Actress and director Gabourey Sidibe is absolutely shining alongside fiancé Brandon Frankel featured in Brides digital style issue ahead of their upcoming wedding in 2023.
The couple shared that they met on the dating app Raya and got engaged in October 2020.
Per Essence, the former Empire star did not initially want a big wedding. “The entire time we have been engaged, I’ve always been like, ‘No, we shouldn’t have a wedding,’” Sidibe said in the cover story. “Maybe we’ll throw a barbecue, get married in the bathroom, and then we’ll come out and tell everyone we’re married.”
She said she and Frankel have had a change of heart.
“It cannot be a traditional wedding. Really, it can’t be,” she said. “I don’t want anything done the ‘traditional’ way. Our relationship is very much on our terms and I want it to be fun, like a true party.”
The non-traditional flair that makes Sidibe a unique star is on full display in the photo spread which featured her styled in a colorful African print dress for the cover and other bright color looks for the rest of the shoot shared on Instagram. Sidibe called the shoot a “rehearsal” for their actual wedding.
From the story, Sidibe said, “To me, weddings are very different from marriage and partnership. I think I always, always wanted there to be a partner in my life, [but] I didn’t know what he was going to look like or what he was going to be like at all.”
Frankel is Jewish and Sidibe is of Senegalese descent. The former Empire star said that she wants their wedding and life to reflect their cultures. They intend to have a specially curated menu. “Including my culture [in the wedding] is important to me for sure. I’ve been feeding him some Senegalese food in the last few years—especially in the pandemic,” she said.
“It will be a nice mix of African and Jewish touches. I want his background to absolutely be there because this is a partnership.”