Enjoying a sweet life together

Kelly Welch & Michael Regan

May 14, 2022, in West Chester

It was the very last night of 2014 and Kelly and her girlfriends had booked rooms at the Center City Marriott as their base of celebration operations. Kelly’s friend Meghan also knew a bunch of guys who were staying at the hotel that night, and Mike was one of them. They everyone should meet for a drink before heading to Rumor nightclub decided together.

There were nearly 30 people in all, but as everybody met everybody, Kelly and Mike felt a spark between them. They mostly talked to each other through the hotel room drinks and then at the club.

“We talked a lot about LBI [Long Beach Island],” Mike said. “Kelly’s parents have a Shore house there, and my grandparents did. So while almost everyone in Philadelphia seems to go to Ocean City, Sea Isle, or Wildwood, we both grew up spending summers in LBI. We bonded over that.” They were not that far apart in non-summer months, either; he’s from Downingtown and she’s from Westtown.

The two shared a few smokes that night, Kelly said. “Then we mostly went our separate ways for eight months, and he was just this cute guy I met on New Year’s.”

In August 2015, Kelly and Meghan got an apartment in Conshohocken. The following month, Mike and his friends Tony and Slim got an apartment there, too. “The five of us became the Conshohocken Friends,” said Mike. They were constantly having fun together.

There was one little complication: Kelly wanted to be more than friends with Mike. “It was clear to everyone, including Mike, that I really liked him,” she said.

Mike thought Kelly was terrific, but he wasn’t ready to settle down.

In the summer of 2016, Kelly, Mike, and five other friends rented a house on Sea Isle. One night at the end of August, everyone else got stuck in Shore traffic and Mike and Kelly went alone to Henri’s for drinks and appetizers. It was the first time it had ever been just the two of them, and being together felt different and right to both.

One night after an Eagles game that December, Mike and Kelly were in a small group that went to Xfinity Live! They talked for hours and from then on, Mike and Kelly spoke or texted daily. The next week, I asked her out of her on their first real date of her — to the former Lucky Dog in Conshohocken. They’ve been together ever since.

Kelly, who is now 29, is a wealth adviser with Girard Advisory Services. Mike, now 31, is an attorney with Eckert Seamans. I have passed the bar in 2019 and Kelly helped make that possible. “She was supportive, and she would remind me what was important and she helped me not get overwhelmed,” he said.

“The thing that I really love about her is the way she grounds me and our relationship. She makes everything very, very easy. It’s always light and fun and playful and loving.”

“He’s super-intelligent, which I love” said Kelly. “He’s very loyal and supportive, and I feel like he’s this great partner for me. I can talk someone’s ear off and he will sit and listen. Whenever I want to do something fun, I want him by my side.”

In February 2020, they signed a lease for their first place together, in Fairmount. Seven months later, on the day that separates their September birthdays, their families and many friends were down the Shore. Kelly was looking forward to soaking up some sun on the beach with Meghan and Erin so, as much as she loves Mike’s aunt, she was not thrilled when he said they were invited to brunch at her house. But Mike’s plan worked — Kelly dressed in something other than a bathing suit.

They walked out the front door of the beloved Shore house that’s been in her family since 1922. Mike stopped her at the bottom of the front stairs. “Hey, we’re not going to brunch,” he said. “I have something to ask you.” Mike Knelt. “Will you marry me?”

Kelly said yes, and a big “Woooo!” came from above their heads. That’s when Kelly saw Mike’s parents, Tim and Dolores, who had been hiding on the neighbor’s deck. Her parents de ella, Dina and Stephen, were also outside, as were a total of 45 other family members and friends, including Slim — the guy responsible for the happy yell — and Mikey — Kelly’s brother Alex’s dog.

Champagne was uncorked and lunch had been delivered. “We turned it into a party,” said Mike.

In July 2021, the couple added a new family member — Champ, their golden retriever.

The couple wed on May 14 in a traditional Catholic ceremony with a full Mass at SS. Simon and Jude Parish in West Chester. Kelly grew up going to this church and its school, and Mike was baptized there. A Cescaphe trolley took the couple, their parents, and the wedding party from the church to The Lucy in Philadelphia for a 230-guest reception.

“The skies opened up on the way to the reception, but we sang all the way down to the city,” said Kelly. Trolley songs included “Mr. Brightside” by The Killers and “Party in the USA” by Miley Cyrus. Photographer Ashlee Mintz snapped a photo of the couple beneath umbrellas on the stairs of the Ritz Carlton, and then the party started.

Pups Mikey and Champ couldn’t attend the wedding, but an ice sculpture of the duo was a big hit. So were the evening’s speeches.

Kelly’s father forgot his glasses and couldn’t see the tiny notes he’d written on a napkin. One of the guests gave him some reading glasses, and the room roared. Laughter echoed again when maid of honor, Erin, drew attention to the fashion plate among them. “I don’t know if everyone noticed, but there was an outfit change tonight,” she quipped. “It was not the bride.”

Mike wore a navy tuxedo at the church but changed into a white jacket for the reception.

A band, Elevation, played Kelly and Mike’s carefully curated selection of Shore bar songs, including Toto’s “Africa” and Madonna’s “Like a Prayer.”

“Our goal was just to have fun, and I think every person did,” said Kelly. “We had good food and we danced the whole night.”

After Kelly walked down the aisle, she and Mike took their seats on the altar. “It was the first time that day that we could talk to each other,” said Mike. “The rest of the day would include other people, but that moment, it was just the two of us sitting there, about to get married. We had made it, and it was time to enjoy the rest of the day.”

The couple’s first dance was to Thomas Rhett’s “Remember You Young.” “I was surprised how easy it felt,” said Kelly. “I know there were 230 people looking at me, but it just really felt like I was there with only him — no pressure, just us together.”

The couple bought a home in Broomall in March and are now focused on making it their own. “We did a lot of planning for the wedding, getting a dog, and buying a home,” said Mike. “For at least the next couple of months, we plan to relax and enjoy.”

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