Congratulations are in order for one of our faves Anika Noni Rose and her new hubby, actor Jason Dirden who grace the new music issue cover of BRIDES magazine.
BRIDES Details Anika Noni Rose And Jason Dirden Wedding
We love us some Anika Noni Rose and apparently Jason Dirden does too — we had no idea the couple was dating, but their love story — including their fairytale wedding is captured in the beautiful new Music Issue of BRIDES
Here’s a little background on how they met and fell in love:
Anika first met fellow actor Jason Dirden in 2014 when both were cast in the Broadway production of A Raisin in the Sun. “We were friends for a couple of years, actually,” Anika says, but the timing just wasn’t right. “We both went off and did our own things and were disconnected for a while and then swung back.” A few years later, they had the timing down pat. “It was the right moment for both of us to be open and available for the possibility of what we have now,” Jason explains.
We know you want to know about the proposal. It’s a great story, but definitely an unconventional one:
In December of 2021, Jason planned to take that friendship-turned romance to the next level. Anika joined his family’s annual Secret Santa Zoom expecting nothing more than holiday cheer, but it became abundantly clear that something more was happening when she noticed that her parents, brother, nephews, and close friends had all joined the call. “Jason played a beautiful video he created of our time together, underscored by Norah Jones’ ‘Come Away With Me,”’ and a phone conversation between Jason and his dad about love, partnership, and Jason’s desire to propose,” she remembers. “When the video ended, with all our friends and family watching, he went to one knee and asked me to marry him.”
The couple picked October 16th, 2022 for their wedding and chose the Paramour Estate, a property that dates back to 1923, which was called “The Most Beautiful Home in Hollywood” at the time.
We hope you were paying attention because it turns out that “Come Away With Me” also played an important role in their big day.
Norah Jones’ “Come Away With Me” had an instrumental role in the duo’s relationship, and was chosen for their first dance, though the bride wanted to record her own version as a surprise.
Due to their aforementioned busy schedules, the only day available was the day before the wedding.
“The only other person who knew that this was happening was the DJ,” Anika says. “I saw the moment Jason realized it was me singing. Meanwhile, my family knew it was me from the moment the first beat dropped! Jason was so focused on the dance that it took him about two lines in before he had that Ah moment.”
As for Jason? “My first thought was: I did not know I was marrying a liar!” he jokes. “It was so moving, so magical, and something I would have never expected.”
So about that dance… The couple surprised their guests with a dance number to the aforementioned “Come Away With Me.”
The choreographed first dance proved to be one of the most spectacular moments of the entire day. Once the song finished, the bride and groom quickly moved back inside to snap a few photos, but they heard their guests cheering from their seats. “That’s not usually how they see us,” Anika explains. Jason adds, “It gave everyone a peek into our relationship, how we move together.”
Anika and Jason weren’t the only ones on the dance floor with fancy feet. The couple not only had actor-friend Colman Domingo serve as officiant for their marriage.
Domingo also hit the dance floor to kick off the Electric Slide — and of course the rest of their guests were more than happy to join in.
“Colman Domingo, our officiant, started doing the electric slide, which is something that I never thought was going to be at my wedding, but it was so much fun!” Anika says. “Everybody knows a line dance, so all ages danced to that—there was an intergenerational joy and connection that was so fun to see.”
So, another little detail about Anika and Jason is that they love riding bikes together. One of Jason’s requests for the day was to have a tandem bike at the wedding and one of Anika’s cousins found a vintage tandem bike on eBay and rented it for the couple as a wedding gift. Originally they planned just to display it for guests to see, but when their photographer saw it, he said they absolutely had to take it for a ride.
“It was probably 9:30 and [our photographer] Adonye said, ‘Hey, let’s get you on the bike!’ and by then I had forgotten all about it,” Anika remembers. Though it was a little wobbly at first, the couple ultimately got the hang of it and were able to ride around the entrance of the venue. “It was so much fun,” Jason remembers.
We loved reading every detail about this wedding! You can check out the full story HERE.