Mr. & Mrs. Hamilton
Updated: Feb 26
This weeks' #WCW Wedding Crush Wednesday couple is a couple that I met for the first time and I really enjoyed them; Mr. & Mrs. Hamilton. The two reside in Northern Virginia and have a healthy four-month old son who they both adore. Danny and Sophia share mutual friends with myself and I am so glad that I was able to meet with them and sit down to talk about how they planned their wedding. Like many people, they had some bumps and obstacles along the way, but they ended up with a beautiful day that the two will remember and cherish forever. Please read on to see how they planned their 'Big Fat Greek Wedding' Hamilton Style.
How and where did you two meet?
"At work!" - The couple replied, simultaneously
How long were you dating before you got engaged?
"Well it wasn't long! We got rushed into it when we found out we were having a baby so it was probably a couple months. We knew each other for a couple years before though," Danny replied.
"We started dating in July and then he proposed in September," Sophia added
How did you know she was the one?
"I guess just fate and gut instinct. We had known each other for a while. We come from the same part of Alexandria, so I don't know, I felt like I knew her more than I actually did know her. I saw a lot of myself in her personality and vice versa. I felt like the more we saw each other, the more we got along and the more we liked each other. It just seemed familiar; that's what it was, it just seemed so familiar and then when we found out that she was pregnant it just seemed like it was fate!" –answered, Danny
How long were you engaged?
Sophia responded, "It was really short time. We got engaged in September and then got married in November."
Wedding Date: November 29, 2014
Why did you pick that date?
Sophia replied, "It was so close to Thanksgiving so we figured all of our family would be in town. We had the 3-day-weekend, so we thought that it would be a good time."
"We figured on such short notice if we were going to try to get everyone to come to our wedding then we should do it on a weekend that we expect everyone to already be here." -answered, Danny
Inside Ceremony (Nativity of Our Lord Orthodox Church in Manassas, VA)
Inside Reception (Greater Manassas Fire & Rescue in Manassas, VA)
Was it mandatory, due to your religious beliefs, that you get married in a church?
"Yes, I'm Greek Orthodox. He actually had to get baptized and it's literally like 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding'." answered Sophia
Danny added, "I had to be baptized under a recognized denomination so I didn't necessarily have to be Greek Orthodox; just pick a religion. Luckily, I had a friend that is a minister and he did a rushed course of a 'New Believer Course' and then we went to a river and did it the old-fashioned way. He even took it upon himself to dive in the river with me. It was special! I chose a religion that I was most familiar with. My dad is Baptist and my friend, Kenny, is Baptist as well, so I felt most comfortable with that."
Approximate expense: $4k
Color Scheme: Grey & Orange
Where did you get inspiration from for your color scheme?
"We just picked it because it seemed like a fall color." answered Sophia
Danny added, "Yeah and grey is pretty modern"
Did Danny help with the planning or did he just say 'you do it all and I'll just show up'?
"Oh yes! He definitely helped!" –Sophia quickly defended her man
Danny added, "I did all the reception plans. I did all the calls and found the reception hall. Her mom helped with paying the deposits so with her help we were able to book it pretty fast."
What caused the most stress while planning?
Sophia started, "Ummmm... The money situation." Danny interjected, "We were already supposed to have the money, but at the last minute we found out that we didn't actually have the money." Sophia continued, "Yeah, my mom said she was going to pay for it, and then at the last minute backed out." Danny then returned, "Yeah it was hard because she gave us the budget and we worked really hard to stick to the budget and actually stayed under the budget by like two thousand so that was a little stressful trying to come up with the money in such a short time."
Sophia also added, "Another thing that added stress was that my family got really jealous. No one in my family is married and I'm the youngest of four boys so all of their girlfriends were very jealous. They were supposed to be my 'bridal party' and completely stopped talking to me."
Danny added, "Yeah, it was a stress and a relief at the same time because with the loss of her four brothers and girlfriends, it allowed me some room to invite some really good childhood friends and additional family."
