August 11, 2020

Image of Love: Wedding Photo a UMW Instagram Sensation

UMW asked to repost this photo of the wedding of Aaron McPherson ’12 (left) and Evan Smallwood ’15 at UMW’s renovated amphitheatre. It exploded, garnering 1,833 likes, 34 comments, 205 shares, 2,072 total engagement and 7,840 people reached. Photo by The Girl Tyler.

UMW asked to repost this photo of the wedding of Aaron McPherson ’12 (left) and Evan Smallwood ’15 at UMW’s renovated amphitheatre. It exploded, garnering 1,833 likes, 34 comments, 205 shares, 2,072 total engagement and 7,840 people reached. Photo by The Girl Tyler.

Evan Smallwood ’15 was nervous. He’d tried on six different sweaters but nothing seemed right. He paced as he dressed, peering every few minutes out his Russell Hall window to check for his date. Just as he’d settled on a green quarter-zip, Aaron McPherson ’12 pulled into view, and Smallwood rushed downstairs to meet him.

McPherson had tucked something extra into his SUV – a bouquet of Smallwood’s favorite, sunflowers. He’d pondered the purchase, since after all, it was only the couple’s first outing. But then again, it was Valentine’s Day!

Today, eight years later, the two – whose wedding is the only one to take place at UMW’s Heslep Amphitheatre since a $3 million renovation wrapped up in 2018 – celebrate their first Valentine’s Day as a married couple. A photo from their special day garnered nearly 2,000 Instagram likes and became the most popular post in Mary Washington social media history. UMW had made an indelible tag on them, too, sparking their love for each other and dual careers in higher education. Read more.