Soap Star Weds
Actress Julia Pace Mitchell, who stars as Sofia Winters on the #1 daytime drama, CBS's "The Young & the Restless," married business executive Stephen L. Hightower II, in a beautiful wedding ceremony at the Shaker Run Golf Club in Lebanon, Ohio on Sunday, September 4, 2011. There were approximately 150 guests in attendance at the wedding, which was officiated by Dr. Gregory Ballard, Sr. The bride and groom wrote and exchanged their own vows. The bride's sister, attorney Shawn Pace Mitchell, served as Maid of Honor, while the groom's brother, business executive Quincy Hightower, served as the Best Man. The bridal party included five bridesmaids and six groomsmen.
Julia wore a classic, vintage dress for the ceremony and later changed into a dress designed for her by fashion designer Dalia MacPhee for the reception. The bride's veil was custom designed by her mother, actress Judy Pace Flood ("Brian's Song," "Cotton Comes to Harlem," "Peyton Place").
The groom's father is Stephen L. Hightower, Founder, President and CEO of Hightowers Petroleum Company, based in Franklin, Ohio. The company is a national wholesale distributor of gasoline and diesel fuel.
Special guests in attendance included Julia's "aunts," veteran actresses Beverly Todd ("The Bucket List," "Crash," "Lean on Me") and Nichelle Nichols ("Star Trek"), Los Angeles Deputy City Attorney Carmen Hawkins, and family friend, actress Dawnn Lewis ("A Different World").
"We were planning an outdoor lakeside ceremony, but due to rain, we had to move everything inside. Other than that, everything went smoothly and the day was absolutely incredible. I'm so happy, I'm still pinching myself," said the blushing bride, Julia Pace Mitchell.
The event design and logistics for the wedding ceremony and reception were produced by Dayton Event Connection. The floral design was created by Bruce Levan of Flowerscapes. The cake was created by Central Pastry Shop of Middletown, Ohio. The event photography was by Stephanie Matthews Photography of Columbus, Ohio.
The bride, Julia Pace Mitchell, has been a regular cast member on "The Young & the Restless" since July 2010. She is a graduate of Howard University and The National Theatre Conservatory. She also studied classical theatre at Oxford University in England.
The groom, Stephen L. Hightower II, is Vice President of Strategic Affairs at Hightowers Petroleum Company, one of the largest minority-owned businesses in America, generating revenues of over $157 million in 2010. He is a graduate of Ohio State University.
The newlyweds will split their time between residences in Middletown, Ohio and Los Angeles, California.
Julia and Stephen's wedding story on Essence.com: