That ‘Elementary’ Kind Of Love

by Dara Klatt

They met on the school bus as kids.Years later, they rediscovered each other as adults.

Caroline Laffitte Dalton and Mark Gillespie

Oct. 12, 2019 | Aynhoe Park, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom














Right: Laffitte Dalton, age 6 and Gillespie, age 10

Below is a timeline of Caroline Laffitte Dalton and Mark Gillespie’s childhood introduction and reunion as recounted by the groom during his wedding toast.

Top left: Dress Marchesa from Riziks; Top right: Groom’s attire Brioni (dinner suit), Charvet (accessories), Ledbury shirt


“My parents usually picked me up from school, but one day [in the 5th grade] I was forced to take the school bus home. Not being familiar with how to navigate the bus system in the lower school parking lot, rather than getting on the right school bus that would have gone down Georgetown Pike past our house, I instead got on the number 4 bus to SpringValley.So,before I knew it, I was on a long, somewhat scary ride with a bus-driver named Big John.


“As I sat there, out of place, a little chirpy girl in first grade at the time, emerged from the back of the bus, padded in the background by a group of giggling girlfriends, and started talking with me. I can’t remember anything about my first conversation with Caroline except that by that time, she already had the big and bubbly personality. (And pretty much exactly the same group of friends that she still has today.)”

Top left: Meryl and Matt Fishman; Top right Nancy and Michael Finn; Bottom left: Dani and Ian Morrison; Bottom right: Drina Rendric and Teruca Martinez


“Something totally unexpected happened, like a miracle. [My brother] Ben and his French bride Cecile decided to plan a whole second wedding in New York about six months after their first wedding in Paris, for everyone who couldn’t come the first time around.“It was in New York, that at some point during the evening, I felt a tap on my shoulder, and turned around to see those bright eyes of Caroline’s, as she asked:‘remember me’? “And with those fearless words, the wedding party seemed to fade into a blur …”


“Through this experience, the first thing I learned —in fifth grade—was that Caroline is the kind of person who talks to the lost kid on the bus. “And I guess the first thing she probably learned about me, was never to count on me for directions … That is still the case, evidenced as recently as a few days ago in London, where she led all navigation.”

Top left: Cake (all sugar flowers) by Cakes by Krishanthi; Top Right: Rehearsal dinner at the Tythe Barn Launton; Bottom left: Reception at Aynhoe Park Rehearsal; Bottom right: flowers by Studio Sororoes 


Bride’s Dress: Marchesa from Riziks • Shoes: René Mancini • Groom’s Attire: Brioni (dinner suit), Charvet (accessories), Ledbury shirt • Rings: Stacey Singer and Gary Gosnell • Flowers: Studio Sororoes • Music: Fretwork Viol Consort, Italian trumpeter Mauro Maur, Irish baritone Sam McElroy, Venezuelan pianist Gabriela Montero • Event Planner: Studio Sorores • Caterer: Absolute Taste • Cake: Cakes by Krishanthi • Photographer: Taylor + Porter • Wedding Officiant: The Hon. Martha Kavanaugh (mother of Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh) • Cocktail Welcome Reception: Aynhoe Park Rehearsal • Dinner: The Tythe Barn Launton

Occupation & Residence: Laffitte Dalton is creator/owner of Arrae, a luxury e-commerce site; Gillespie is co-CEO of The Orchestra of the Americas Group and co-founder of the Global Leaders Program. The couple live in Shaw.

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