No matter how much people don't like to admit it, they love to watch celebrities get engaged, married, and even divorced. Actress and producer Sophia Bush knows this all too well. That's why she made her wedding something to remember.
She initially rose to fame for her role in the hit TV show One Tree Hill, where she met her first husband Chad Michael Murray, but Sophia Bush isn't acting as much these days as she used to. She's been devoting most of her time to activism, so when she got engaged to real estate investor Grant Hughes, she decided to use her wedding to make a strong political statement.
Sophia Bush and Her Husband Walked down the Aisle Together at Their Wedding
Sophia didn't expect that many people to care about the announcement of her engagement. She and Grant got engaged in Lake Como, Italy, and before they shared the news publicly, a few young girls spotted them in Puglia—and Sophia "knew that if we didn’t tell the world, someone else would tell the world for us.”
She posted something brief on social media, but the media quickly picked up on it and it became headline news.
“Happiness is apparently big news,” Sophia said. “And while it was lovely to be met with so much unabashed positivity—as a political activist I am all too familiar with the tendency of the internet to be abusive to women—it was also jarring. I play other people on TV for a reason.”
“When I thought about that spotlight, my activist brain turned on,” Sophia continued. “Global attention is a hell of a platform, and as someone who doesn’t love attention but does love collective activism, I knew that this could be an incredible moment to spin the privilege of attention."
"And so I looked at Grant and said, ‘Honey. I think we should get married in Tulsa.’ He blinked. ‘Oklahoma?’ he asked. ‘Yup. Imagine what we could do if we turned our wedding into an event to showcase Tulsa: the Greenwood leaders we work with. The cultural renaissance happening there. Tech. Philanthropy. Civil rights justice. The art. The leadership. We could focus all of this attention and turn the spotlight on them,’” she recalled.
They planned their entire wedding to showcase certain people in the Tulsa community, including social justice leader Tiffany Crutcher, a descendant of the Tulsa Race Massacre, and Nehemiah D. Frank of Black Wall Street at the Reconciliation Park and Greenwood Rising Museum. They took a tour of historic areas of Tulsa, and Grant wore a shirt paying tribute to a company on Black Wall Street.
Sophia collaborated with Monique Lhuillier to create a unique gown that had various flowers from California, Oklahoma, and Italy on it, "to map where we are going." She changed into a couple other dresses as the night went on.
There were a few unconventional parts about their wedding. Both Sophia's and Grant's parents walked down the aisle in a procession at the beginning of the ceremony. “We wanted our parents’ love and equitable partnerships to open our ceremony and to walk in their footsteps,” Sophia said. Then she and Grant walked down the aisle together.
“We met in the middle, took one another’s hands, and together we walked into our wedding,” Sophia said. “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.”
“I have truly never felt so much positivity at once, so much clarity,” Sophia gushed. “As a person who suffers anxiety, it felt incredible to experience a sheer absence of it. I couldn’t stop smiling.”