Sophia (also known as Sophie) is Mark’s sister’s best friend. So it’s not a surprise that his sister didn’t want her best friend to date her brother. “Mark asked me out on a date but his sister said I should decline,” Sophie remembers. “She was worried about how things would be if it went south.” For the next several years Sophie and Mark dated other people, yet that didn’t stop Mark from continuing to express his interest. “I always had a thing for her,” he says. “She got better by the day.” Things finally clicked when Sophie asked Mark for advice on applying to law school. “He told me he’d only help me if I went to a speaker event with him,” she says. “I agreed, and the rest is history.”

Soon, Sophie was in law school and living in Davis while Mark was in Sacramento. One year later she moved in with him, and a few years after that they were engaged. Within a week, Sophie was ready to hit the ground running with planning. “Wedding planning was quite the experience. I did most of it myself,” she says. “As an attorney, I do tons of research, so that was no different in wedding planning. For each vendor or need, I did hours and hours of research. This definitely made the process a huge undertaking but also made me feel better about each decision I made.”

While she admits she didn’t totally love the planning process, she loved all the celebrations that led up to the big day. “The highs of planning were all of the events leading up to the wedding: engagement party, bridal showers, bachelorette trip, rehearsal dinner,” she says. “I loved these events because it brought some of my favorite people, who I don’t get to see that often, all together.”

On the special day, both Sophie and Mark felt nothing but happiness. “I was super excited and just relieved it was here,” she says. “My bridesmaids kept laughing because everyone kept asking me if I was nervous and I kept saying, ‘Why would I be nervous?! There is nothing to be nervous about. This is all so fun!’”

The couple planned a fairly traditional Jewish wedding, which included signing the ketubah, the veiling of the bride, seven circles, standing under a chuppah and breaking a glass. It was the ceremony that led to some of the most memorable moments. “I totally remember walking down the aisle. My dad was walking so fast that one of my mom’s friends whispered, ‘Slower, Sophie!’ Mark was weepy the whole time I walked down the aisle and because we had all taken bets how many times he would cry that day, I instantly started giggling,” she says. “Then, I tripped up the stairs walking onto the stage—pretty typical for me—and started the next part of the ceremony, the Jewish tradition of the bride circling the groom, too early! Everyone laughed. It lightened the mood and made for a good time!” 

—Kourtney Jason