Matthew Collins did Sophia’s hair, creating a simple, classic bun, and makeup artist Afton Williams handled the bride’s beauty. “A blooming rose became our phrase to describe the look we were going for—warm, romantic, and tender,” Sophia says. Maria Caruso Martin of the Bella Rosa Collection made the bride’s handbag, custom embroidered to match her dress.
“It felt very meaningful to not only work with someone we know and have a relationship with but to do so with materials that are gentle to the earth” – Sophia Bush
Longtime friend Jessica McCormack created the couple’s wedding rings. “She is working with fair-trade gold on her wedding bands now, and it felt very meaningful to not only work with someone we know and have a relationship with but to do so with materials that are gentle to the earth,” Sophia explains. “That felt very aligned with my company, Fashionkind, and our mission at large. To that end, we had another friend and Fashionkind designer, KATKIM, make my diamond band.”
At the start of the ceremony, Sophia and Grant’s parents walked together as the first members of the procession. “We wanted our parents’ love and equitable partnerships to open our ceremony and to walk in their footsteps,” Sophia says.
The parents were followed by the wedding party—a mix of men and women on each side. And then, in another effort to honor the mothers in their lives, they had three of their best friends—Mandana Dayani, Sophia’s partner and cofounder of I am a voter; her best friend Lily Lasuzzo of Poste & Co; and Jessica Lawmaster of Kindred Leaders—walk their daughters down the aisle as the flower girls. The girls wore dresses from Doloris Petunia.
A very committed wedding and procession
Once everyone had walked, Sophia and Grant descended the stairs on either side of Villa Philbrook’s galleries. “We met in the middle, took one another’s hands, and together we walked into our wedding,” Sophia says. “As we got up to the aisle, we slowed to look at everyone there—our friends and loved ones. It was such a sight to behold. And then up the aisle we went, to meet our emcee, longtime best friend, and prolific author Jedidiah Jenkins.”
The couple asked Jedidiah to speak about community. The couples’ friend, activist Brittany Packnett Cunningham, was also called up first to read her piece, Freedom Is a Community Project, written for the John Lewis flag. Next, Sophia and Grant’s relationship coach, Laurie Gerber, officiated the couples’ vows. Laurie spoke of her work with the couple, who completed her multiyear marriage prep course in a matter of months, and how theirs would be a teaching marriage because they personify her creed that love is, in fact, a verb.
“I have truly never felt so much positivity at once, so much clarity,” Sophia says of the ceremony. “As a person who suffers anxiety, it felt incredible to experience a sheer absence of it. I couldn’t stop smiling.”
The couple entered the reception and began their first dance to friend Jack Garratt playing a rendition of Sunday Kind of Love by Etta James, backed by the band. Sophia knew there would come a time during the evening when she’d want to change into something sleeker. “My gown was exquisite but also took up a lot of space, and we had dancing to do!” she says. “So Kevin and I worked with Emilia Wickstead to create the second dress. She has long been one of my favorite designers, and I had just worn her to the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.”