Sophia and Ben
August 4, 2019

How They Met
Sophia and Ben met through a dating app in April of 2017. Sophia was attending the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg and Ben was attending VCU. The two decided to meet in Richmond for their first date at a local favorite, Edo’s Squid. They hit it off at dinner and ended up extending the date to Carytown, having dessert at Sweet Frog. From then on out, they saw each other at least once a week for the rest of the summer.

The Proposal
Sophia explains, “My favorite holiday is New Year’s Eve and the celebration it entails.” The two were celebrating at Sophia’s house and at midnight, Sophia poured champagne and passed it around to everyone. “I turned around to set the bottle down and [Ben] tugged on my arm to get my attention.” When Sophia turned around, Ben was on one knee and said, “I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you.” It was a perfect surprise and Sophia was in love with her pink morganite ring.

The Details
“We knew we wanted to get married outside and found out that Maymont has options in the Italian Gardens for ceremonies. It worked out really nicely for our small guest list and they provided set-up and takedown of the chairs, plus a carriage ride!”

With only 36 guests, Sophia and Ben’s ceremony was intimate and unique. Officiant by their dear friend, they became husband and wife through a simple and non-traditional ceremony. “Ben actually took my last name!” The two wrote their own vows, poetry included. After it was official, they walked back down the aisle and enjoyed a lovely carriage ride around the park.

Their theme for their August day was a garden party, and they didn’t have to do much for the ceremony as Maymont’s Italian Gardens were in bloom. “We had fans and bubbles at all the seats, and because it was August and so hot, we had water bottles in coolers for everyone with a personalized label.”

Their colors were blush, steel blue, and ice blue. Sophia’s favorite color is pink, so her gown was actually a pale blush color. “I kind of based the colors around the dress and wanting a garden, ethereal feel.” The flowers were DIY and a team effort from Sophia’s sisters and mom.

After the ceremony, they headed to Cooper’s Hawk where they had an intimate private dining room set up for dinner. They had their favorite wines, delicious bites, and a small cake from Mixing Bowl Bakery. “We wanted to have good food and wine…and wanted it to feel like a big family dinner where everyone could just visit and laugh.”

Favorite Part of the Day
“Our first look! That moment was both of our favorite parts of the day. It was so intimate and we were able to share a quiet moment together before the rest of the crazy day began. I’m so glad Monica (our wonderful photographer) convinced us to do it and we highly recommend if you want more bridal portraits and a private moment for just the two of you.”

Biggest Challenge
“Probably the seating chart! Because our guest list was so small, fitting everyone at five-person tables with people they knew was a challenge. It’s silly but we spend days talking about it.”

Best Piece of Advice
“Don’t be afraid to downsize the guest list, especially if you are on a small budget. We had just our closest friends and family, and all my extended family was so understanding about it. I always thought I would want a huge wedding but this small intimate ceremony and reception were gorgeous and perfect. Also, check for availability on Sundays! It is usually a little bit cheaper than a Saturday wedding.”

*All information in our Featured Weddings is provided by the couple. Richmond Weddings™ is not responsible for discovering and adding vendors who were not on the submission form completed by the couple.* All photos courtesy of MJ Mendoza Photography.