They Swiped Right on Tinder, Then Had a Cool Philly Wedding at La Colombe

Welcome to "Valerie and William's Jawn."

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Photography by Peach Plum Pear

One of the many benefits of getting married in Philadelphia is the variety of one-of-a-kind, only-in-Philly venues in which couples can celebrate saying “I do,” from Philadelphia Brewing Company to Reading Terminal Market to underneath the El (yes, really). This wedding reception inside Fishtown’s La Colombe, photographed by Inna Spivakova of Peach Plum Pear Photography, showcases how yet another Philly staple was transformed into a couple’s happily ever after — espresso, whiskey and doughnuts included.

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In tune with modern dating culture, Valerie Park, a registered nurse, and William Welty, an English instructor pursuing his Ph.D., expressed an interest in one another virtually before they ever met in person — they both swiped right on Tinder.

Two weeks later, Valerie got her first in-person peek at Will when she spotted him through a rear door at Devil’s Den, the local pub where they kicked off their first date. “I remember thinking he wasn’t my type, as he had a light build and was younger than I was,” Valerie says. “I went into the date thinking there wouldn’t be much attraction. Happily, I was very mistaken.”

Following Devil’s Den, the pair — sparks flying — caught a show at Boot & Saddle before closing the night at American Sardine Bar.

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William and Valerie’s relationship flourished over the next year and a half, and one fall evening in 2017, it grew even more. The couple had tickets to see the band Alvvays at Union Transfer (the opening act was the same band they saw on their first date), and Will got down on one knee at Valerie’s apartment before the show.

The proposal wasn’t all smooth sailing, however: “Valerie almost messed up the plans, as she had found an injured kitten in our neighborhood that afternoon,” Will remembers. “Luckily, we were able to find the kitten medical care and get back home in time.”

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Exactly one year later, the pair wed at the First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia in front of 50 friends and loved ones. In a sweet, silly moment during their vows, William attempted to place Valerie’s wedding ring on her wedding finger — until Valerie whispered to him that he was holding the wrong hand. Attendees caught the moment, laughing along with the couple and easing their nerves.

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Post-ceremony, the newlyweds and guests headed to La Colombe in Fishtown to celebrate, dance the night away and snack on a doughnut tower comprised of treats from Dottie’s Donuts and Federal Donuts. For both William and Valerie, the night went off without a hitch, and the significance of their wedding date, October 6, made their Big Day even more meaningful: Not only is it the anniversary of their engagement — it also happens to be the date that William’s parents got married.

Photographer: Peach Plum Pear | Venue: La Colombe Fishtown | Florals: Simple Happy Floral | Catering: La Colombe Fishtown | Bride’s Gown: Catherine Deane from BHLDN | Bridesmaids’ Attire: BHLDN | Hair and Makeup: Rosa Van | Groom’s Attire: Topman | Entertainment: DJ Nate of Terrace DJ | Cake: Federal Donuts and Dottie’s Donuts | Invitations: Minted | Cake Toppers: Etsy

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