on several boards and commissions, including the Mayor’s Commission on African American Males and PhillyCore Leaders. Kellan has also been published in the Huffington Post on multiple occasions.
How they met … the proposal
Nicole and Kellan met in August 2012. Prior to meeting, Nicole knew of Kellan because her college roommate, Chatara Benson, is Kellan’s niece through marriage. Chatara’s grandmother also continuously tried “to set them up.”
Nicole was celebrating her birthday with Chatara and another friend at Revolution House in Old City, when Kellan walked in. Nicole played a joke on Chatara and asked Kellan to join them. After an awkward exchange between the two, Kellan started to leave. There was a moment when Nicole and Kellan locked eyes, and they spent every day together for one month until Nicole traveled to Greece for vacation. The rest is history.
Kellan had every intention to propose to Nicole on her birthday. The evening was ideal and they had reservations at Ocean Prime, and Eakins Oval was hosting its first fashion incubator. When he checked the weather on the day before the planned proposal, the forecast was bleak with severe thunderstorms predicted. The disappointing weather report combined with the pure excitement of having the ring in his possession called for a change of plans.
Kellan shared, “Nicole loves Christmas lights and I knew there was one place in the city that is lit all year round: Addison Street. I arranged for us to have dinner at 20 Manning and after a wonderful meal I suggested we take a walk. I led Nicole in a confusing round-about walk away from the car and we approached Addison Street. As we walked down the street, I talked about owning a house together and starting a family. As she stared up at the Christmas lights that adorn the tree-lined street, I bent down on one knee to propose. Nicole started to cry hysterically and, for the record, never said yes. She took the ring and put it on. As we walked back to the car she stopped and asked if she ever said yes. When I said she did not, she laughed and said yes over and over again.”
The wedding party
Nicole’s maid of honor was Chatara Benson and Amy Tanner. Her bridesmaids were her sister Erica Allen, Angela Rivers, Whitney Corbett, Erin James, Erin Train and Ariane Datil. Jared Smalley was Kellan’s best man. Groomsmen were brothers John White III and LeVan White along with Matthew Stitt, Paul Nedeau, Ben Stango and Philip Doricent. Wedding hostesses were Lauren Craig and Elliot Griffin. A special poem was recited by Genna Rae McNeill and Janelle Bowman.
Nicole and Kellan experienced a truly beautiful wedding day and expressed they realized it was just the beginning of a wonderful life together.
“We are excited for everything that lies ahead. One of the most special things that was mentioned in our ceremony was that it is clear that we love each other in a romantic way but it is even more clear that we are each other’s best friend. We have the best time when we are together even if it is just sitting on the couch watching TV, and we look forward to maintaining that friendship for decades to come,” said Nicole.
In the groom’s words ….
“When I reflect back on our wedding day, the thing that stands out the most is the overwhelming joy I felt when I saw Nicole during our first-look pictures. All day I was anxious to finally see Nicole in this mysterious white dress that was held in such secret. I stood in one of the archways of City Hall facing Market Street to the East. Random tourists kept taking pictures of me as I impatiently waited for Nicole. I still remember the reaction of the tourists when Nicole walked up behind me. The photographers arranged us to stand back-to-back and each silently read a letter the other wrote. I will never forget the overwhelming feeling of finally seeing Nicole and how breathtakingly beautiful she was in her wedding dress. I immediately noticed the feathers and the very first thing I said to her was a line from one of our favorite movies, “The Notebook”: “If you’re a bird, I’m a bird.”
An elegant reception was held in the Chinese Rotunda at the University of Pennsylvania Museum. The cocktail reception featured fire dancers from Lux Arati, whose performance delighted everyone. The opulent reception room featured 14 long tables with gold chivarali chairs, chargers and fans at each place setting, which were given to guests as favors. Tiered orchid arrangements decorated the area beautifully and guests danced the night away in the Upper Egypt Gallery. The loving couple danced its first dance as husband and wife to “Incredible” by Celine Dion and Ne-Yo.
Nicole and Kellan enjoyed a relaxing honeymoon in San Francisco and the Napa Valley. They toured several vineyards throughout Napa and Sonoma, including Coppola, Domaine Chandon and Beringer.
In San Francisco they saw sea lions and explored the pier. The couple also took a scenic drive to Monterrey, Calif., via Route 1, where they saw an awesome beach view.
Congratulations and very best wishes are extended to Mr. and Mrs. Kellan White!