Irene Pappas and Ben Rudnick have crossed paths all their lives; the two were born – by chance – in the same Boston hospital, and after their families moved to Durham (at different times), both graduated from Durham Academy. But it wasn’t until they had each moved to New York City on their own that Irene and Ben finally met and started dating. Wedding party members Emmy and William Anlyan – “a brother/sister team who had a funny feeling they were on to something,” Irene says – acted as matchmakers. Four and a half years later, following an engagement that began with a romantic proposal in the south of France, the two were married in what they both consider their hometown: Durham.
The June 2016 ceremony was held at St. Barbara’s Greek Orthodox Church; a reception followed at American Tobacco Campus’ Bay 7, with about 250 guests attending. Singer-songwriter Dawn Landes sang “Love Song” for the couple’s first dance. Raleigh’s The Shakedown, featuring the couple’s friend Nash Roberts, performed as the main band, and a Greek band was also included, “because it wouldn’t be a Greek wedding without one,” Irene says.
Irene, who consults under her firm eyePR, and Ben, who is executive director of finance at INC Research in Raleigh, reside in Hope Valley.
Photography by Anna Routh