Kate Wroblewski and Ryan Verfurth said “I do” last December on the campus where they first met.
By Danielle Bouchat-Friedman
Photography by Emily Wren
Kate Wroblewski and Ryan Verfurth met while attending Villanova University. But according to Kate, the two were just friends. “I was too busy having the time of my life in college. I was in a sorority and he was in a fraternity. I feel like if you would have told me in college that I would marry Ryan I would have said ‘no!'” she exclaims.
But as luck would have it, Ryan moved to Hoboken, New Jersey, after graduating, not far from where Kate grew up. Being from Virginia, he didn’t know many people in the area, so Kate introduced him to many of her high school friends. And although she was living in New York City at the time, he finally got up the nerve to ask her out to dinner. “I asked him who else was going and he said, ‘no one.'”
The two became pretty serious soon after their first date, even though they had to do the long distance thing for quite some time. (Kate was working as a nurse—and often worked the night shift—while Ryan worked in finance in New Jersey.)
After dating for over two years, Ryan was ready to pop the question. Kate thought she was attending an engagement party for her cousin at a rooftop bar in NYC—but it turned out to be an elaborate proposal, complete with rose petals, bouquets of roses and a bottle of champagne. “I was completely oblivious,” says Kate. Ryan had also hired a professional photographer to capture the special moment forever. The couple then celebrated with their families at a restaurant around the corner, followed by drinks with friends (Ryan had rented out a room at a nearby bar for the celebration).
Kate and Ryan knew they wanted to say “I do” at St. Thomas of Villanova Parish, so they called the church two days after getting engaged. “Dec. 16 was the only Saturday in 2017 with an afternoon ceremony available, so we took it.”
Kate’s whole family had been to The Union League in Philadelphia in 2014 for a wedding, so she initially ruled it out. “We went to a bunch of different venues—we had 300 guests at our wedding so we needed a lot of space,” says Kate.
When none of the venues met their needs, the couple decided to meet with Allison Ladley, the events manager at The Union League. “She sold us what it was like there at Christmastime. That ballroom is just incredible,” gushes Kate.
Despite having to cancel the rehearsal at the church due to a snowstorm, Kate says she wouldn’t change a thing about the wedding. “It was the most incredible weekend. I think my favorite moment was when Ryan and I got to walk into the ballroom—just the two of us. It was a magical moment. The room blew our vision out of the water; we were both in such awe.”
The wedding wouldn’t have been complete without a visit from Saint Nick, who made a surprise guest appearance after the band played two Christmas songs. “No one was expecting it,” says Kate.
The couple even managed to keep their wedding intimate, despite the massive guest list. “We wrote a hand-written note for each guest, thanking them for being there,” says Kate.
Ceremony: St. Thomas of Villanova Parish
Reception: The Union League of Philadelphia
Wedding planner: Lauren Lerner Akman of Lauren James Events
Wedding dress and accessories: Lela Rose Bridal gown and veil; the bride also wore a Theia overskirt from Elizabeth Johns
Bridesmaids’ gowns: Hayley Paige Occasions from Elizabeth Johns
Suits: The Black Tux
Hair: Jessica Katin
Makeup: Kelly Quinlan from Face the Occasion
Florist: Bri Crowley of Robertson’s Flowers
First dance: “The Way You Look Tonight” by Frank Sinatra
Favors: Heart-shaped Philly pretzels from Philly Pretzel Factory
Ode to Villanova: The couple had a gingerbread “chapel” replica of St. Thomas of Villanova Parish, which was created by from Bredenbeck’s Bakery