What did you find to be most helpful during your planning process?
"My Mom! She does a lot of arts and crafts, so she helped a lot with that. She did the centerpieces for all the tables and got all the white table cloths we needed." Danny quickly acknowledged.
"His mom! Oh my gosh, I love her to death! She made my party favors, she did the decorations, my bouquet, altered my dress and everything. She made a really cute 'card box' with our name and date. She did a great job!" Sophia raved
What was your best memory?
"When she first walked to the double-doors of the church... I always say that there was a halo around her when she walked up. I think I got a little 'watery-eyed' seeing that." Danny replied.
"Probably saying 'I do' and then kissing him right afterwards because I knew it was official" answered Sophia.
What was your worst memory?
"So, we had all the family make majority of the food and my mom was getting the remaining of the food from Mama Mia, where I used to work in Gainesville. We didn't have our phones on us, so we asked, I think his dad, if everyone was there and they said 'Yeah'. We came in with the bridal party and started dancing and everything and my mom wasn't there so she didn't get to see the first dance or anything. I still get upset to this day when I think about it and she cried, so I feel horrible." -answered, Sophia
"The first dance as a whole. One because my Mother-in-law missed it and my dad screwed up the song. It was an acoustic version of, ‘She is Love’ by Parachute. It was a version of the song that I spent some time editing so that it lasted for eight minutes compared to the two or two and a half. My brother in law was supposed to be handling the 'DJ' duty, but my dad got too involved with it and ended up playing the regular version of the song and then repeating it half way into us dancing and it was just awkward and ruined." -Danny replied.
If you could, would you get married all over again and if so, would you do it the same way?
"I think it worked out fine. Obviously there's a lot of things we could have done a lot better. Had we knew that so many people weren't going to show up, we could have saved some time and money on certain things, but overall I think it worked out fine. I think the things that went wrong are what made it memorable" -answered Danny.
Sophia replied, "Looking back on it, I wish we would've just went to the courthouse and saved the money and did something amazing for our son and did something later on down the line. I still loved that day though, and I thought it was beautiful."
Do you want or plan to renew your vows?
Sophia agreed, "Yes, I want to have like a 5 to 10 year renewal and save up the money and do it again."
Was your wedding day everything you expected?
"Based off my childhood dreams... No it was not even close. It wasn't prepared. I did my own hair and make-up, because we couldn't afford that. I still loved it!"
"I never imagined having a big gorgeous white wedding, so that wasn't my thing. I think I expected to have three to four hundred people there and because we had to keep it at certain number; that was tough." responded, Danny.
What was your most wasteful purchase in regards to planning your wedding?
"Definitely the food. We had so much food and everyone that was there got leftovers," said Sophia.
Danny added, "Yeah, I had about 15 family members from my family that didn't show up and then all of her family didn't show up, so that was a waste. We also bought a beer keg, but people brought bottles of beer, as well. Everyone was drinking the bottles and barely hit the tap, so that was definitely a waste.”
What was your favorite wedding gift?
"I love the TV trays that we got!" answered Sophia
"I think the most thoughtful gift that we make use of is this great vacuum cleaner that we got. It was one of those expensive gifts that we weren't expecting anyone to get off the registry and when it showed up, we were like ‘Wow’. Besides that, I would say gift cards. So many people got us gift cards knowing that we had a baby on the way, so that helped out a lot." replied Danny.
What is the best advice you would give to someone else planning their wedding?
"Just have fun! Don't stress about anything because that day will be perfect no matter what. I loved it and I love my life now and that's all that matters." answered Sophia.
"Know your budget and it doesn't have to be a $20k wedding. It can be a $4k wedding and you'll love it just the same." -answered Danny.
I hope you enjoyed reading about Danny and Sophia's beautiful day. I thank them tremendously for taking the time out of their newly wed and parent day to meet with me. For more tips, ideas, inspiration, and/or just plain wedding entertainment, please tune in next week for another Wedding Crush Wednesday Couple.
Happy Planning Folks!