Gabourey Sidibe Wants a Nontraditional Wedding and Gown: 'I Definitely Don't Need a White Dress'

The actress told Brides that her wedding to Brandon Frankel will take place sometime in spring 2023

Gabourey Sidibe Covers Brides Style Issue
Photo: Erich McVey for Brides

The wedding bells are getting louder for Gabourey Sidibe.

The actress, 39, covers Brides' Style Issue this month, opening up about her fiancé, Brandon Frankel, and the couple's upcoming wedding in the accompanying interview.

Though many details of the celebration, which she said will take place in spring 2023, are still up in the air, Sidibe told the magazine she knows what she doesn't want.

"It cannot be a traditional wedding. Really, it can't be. I don't want anything done the 'traditional' way," she said. "Our relationship is very much on our terms and I want it to be fun, like a true party."

Frankel told the magazine that though he and the Empire actress are enlisting help to plan the special day, they are trying to do as much themselves as possible.

"We like to outsource, but we're both very involved in everything we do. We're creative people and we're both pretty good at executing, so we'll have someone [helping], but we'll definitely be super involved," he said.

Gabourey Sidibe Covers Brides Style Issue with Fiancé
Erich McVey for Brides

Now in planning mode, Sidibe told Brides that after trying on wedding gowns at the photoshoot for her cover, she unleashed the "power in stepping into a wedding dress."

The Precious actress said she is staying away from traditional dresses, and rather looking at bold colors with unexpected silhouettes, oversized jewelry — and even feathers.

Gabourey Sidibe Covers Brides Style Issue
Erich McVey for Brides

"I'm super against tradition," Sidibe said. "I definitely don't need a white dress. My favorite look [from the shoot] was the pink African print. Honestly, whatever I wear on the wedding day will probably be African print. It might have a little white, so it looks like a wedding dress, but it's definitely going to be colorful."

She said she has looked to her "biggest muse," Danielle Brooks, who wore a Christian Siriano gown as one of two dresses on the actress' own wedding day.

Sidibe announced her engagement to Frankel in November 2020 with a gushing Instagram post about him.

"It's weird that people think we're already married but I guess our hearts and intentions for each other are just that clear to see," she wrote alongside a video and photo of herself and Frankel at the time. "My BFF proposed and now I get to hold him forever," she added. "The funniest man I've ever met. The sweetest human to exist."

Sidibe and Frankel met on the exclusive, members-only dating app Raya. Sidibe told Brides that before meeting Frankel, who has been married once before, she had never pictured herself with a lifelong partner.

"I couldn't imagine dating someone I actually liked. Turns out, totally possible! So, I'm really happy to have been wrong about where I saw my life going, partnership-wise. [Brandon] is an incredible, incredible partner," she said in the interview.

Though Frankel spent weeks planning what he thought would be a surprise proposal, Sidibe admittedly discovered some clues.

Her first hint, she said, was when she accidentally found a photo of her engagement ring. Then, on the day of the actual proposal in 2020, Frankel left a light on in the room where he had set up an elaborate proposal so the room would be lit for the big moment.

Sidibe noticed the light shining beneath the door before leaving the house that day and went to turn it out, revealing his master plan.

One detail that did remain a surprise, though, was Frankel's decision to incorporate the couple's cats into the moment by placing a collar on one of their necks that read, "Will you marry my daddy?"

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