Lots of couples begin their love story on campus at college, but how many of them fall in love with a venue that they could get hitched at, too? Even before Sophia and Tim started dating in their junior year, Sophie automatically knew that if she were to wed another Duke alumnus, she wanted to get married at Duke Gardens and years later, her dream came to fruition. With the help of Viva L’Event for planning and Live View Studios for photography, the couple’s epic team of vendors came together and transformed Duke Gardens to a vision of (what else for the Blue Devils fans?) blues. Bluebird Meadows created lush white, blush, and burgundy farm-to-table style creations that exceptionally complemented the al fresco affair. Sophia and Tim’s day is full of family, love, and a healthy dose of inspiration.
In their own words
How did you meet?
Timmy and I met during orientation week at Duke University, but it wasn’t until our junior year of college that we started dating. We were on rather separate paths with different majors and interests. However, our friend group remained the same, and we were neighbors junior year. This brought us closer together and soon enough we went on a few dates. I was reluctant to start a relationship at the time and voiced to Timmy that the next person I date will be the person I marry. Seven years later, we tied the knot.
What is your proposal story?
Before I started medical school, Timmy unusually planned a lunch with me and my parents in St. Pete, just 30 minutes from my hometown. It was a cloudy day and it looked like another summer thunderstorm was on its way to us. We had lunch at a cabana in the canopy. Then, Timmy pulled me aside and gave me a photo book he made of us from birth to present time. The last page said we had one memory left to make. Then, he proposed!
What was the most important to the two of you while planning? Was there anything that you chose to splurge on or skip?
The most important things for us were the venue, photographer, and wedding coordinator. We definitely wanted the Duke Gardens; no questions asked. We were willing to splurge on a great photographer because we knew that after all was said and done, only the photos would be left behind to capture the day. I felt no need for a videographer as a high quality photographer could capture the moment through pictures. And there’s nothing like flipping through photo albums decades later. The last most important aspect was making the invitations, signs, and more as custom and handmade as possible. There’s something about creating your own pieces that cannot be compared to anything bought online or in a store.
What were your favorite parts of the day?
I will never forget Timmy’s reaction when he turned around for our first look. That was definitely a special moment. Walking down the aisle with both of my parents by my side was another memory I will never forget. Some other favorites were all of the dances (first dance, father-daughter, and mother-son). The best part was seeing all our families and friends having a great night eating and dancing and celebrating us.
Do you have any advice for couples planning their weddings now?
Your wedding will be as stressful as you make it. During the month of and especially the day of your wedding, please be as stress-free as possible! Remember that this day isn’t just for you and your fiancé but also for your family. Make sure there are things that people from all ages can enjoy, and everyone will have a great time!