Sophia Bush & Grant Hughes’ wedding showcased Tulsa history in Vogue

Sophia Bush and Grant Hughes married a month ago in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Celebrity sightings were reported that weekend and there was a bit of information about the venue, but aside from that details were kept airtight. At the time, I noted that Sophia would probably reveal what she wanted in her own time and she has: she was saving it for Vogue! The magazine published a  feature about the couple’s wedding, explaining why they chose Tulsa and all the care that went into honoring the history of the city. And of course there were details about the venues, ceremony, fashion, and 98 photos.

Why they chose to marry in Tulsa: “When I thought about that spotlight, my activist brain turned on,” Sophia says. “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. 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.’” Grant is from Oklahoma originally, and the couple spent much of their time in Tulsa over the pandemic. “Tulsa is a place where so much progressive justice work is happening, so much deep history has been uncovered and is at long last being honored, and so many people are building a deeply inspiring future,” Sophia says. “When thinking about the purpose of our wedding, we wanted our community that pours into us to pour into a community at large that we love and that deserves all our attention.”

The dress: “From the moment we got engaged, I knew what I wanted my dress to be,” Sophia says. “I’d seen a photograph of a Monique Lhuillier dress taken on Lake Como, and I had a vision of creating a personalized version of it, 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.” Sophia FaceTimed with Monique Lhuillier herself, and when she asked if this would be possible, the designer shouted, “Of course!” They created a palette of peach Oklahoma tea roses, deep orange California poppies, warm green and deep inky Italian olives, and butterfly ranunculus. They scanned imagery of the couples’ bees and placed them among the flowers, as creating a beehive was their very first project together as a couple.

The ceremony: 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. 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.

The reception and second dress: 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. The designer sketched multiple options for the bride, and they settled on a strapless gown in an ivory textured cloqué with a detachable train—which Sophia and Kevin dubbed “the waist cape”—that perfectly hit the floor, creating a waterfall below the hemline of the dress. “We sent her imagery of my Monique gown, and she sourced an incredible floral brocade silk to line the inside of my waist cape, to iterate on the floral theme,” Sophia explains.

The afterparty and third dress: At the after-party at Leon Russell’s Church Studio, Justin Boreta spun dance music all night. Matching all the disco balls that the couple had installed for the occasion, Sophia changed into a Cristina Ottaviano minidress. Paired with ivory and silver cowboy boots, it was the perfect dress for dancing until 5 a.m. “I swapped into another pair of vintage diamond earrings from Briony Raymond that looked like midcentury starbursts, and Matthew tied my hair half up in a velvet ribbon,” Sophia says. “I felt very country-western glam!”

[From Vogue]

I love that they weren’t precious about the photos or details, which makes sense with their goal of highlighting the location. I thought they only got married in Tulsa because Grant is from there, but the way Sophia explained their full reasoning — that it was to highlight the city and community, its history, civil rights justice, activism — sounds wonderful. It seems that they thoughtfully incorporated those ideas throughout the wedding weekend, from the tours they arranged, to the activists and speakers in attendance, to their request to reinstall the art piece honoring the late Congressman John Lewis. And of the pictures they provided to Vogue, easily a third of them highlight Tulsa and its history and not the usual wedding stuff. That’s a serious flex. (Blake Lively could never with her antebellum BS).

I love the idea of Sophia’s dress and the sentiment behind it, but personally I don’t love the execution. I want to like it because I like her, but it reminds me of the duvet cover in mom’s guest room. I do like the overall color scheme, including with the bridal party (and that it was mixed-gender on both sides). And I really loved all Sophia’s other wedding weekend looks — the welcome dinner’s elevated cowboy glam, the sleek reception dress, and the sexy after-party dress. Happily, there were a few details about the food and cake: there were iced Oklahoma-shaped cookies and spicy pork belly at the welcome dinner; at the wedding there was a baby gem salad, Mediterranean lasagna, trout, and tenderloin; and the cake was carrot cake. The venue looked really lovely in the photos as well. Sophia and Grant seem really well-matched and this looked like an awesome wedding overall.

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