Local News

New Year's wedding is 76-year tradition for Wake Forest family

Posted January 1, 2011 10:51 p.m. EST
Updated January 2, 2011 11:57 a.m. EST

— A Wake Forest couple kept a seven-decade family tradition alive Saturday night, when they tied the knot on New Year's Day.

Ashley Runfola – "Ashley Runfola Hoffman, now!" the bride said – is the fourth generation of women in her family who have started a new year with a new life and a new name. 

Marine Cpl. Gerald Hoffman popped the question as the ball dropped last New Year's Eve. For the bride, setting a wedding date was an absolute no-brainer.

"It was kind of just like how it was," she said. "You knew you'd get married on Jan. 1."

Ashley's maternal great-grandmother started the tradition in 1935. Ashley's grandmother picked the same date, and Rhonda Runfola, Ashley's mother, also decided to wed on Jan. 1.

"We just decided that was an important thing – start of a new year, a new beginning," Runfola said. "In today's world, traditions are very, very important. I think it keeps families together."

The Runfola family was grateful that New Year's Day fell on a Saturday this year, and they could plan a weekend wedding that honored their family legacy.

"It just worked out right. We were lucky because it could have been a Wednesday or a Tuesday," Runfola said.