Thursday, July 11, 2024

When Katherine Mary Corrado and Paul Ryan Gerke first saw each other’s profiles on the dating app Bumble in September 2020, each found the other to be a breath of fresh air. There was just one problem for Ms. Corrado: Mr. Gerke was a “TV man,” so she swiped left.

“He was really cute,” said Ms. Corrado, who works in the same field. “But I told myself I wasn’t going to date another guy on television.”

Mr. Gerke, 36, felt quite the opposite about dating a fellow broadcast journalist. “Our field attracts a certain type of personality,” he said. “Smart, quick on your feet — that’s Katie. And she is so cute. If I had to pick a face to look at until I’m old and gray, I’d pick hers.”

After the initial left swipe, Ms. Corrado had a change of heart and brought Mr. Gerke’s profile back up. She sent him a GIF from the ’90s sitcom “Boy Meets World,” and soon they set up a date.

Ms. Corrado, 33, who grew up in Cedar Grove, N.J., works as a reporter and fill-in anchor for WPIX, Channel 11, in New York, and was previously the weekend anchor at WTIC in Hartford, Conn. She has a bachelor’s degree in communications from Fordham University.

Mr. Gerke is from Davison, Mich. A year ago, he left a job as a national correspondent and anchor at NewsNation and now works as a content director for Clarion Events, a company that organizes live and digital events. He has a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Michigan-Flint.

Their first date was at Uva, an Italian restaurant on the Upper East Side, where Mr. Gerke correctly guessed and ordered Ms. Corrado’s favorite drink, an Aperol spritz.

“I realize this is a very popular drink, but he had no idea I love them — and he had never tried it himself,” she said. “I remember thinking in that moment, this guy might be something special. It was a small but significant moment for me.”

Mr. Gerke recalled an amazing first date. “Katie is easy to be around, and we felt a connection right away,” he said.

Their love story, they said, unfolded with “weekly treks across Manhattan.” During the week, Mr. Gerke would walk from where he lived in Hell’s Kitchen to Ms. Corrado’s apartment on the Upper East Side. Then on the weekends, she would “schlep a bag over,” she said.

Three weeks after their first date, Ms. Corrado took a step that some of her friends called “nuts” at the time — she and Mr. Gerke visited his family home in Michigan. It went better than they could have even imagined.

“My friends thought it was quick, but it felt like the right thing to me,” she said. “It never felt too soon.”

[Click here to binge read this week’s featured couples.]

A week after they returned from the trip, Mr. Gerke lost his anchor job at Quibi, a streaming service that no longer exists. For the next few months, he wondered whether he should leave the city for good.

“If it wasn’t for Katie, I would not have stayed in New York,” Mr. Gerke said. “Anytime I considered pulling the plug on the city, I just couldn’t pull the plug on her.”

Ten months after their first date, the couple moved into their first apartment together in Midtown. They also adopted a goldendoodle puppy, Theo.

In June 2022, Mr. Gerke planned an elaborate proposal at Uva — the setting for their first date — with a photographer scheduled to be on hand. But two days before the surprise, Ms. Corrado’s father, Anthony Corrado, had a routine stent procedure that turned into emergency open-heart surgery.

A few days later, the night before Ms. Corrado’s father was discharged, Mr. Gerke did an impromptu proposal in the couple’s bedroom.

They were married on Oct. 21 at Park Avenue Club in Florham Park, N.J. The wedding was officiated by Dr. Jenny Barger, a friend of the couple who had been previously ordained by the Universal Life Church. Theo was the best boy.

Ms. Corrado was supposed to dance with her father to a version of “Lullaby” by Billy Joel, but because of a mix-up, the D.J. ended up playing another song with the same name: an old Celtic lullaby. It was a tearful moment for some of the Irish attendees at the wedding, Ms. Corrado said, but filled with laughter for her and her father.

“In my wildest dreams, I didn’t think the stars would align and bring me someone like you,” Ms. Corrado said in her vows.

In his vows, Mr. Gerke said: “I have found a lot of strange and wonderful things online in the hours spent staring at my phone. And you, by far, are my favorite.”

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