On a New Year’s vacation to Nicaragua over ten years ago, the actor and producer Sophia Bush had the opportunity to meet the businessman and property investor Grant Hughes. We quickly grew close, but due to our constant travel for work, Sophia says they only saw each other a few times a year. However, the two started exchanging books, essays, and charitable endeavors from the beginning of the pandemic. That led to protracted FaceTime conversations and, ultimately, dating.
On Italy’s Lake Como in August 2021, they exchanged vows. Grant planned a tour of the city for us on a vintage Riva boat, and Sophia recalled that Grant proposed to her at the peak of the romantic light. We made the announcement public a few days later after we were discovered in Puglia by some lovely Gen-Z girls, who I watched as they took pictures of the ring I was wearing. They gasped, their eyes widened, they turned to look at each other and then back at me, and I realized that if we didn’t tell the world, someone else would do it on our behalf. She quickly wrote a caption for an Instagram post after she got back to the hotel.
To their amazement, news organizations from all around the world covered their engagement. Happiness, Sophia muses, “seems to be huge news.” As a political activist, I am all too aware of the tendency of the internet to be abusive to women, so although it was nice to be received with so much unashamed enthusiasm, it was also startling. I play different characters on TV for a reason. But then she understood: if this private information could go so quickly and extensively, imagine what a wedding might do.
My activist brain activated when I thought about that spotlight, Sophia claims. Global attention is a powerful platform, and even while I don’t enjoy receiving it, I do enjoy participating in collective activism, so I realized this could be a great opportunity to turn the spotlight on the privilege of receiving it. I then turned to face Grant and said, “Honey.” We ought to get married in Tulsa, in my opinion. He blinks. Oklahoma? He enquired. ‘Yup. What could we accomplish if we used our wedding as a platform to highlight Tulsa and the Greenwood leaders we collaborate with? There is a cultural renaissance going on. Technology, altruism, and civil rights justice. The creative process. We could concentrate all of this attention on them, so to speak.
Grant is originally from Oklahoma, and during the pandemic, the pair spent a lot of time in Tulsa. According to Sophia, “Tulsa is a place where so much progressive justice work is happening, so much rich history has been uncovered and is finally being honored, and so many people are creating an incredibly inspiring future.” “We wanted our community, which pours into us, to pour into a community at large that we love and that merits all our attention when thinking about the purpose of our wedding,” the couple said.
Sophia and Grant
Alison Events was hired by Sophia and Grant to assist in organizing everything. To carry out the couple’s vision for a full weekend of events, Ruth Skidmore oversaw the group and collaborated with Bows and Arrows Flowers.
To make sure that our guests could become thoroughly familiar with Tulsa and her history, it all started with welcome drinks at Lowood restaurant on Thursday night, according to Sophia. “To facilitate tours of historic Greenwood on Friday, we collaborated with Tiffany Crutcher of the Terence Crutcher Foundation, local activist Brentom Todd, Nehemiah D. Frank of The Black Wall Street Times, and the Greenwood Cultural Center.
These included a presentation from the whole Crutcher Foundation team, prayers led by Dr. Crutcher, and a walking tour of Reconciliation Park and the Greenwood Rising Museum. After that, we booked out Lefty’s on Greenwood for a post-tour regroup, and we went there with some friends to meet Venita Cooper of Silhouette Sneakers and express our support for both Trey Taxton’s 19&21 and her company.
The couple intended to welcome guests for a night before an evening of dinner and entertainment on Friday so that everyone would feel comfortable interacting with one another and could truly enjoy themselves on Saturday. They convened for this at Westhope, a revered Frank Lloyd Wright residence in Tulsa.
The Philbrook Museum of Art hosted the wedding on Saturday, June 11, 2022. Sophia explains, “I knew what I wanted my dress to be from the time we got engaged.” I had a vision of making a customized version of a Monique Lhuillier dress in what I have always thought of as a heritage print: a print of flowers from California, Oklahoma, and Italy, to honor the heritage of our families where we come from and how we are all coming together to map where we are going,” the designer said.
Selected Diamond Floral Earrings
Sophia and her stylist Kevin Michael Ericson selected diamond floral earrings from Briony Raymond New York that complimented the floral theme and completed the ensemble. Only those and her engagement ring were visible to the bride. She explains, “The dress didn’t need anything else.” “Monique Lhuillier heels in the ideal hue of soft, peachy pink” were used to complete the appearance.
Sophia’s hair was styled by Matthew Collins into a straightforward, traditional bun, while Afton Williams took care of the bride’s appearance. To define the warm, sweet, and tender image we were going for, Sophia recalls, “a flowering rose became our word.” The bride’s handbag was made by Maria Caruso Martin of the Bella Rosa Collection and was specially embroidered to go with her gown.
The wedding rings were made by the couple’s lifelong friend Jessica McCormack. To work with someone we know and have a relationship with while also using materials that are kind to the environment, Sophia says, “She is now using fair-trade gold for her wedding bands”. That felt very compatible with my business, Fashion kind, and our overall objective. To achieve this, we hired KATKIM, a fashion kind designer and another buddy, to create my diamond band.
The ceremony’s opening procession was made up of Sophia and Grant’s parents walking side by side. According to Sophia, “We wanted to follow in the love and equitable unions of our parents and open our ceremony.” The wedding party, which included both men and women on each side, came after the parents. They also had three of their closest friends Mandana Dayani, Sophia’s partner and co-founder of I am a voter; Lily Lasuzzo of Poste & Co.; and Jessica Lawmaster of Kindred Leaders walk their daughters down the aisle as flower girls as another way to honor the moms in their lives. The girls wore Doloris Petunia outfits.