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Keegan-Michael Key Calls His Wedding "The Best Prom I've Ever Been To"

They threw a black-tie reception the day after the ceremony.
keegan michael key wife elisa pugliese
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions
Joyce Chen
by Joyce Chen
Updated May 27, 2020

Keegan-Michael Key and his wife, Elisa Pugliese, got the best of both worlds with an intimate wedding ceremony and elaborate, elegant wedding reception the next day. The couple, who married in June 2018, are coming up on their second wedding anniversary, and in a recent interview with Live! With Kelly and Ryan, the actor referred to their over-the-top celebration as "the best prom [he's] ever been to."

"I had a very small wedding in my apartment, but on the weekend, my wife Elisa and I had a party which was basically a prom," he explained after hosts Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest asked him about whether or not he had a favorite moment from his own prom. "So the band wore tuxes, I wore a corsage, there were football players and theater geeks there, we got on the floor and danced to "Blister in the Sun" by the Violent Femmes. It was basically the … best prom I've ever been to."

"That sounds like a lot of fun," Ripa quipped as Key described the memorable affair. 

The Couple Got Engaged After a Whirlwind Romance

Key and Pugliese got engaged in November 2017, and the actor excitedly shared the news with fans shortly afterward with the sweetest note. "She shows me every day that each one of us has the ability to help make the world a better place," he captioned a selfie of the pair on Twitter. "I'm the luckiest man ever. She said yes!" The pair had kept their romance relatively low-key before then, with the occasional public outing confirming their relationship status in the months leading up to their engagement (they attended the 2017 Emmys and Tony Awards together, for instance).

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They Kept Their Actual Wedding Ceremony Small

For their wedding, which was Key's second (he was previously married to Cynthia Blaise, an actress and dialect coach, for 15 years), the couple opted to just have their closest friends and family in attendance—which of course meant that Key's comedic counterpart, Jordan Peele, was there. Pugliese wore a knee-length ivory Prada dress, while Key donned a suit by Paul Smith. The bride carried a bright spray of orchids designed by Elan Flowers.

"Best. Day. Ever," Key captioned a photo of the pair sharing a sweet kiss on a cobblestone street in NYC. Pugliese shared the same photo with her own meaningful caption: "Dear Mr. Key, I love you more every day. Love, Mrs. Key."

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Best. Day. Ever.
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Their Reception Was a Star-Studded Affair

Just like Key told Ripa and Seacrest, the couple's wedding reception the following night was an extravagant celebration, with a guest list that included everyone from Stephen Colbert to Cobie Smulders, Michael Strahan to Fred Savage. Paul Rudd, Robert Kennedy Jr., Cheryl Hines, and Saturday Night Live's Taran Killam were also in attendance. The evening festivities were held at One World Observatory in New York City, and guests wore appropriately fancy duds for the event; Pugliese wore a deep purple Pamella Roland gown and continued with the orchid theme with arrangements also by Elan Flowers.

The couple's wedding band, The Barnstorm, did indeed don tuxes for their performance, and at one point in the evening, Key joined the band to serenade his bride with a soulful rendition of "Tennessee Whiskey." Rudd and Killam then grabbed the mic for their duet version of Oasis' "Don't Look Back in Anger." Questlove kept the dance floor moving into the early hours of the next morning.

The Wedding Cake Was a Sight to Behold

To keep their energy up throughout the evening, guests noshed on passed hors d'oeuvres, fresh sushi, and a smorgasbord of meats with a steak carving station. The couple's five-tier light blue wedding cake (with edible sugar paste flowers!) was designed by Ron Ben-Israel Cakes.

"It's a truly amazing thing when you can find someone who brings happiness and joy to your life," Key told People at the time. "And more importantly helps you to share that happiness and joy with others. Before I met her I didn't even know that was possible. … It was a magical and perfect evening.

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