Anika Noni Rose and Jason Dirden reveal they tied the knot last year in first public announcement
Anika Noni Rose has been sitting on a big secret for three months: She's married!
"The Princess and the Frog" star tied the knot with actor Jason Dirden in October 2022 and announced it in magazine Brides on Jan. 16, their three month wedding anniversary.
The couple exchanged original vows they wrote themselves. “Without consulting each other, we ended up using the same phrase at the end of each [of our vows]," Rose told the magazine. "We couldn’t have planned it better."
The couple met in 2014 when they both were cast in Broadway production "A Raisin in the Sun."
“Neither one of us really planned to end up with somebody in the business,” Rose, 50, said. “We have fun. We laugh a lot, which is really, really important. And we don’t talk so much about the business.”
Dirden, 42, agreed, saying, "That’s what drew us in together as friends."
"This woman is so silly. She has a four year old child living inside of her that will never go away. She loves to prank people, and she has that kind of spontaneous silliness to her that allowed us both to release any type of armor, or any type of defense mechanism, and allowed us to really just be who we are with each other. We created this friendship walking 60 blocks from rehearsal to the gym, just talking about life, or about anything really. It had nothing to do with the play that we were working on. There’s always been that kind of comfort and ease between us.”
Rose said it took some time for their friendship to turn into something more.
“We were friends for a couple of years, actually,” Rose recalled, “(but) we both went off and did our own things and were disconnected for a while and then swung back.”
The “Greenleaf” star said that timing was everything for them, explaining that it was the right moment for them to "be open and available" for a committed relationship.
Dirden proposed during the last month of 2021 using his family's annual Secret Santa (over Zoom that year) as a smoke screen. But Rose knew something more was happening when her family joined the call too.
“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,” Rose said. “When the video ended, with all our friends and family watching, he went to one knee and asked me to marry him.”
It wasn't until August 2022 that the Hollywood couple found a date in between their busy schedules. Meaning, they planned their October wedding in just two months.
“We didn’t plan to only have eight weeks to plan a wedding,” Dirden joked. “We planned to have a year.”
With all the planning and logistics firmed up, the couple wed at Paramour Estate in Los Angeles. The ceremony was officiated by "Euphoria" star Colman Domingo. Dirden wore a light pink suit, while Rose wore a custom gown designed by Gbemi Okunlola of Alonuko Bridal, a London-based designer. The top half of the dress was sheer with white vines and little flowers opening out into the flowy bottom half.
“When we met, we talked about the story we wanted to tell with the dress,” Rose said. “[Our vision was] that of a rose coming into full bloom, but without being too fussy. I also didn’t want anything I could wear on a red carpet.”
For an especially sweet touch, the bridal party's bouquet's were tied together using the sleeves from Rose's mother's wedding dress.
“I knew I wanted those things as a tribute to my mommy and her love, and it was a surprise for her,” Rose said of the decision.
Rose said she kept her hair and makeup natural because she wanted to look like herself.
“I wanted to look soft and pretty. Touchable. Ethereal and dreamy, and fully myself,” she said.
This article was originally published on TODAY.com