The pair’s love story began in 2014, and after a whirlwind romance, the Modern Family star and the True Blood stud got engaged after six months of dating. By late 2015, Sofia and Joe became husband and wife and have been couple goals ever since.
“Our first date was in June, and then I proposed to her on Christmas Eve. [We dated for] about six months. When you know, you know, and we knew right away — like, very quickly,” the actor told Haute Living.
Proving that love exists in Hollywood, the two are now celebrating their five-year wedding anniversary. ET is taking a look back at Sofia and Joe’s relationship and how they were always meant to be.
Love at First Sight
Joe first noticed Sofia at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in May of 2014. At the time, the Colombian actress was engaged to Nick Loeb. While he didn’t make a move and was respectful of her relationship status, Joe did admit — and was caught — checking Sofia’s famous derriere at the Bloomberg & Vanity Fair Cocktail after-party that night.
“I totally got busted. That was actually funny when we first started dating, months after that,” he told E! News. “We had talked, I guess, or kinda bumped into each other but we didn’t start dating until she was single. She had a boyfriend at that time.”
However, they did take a photo together that night.
Joe Fought for Sofia and Won Her Over
A couple of weeks after their encounter, Sofia confirmed that she had split with Nick, citing their multiple ongoing problems. Joe heard the news and immediately went after her.
“I was on a press tour when I found out Sofia was single,” Joe told Cosmopolitan UK, “My friend is an editor, and told me she was about to make the announcement. I got her number from Jesse Tyler Ferguson [Sofia’s Modern Family co-star], then flew to New Orleans to take her on a date.”
In an interview with Haute Living, the actor described their first date, sharing that Sofia had her guard up.
“Our first date was her giving me every reason why it would never work out,” he recalled. “Like, ‘You’re too young, you’re an actor, you’re this, you’re that,’ and she was just doing it to hear herself say it. She was trying to talk herself out of going there.”
Sofia, on her end, also admitted that she initially thought Joe was too good-looking to date.
“I didn’t want to go out with him for a long time because I thought he was too good-looking,” she confessed to InStyle. “Like, it’s too much work, and I’m older. I’m 43 years old. I don’t want to deal with a guy that every girl is after, you know? But then I gave him a chance. I realized he’s not like a typical handsome guy. He’s not vain. He’s very serious, very straightforward, very easy.”
By July 2014, they were photographed on multiple outings in Miami.
During an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Joe shared a hilarious story about how he won his ladylove over and how he “knew right away” that she was the one. He recalled that he was on his way to see her in New Orleans where she was filming a movie and bought a People magazine where he was on the cover of the Bachelor issue.
“‘I know you just got out of this long-term relationship and if you need to be single then I understand. Like, I’m not gonna like it, but I’ll get over it. But before you answer, I wanna show you something,'” he recalled telling Vergara. “I reached into my bag and put down the magazine and I said, ‘Numero uno.'”
“She picked up the magazine, she opened it up and I saw that she was flipping by my interview and I said, ‘What are you doing?’” he told Jimmy Fallon. “And she said, ‘I’m seeing who else is on the list.'”
They Moved Quick — But Made Sure They Were Serious About Each Other
As the months went by, the two were smitten with one another and even started to celebrate the holidays together. Sofia, who is mother to 28-year-old Manolo, brought Joe to her family’s Thanksgiving celebrations in 2014.
“Giving thanks for a beautifull year and my love ones❤️❤️❤️❤️!! Happy thanksgiving!!!!!” she captioned a family pic.
Joe Learned Spanish to Propose to Sofia
When Joe finally decided to pop the question, he made sure to make it extra special — even learning Sofia’s native language.
“I had a big speech in Spanish, and that’s what I was nervous about,” the Magic Mike XXL star said during Live! With Kelly and Michael. “The last thing you want to do is, like, mess up the Spanish on the proposal to the Colombian woman.”
Joe shared that part of the speech included him saying, “Eres mi todo,” which translates to “you are my everything.”
The night, however, didn’t go as planned. While at the St. Regis in Kauai, paparazzi messed up his proposal and he had to ask for her hand inside their suite. The moment, he recalled, was still pretty spectacular.
“We had this big bay window [that I opened up], and the sun was going down pink over the mountains and over the bay, and I had this ring,” he shared. “I had looked at every ring in the world, and this is the ring that I wanted. I had a whole speech prepared in Spanish. I proposed to her on one knee in Spanish with the sun going down. It was awesome.”
The Big Move — With Manolo’s Permission
By May of 2015, the two had decided to move in together. Sofia made sure that it was after her son went away to college. She explained in an interview with HOLA! USA why she had never moved in with a boyfriend, until now.
“Partly because I hadn’t found the right person and I knew that if I moved in with someone, it would have a psychological effect on my son,” she shared. “I wasn’t going to bring a man into my son’s home. I think that’s why I always wanted long-distance relationships, with men in other countries.”
During a May appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, she joked about them living together and how he was such a bookworm.
