In Sickness & In Health: Alissa Rudolph & Benjamin Verney
photos by Ashley Giffin Photography
When Benjamin Met Alissa.
When a former co-worker picked up Benjamin Verney for another former co-worker’s going-away party in 2011, Alissa Rudolph was sitting in the passenger seat. After an evening of dancing at the former Firehouse Lounge in the Strip District, Alissa invited Benjamin to her family’s party to watch Super Bowl XLV, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Green Bay Packers, the following weekend.
Their first official date came a few days later at Kaya in the Strip District.
“Our fairytale hit a bump in the road in March of 2014 when Ben was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma,” says Alissa. “Doctors visits, pills, chemotherapy and radiation became our routine, but our love only grew stronger in such tough times.”
She Said Yes.
Halfway through Benjamin’s chemotherapy treatments, the couple took a “much-needed” vacation during the Independence Day weekend of 2014 to their favorite getaway spot — Hilton Head, S.C.
After unpacking, Benjamin suggested they go for a stroll on the beach. “The walk on the beach was curiously long when he dropped to one knee with the sun setting behind the dunes,” says Alissa.
Benjamin achieved remission in October 2014 and remains in remission today.
“Not all relationships go through adversity like that, where together you face things that are much more serious than failed dinner plans or something like that,” says Benjamin. “We certainly learned more about each other through that [experience] and became closer because of it. And it confirmed what I knew: I knew if she could handle this stuff, she could handle anything.”
The Big Day.
Alissa and Benjamin decided to get married at St. Bede Parish in Point Breeze, where Alissa was baptized and went to school. The Rev. Edward M. Bryce, the priest who baptized Alissa, performed the ceremony. The bride is very close to her mother, so she chose to have her mother walk her down the aisle.
Alissa designed the details of their reception around the classic look and feel of the venue, Mansions on Fifth in Shadyside. The wedding was black-tie optional, the dinner included filet, shrimp, salmon and risotto, and the couple opted for a cookie table instead of a wedding cake. They also had their own signature drinks as well as gourmet grilled cheese.
Happily Ever After.
Alissa, 27, is the Pittsburgh Heart Walk Director for the American Heart Association. Benjamin, 31, is an attorney at Jones Day. They live in Highland Park.
ceremony site: St. Bede Parish, Point Breeze
reception site: Mansions on Fifth, Shadyside
caterer: Mansions on Fifth
dress: The Exquisite Bride
hair: The Powder Room
makeup: AGLOW Makeup Artistry by Alaina
music: Modern Era Weddings