The Sistas star and actor were joined by 150 guests while tying the knot at their formal affair on Sept. 3
Actress KJ Smith is officially in the Black!
The Sistas star, 38, and actor Skyh Black, 35, married in fantastic fashion at The Malibu Dream Resort on Sunday, Sept. 3. The couple, who are sharing all the gorgeous photos from their star-studded affair with PEOPLE, says it was exactly the luxe and love-filled day they dreamed it would be.
"It was perfect. An experience. The Black Experience," the bride says of the day they've been planning for over a year, that included 150 of their closest family and friends dressed in all black, including Eva Marcille, Loni Love, Lil Rel Howery and Sistas executive producer Tyler Perry.
"Our last name is Black, so we always use it as a play on words," explains the groom of infusing the event with elements of their shared Black culture. "We’re from the South and we have these traditions that are very near and dear to our hearts that our parents and grandparents have shared. Our wedding is an homage to our ancestors with some elegant moments we’ve curated and loved as a couple...And it was better than I imagined."
Smith hadn't always wanted a big blowout wedding. Initially, "I wanted Skyh and me to go off and elope on a mountain somewhere. But then, when we started planning it I got more and more excited about friends, family and loved ones being involved," she says.
"It turned into a very large wedding ceremony and I’m really happy we decided to do this because we were able to experience it with our family and friends. And we were able to get loved on and give love. Our wedding ceremony was a gift to our friends and family."
For the cliffside ceremony, Smith wore a custom Alonuko gown by Oluwagbemisola Okunlola Designers, before having three more wardrobe changes throughout the evening. "We had to have several looks and went with all-Black designers to highlight how incredible our culture is in fashion."
As for Black, he took his sartorial choices just as seriously. "There’s little talk about fashion for grooms," he says, "and I’m not afraid to say I’m a man who’s into fashion." For his ceremony look the former ballet dancer and his creative director Apuje Kalu decided on an expertly tailored all-white shirtless ensemble by celebrity designer Brandon Gray of Grayscale.
"Collaborating with them felt like the dream team," adds the groom. "I’m not a tie kind of guy. I went in an unconventional direction. I wanted something that made me feel good." And he couldn't have been happier complementing his bride. "KJ and I are in sync. She is my mirror. We have a habit of picking similar things."
The Love Story
The couple were on the same page when it came to location. "Malibu was the place we had our first date, the location where we started this journey" says Smith, who first met Black at an airport after he had landed a recurring role on Sistas. "She stuck an iPad in my face and said 'Hello, who are you, why are you at the show? I'm video-blogging'," he recalls.
The pair began dating in January of 2021 and were engaged that December. Having Perry as a guest at their nuptials was extra special for the pair, who have now been added to the list of happy couples who have met while working on the mogul's productions. Says Black, "He gave us our first major starts in Hollywood."
For the ceremony, officiated by Pastor Aventor Gray, the couple exchanged heartfelt handwritten vows and made sure to honor their shared roots. "We jumped the broom, which is my favorite tradition because, for many years and centuries, actually, Black people couldn’t get married in America," says Smith. "So, we decided to keep with that tradition because of the legacy our ancestors created for us."
Says Black, "I learned the history of many wedding-related things because I didn’t know, so when I found out what jumping the broom signified, it resonated with me."
But the traditions stopped there, as the pair mostly opted for an unconventional wedding. In lieu of a seated dinner they chose to make it a party, kicked off with the couple coming out and performing Jay-Z, Kanye West and Beyonce's song "Lift Off". "I wanted to have fun," says Black.
In between dancing and performances, guests enjoyed passed elevated Southern cuisine and drinks by Chef Shanita Castle of Castle's Catering and Lady on the Rocks. Even a traditional wedding cake wouldn't do, as the couple opted for a mixed berry pie instead, by Chef Natasha Burton of Mixed Fillings.
Most importantly, they never left one another's side. "We had a lot of laughter, crying, fun stories, dancing and holding Skyh's hand the entire night," says Smith. "My one rule was to spend it together and by each other's side. We were at a huge venue where you could easily get lost, and I just wanted to be with him the whole night."
Adds Black, "I wanted to get lost in my bride because this was the beginning of our legacy, and I wanted those memories to last until my last day on earth."
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