“I left him home packing my things,” Sofia cracked. “We’ve had help, and he’s doing his stuff. He has a lot of books that I don’t know where I’m going to put. We have a wine cellar and I was like, oh, maybe that’s where we should put them instead of wine. He doesn’t want to put them in storage.”
They Say “I Do” — and Sofia Gets Her Grand Wedding
The gorgeous couple officially became husband and wife on Nov. 22, 2015. The wedding was no small feat, celebrated at The Breakers Palm Beach resort in Florida, with nearly 400 of their close family and friends.
The actress wore a custom Zuhair Murad gown and was dripping in Lorraine Schwartz jewelry as Manolo walked her down the aisle. Joe looked dapper in a John Varvatos tux. A slew of celebrity friends were in attendance, including Modern Family and True Blood cast members.
“Sofia knows how to have a good time,” Mr. Worldwide told ET. “By the third song in — I did about a 45-minute set — she was onstage with all her beautiful bridesmaids and friends, and that’s when the party started.”
Laughter Is Key to Their Marriage
Speaking with Men’s Health, Joe revealed just how important humor is in their marriage.
“My life is great because I really like my wife. I like talking to her. I like goofing around with her. We f**king laugh all day long every day,” he expressed. “My favorite thing in the world is making my wife laugh so much she cries. It’s the best.”
Another key to their marriage, enjoying each other through and through. Opening up to Cigar Aficionado, the actor confessed, “There’s nobody I’d rather spend time with. She was it for me. People say things like, ‘Marriage and relationships are work.’ But it’s not. Life is hard. Having somebody to help you deal with it is the greatest thing that ever happened.”
“It’s such an easy relationship — easy in all the right ways,” he continued. “Looking back on the relationships I had before this, I think the universe was giving me some tough practice so I’d get this right.”
Sofia also echoed her hubby’s thoughts, telling HOLA! USA that a big reason why their relationship works is their shared sense of humor.
“He is so funny and ever since we met, that has been really important,” she said. “We even talk to each other all the time in this little voice that we made up, like a couple of dorks. Whoever heard us, would say, ‘What’s their problem?'”
They Support Each Other’s Dreams
Sofia has touched on how her ambition and entrepreneurial spirit are qualities that her husband might love most about her.
“He loves that I love to work, that I love to be creative, that I’m always planning my ventures, that I’m always excited about work and about business,” she gushed to ET. “He loves that.”
“I think the important thing that I have learned [about balancing work and family] is that you have to learn how to delegate. You can’t do everything yourself,” she continued. “You have to surround yourself with people you know can help you. To pay someone’s salary, it’s an investment so you can do more things, so you can trust people to help you do all the things you want.”
She had also previously told ET, “He always, actually, tells me, he’s like, ‘You know, one of the things that draws me so much to you is that you were, like, the first woman [who] I went out with that is really, really, like, independent,'” she noted.
“And I don’t need to ask anyone for anything,” she added. “You know, you want to give it to me, then give it to me. I’m not asking. I receive gifts, but [I don’t need them]. And he loves that and, you know, he supports everything I do and it’s amazing.”
They Can Mix Business With Pleasure
They worked together on the movie Bottom of the 9th, released in 2019. Joe gushed to ET about how “easy” it was to work with his beloved.
“We’re just strong to begin with,” he expressed, noting that it’s not hard to sing her praises. “It’s easy. It’s easy when it’s the truth.”
“I cast my wife, so we get to act together for the first time. She just had to sleep with the producer,” Joe joked. “We were both there at work, which made things a lot easier. You actually didn’t want to leave. It was so much fun.”
The two have also done a couple of commercials together — using the wicked sense of humor that makes their relationship so special.
Hollywood Hasn’t Affected Their Relationship
Joe never pictured himself dating a celebrity, but after he married Sofia, they became an instant A-list couple.
“I was never part of a celebrity couple before this, because I never wanted to go through the difficulty that can bring in terms of paparazzi and attention,” he told Ocean Drive magazine. “The two of us knew that once it became public that we were together — and we had conversations about how that would change a lot of things. Sofia is the only woman on the planet that I was willing to go through all of that for, because she’s the greatest.”
He continued by adding that they have managed to make the attention work to their advantage, saying, “All that pressure has just brought us closer together. It’s not something that we welcome into our lives. We try to stay private. At the end of the day, it’s really nobody else’s business but ours. It’s just that I love her and she loves me and here we are. And there is a price for that, when living in the public eye.”
They Are Each Other’s Person
Instantly, Joe knew that Sofia was the only woman for him, telling Ocean Drive, “I just married the girl that I love. That was it. From the first date, it was just like, ‘Wow!’ It was so easy in all the ways that you want it to be easy and challenging in all of the most fun ways possible. So I knew right away and that was it.”
“We realized very early on that we each had to put the other person’s happiness and well-being ahead of our own,” he further noted in a HOLA! USA joint interview. “Once you realize that kind of trust has manifested, you hang on for dear life. Or in my case, you go and buy a ring.”
“My heart was melting and I simply said, ‘But of course!'” Sofia added of Joe’s romantic proposal.
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