"I'd marry him in the backyard — I don't even need an elaborate wedding like that," the actress told PEOPLE

By Christina Dugan
January 08, 2021 04:00 PM
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Amber Riley
Credit: Gregg DeGuire/Getty

Amber Riley is looking forward to saying "I do."

In an exclusive interview with PEOPLE, the former Glee actress, 34, opened up about her upcoming wedding to fiancé Desean Black — and what it's going to take to make the night unforgettable.

"Weddings have always been absolutely fun," said Riley, who recently teamed up with Straight Talk Wireless to get consumers in the holiday spirit with the release of a remix holiday carol. "I've gone to some amazing weddings. My mother's an event planner. I've been a flower girl so many times. So for me, the music has to be right."

"You've got to have a bangin' DJ," she continued. "And I know so many artists. I want both a DJ and a band. You're celebrating bringing two lives together, celebrating love, celebrating a union. So the music, and the party, and the food trucks. It has to be hype. It has to be fun!"

Amber Riley; Desean Black
Amber Riley and Desean Black
| Credit: Leon Bennett/Getty Images; Desean Black Instagram

"[The engagement] definitely took me by surprise, but he's wonderful," Riley said of Black, who proposed to the singer-actress a little over a month ago. "He's a great man. My family loves him. Obviously, I love him."

"It was always important to me to marry my friend and have a great partnership. And he's definitely both," she continued. "And I'm just really excited. It's a little weird because we can't really plan anything [because of COVID], but I'd marry him in the backyard — I don't even need an elaborate wedding like that. But I do need the dress. It can be me, him, and the dress. That I need!"

Riley shared the exciting news with her fans on Instagram in November.

"There was a time when I thought I didn't want or deserve this kind of love," she wrote in her caption. "I'm looking at a man who changed my mind. My time by myself, loving on myself, getting comfortable with myself, prepared me for you, and prepared me for this."

"I am so proud to say, I am the future Mrs. Black," she continued. "I love you @deseanblack_official and I thank you for your patience, your friendship, and your partnership! What God has joined together, let no man separate. #HappilyEngaged #Engaged #BlackLove."

Amber Riley Instagram
Amber Riley
| Credit: Amber Riley Instagram

When it comes to her upcoming nuptials, Riley revealed another detail that's particularly important to her — that she and her husband-to-be write their own vows.

"I feel like every relationship is different, and everyone's needs are different in their relationship," she told PEOPLE. "And so when you're paying attention to your partner, your vows are what your promises are for them to make them comfortable, to make them feel respected."

"You know what your important things are for your spouse. And I know what my important things are for my spouse," she continued. "And I know what my end of the bargain is. So I think it's really, really important to me to write your own vows."