After becoming friends while attending college at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Miles decided he wanted more than just a friendship with Diarra and made his move. “He asked to kiss me one night, at a party,” she recalls. “And that’s usually a classic mistake. You’re not supposed to ask. But it worked. We kissed that night and that was pretty much it. There was no going back!”
A sweet dress portrait for a fabulous wedding gown. “My friend Dominique Dawson is an amazing stylist and she helped me pick out my dress,” says the bride. We like her taste!
We just love the detail on Diarra’s Claire Pettibone gown.
“One of my oldest friends Aisha Benton did my makeup,” Diarra says. “It all came full circle. Now she’s a professional make-up artist, but when she first did my makeup for the junior prom, it was just a hobby.”
“My auntie Karen Moore did my hair and I was certain I didn’t want to
straighten my hair for the big day,” Diarra explains. “But I’ve been natural for a while, so many of the natural bride up-dos I saw, I had done before for other events. I feel like a lot of times braids are relegated to being thought of as a vacation hair-style or just a summer-do. But there’s such a regality to braids and cornrows and I wanted to celebrate that. My auntie has been braiding my hair since I was a little girl back in Detroit, I thought since the whole day was a celebration of family it would be fitting for a family member to do my hair.”
Diarra shares a toast with her girls!
“I locked down my shoes just a week before the wedding,” says Diarra. “I got them from Macy’s, nothing fancy. I wanted to be able to dance.”
“What I love most about Miles are his heart, his mind, and his hands,” gushes the bride.
“I felt really confident and beautiful in my dress,” Diarra says. And, it showed!
“My veil was made by Naila Sanders, who’s a costume designer in LA. She has designed for a bunch of plays that I’ve been in,” says Diarra. “So it definitely had a theatrical feel to it. I loved the length and the drama of it. I wore baby’s breath in my hair and gold pins that belonged to Miles’ great-great grandmother. I hadn’t decided on my earrings until the day of. I had literally three generations of earrings from both my family and Miles’ side to choose from. I tried them all on and my bridesmaids agreed I should go with the final pair, which weren’t a family heirloom. They were no more than $15 from a store in Koreatown. But they were perfect.”
“Besides the fact that she’s beautiful, intelligent and hilarious, she has a great vision for me and who I am trying to become,” says Miles. “She helps push me to become a better man every day. Diarra is my best friend. There’s no one I’d rather travel through life with.”
“I really delegated the flowers to my mother,” says the bride. “I told my mom I wanted purples, pinks, lilacs and lavenders and she found the florist and took the rest from there. I was more interested in the color palette than the exact types of flowers.” Florentyna’s A Fine Flower Company did a lovely job.
“When I realized I had something to learn from him by being his mate, I knew he was the one,” Diarra explains. “At the wedding, our reverend said there are gifts in you that only he activates and vice-versa and I smiled because I really know that to be true.”
“After college we went to Thailand for a few months and I ended up in the hospital with a very serious eye infection,” says Miles. “The doctors said I might go blind. I spent three weeks in the hospital and she slept on a tiny couch in the room. My parents offered to come and take care of me but she told them, ‘I got this.’ She really had my back. That’s when I realized she was the one. But I keep learning it every year on a deeper level as our relationship evolves.”
“I wanted my bridesmaids looks to be soft and flowing,” says Diarra.
“I knew they would need different dresses because they were women with such different bodies and skin tones and I wanted to celebrate their various attributes,” Diarra continues. “And I wanted to pick dresses that they could wear again and look beautiful in.”
Miles and his groomsmen pose for the cameras!
What a lovely bunch!
Diarra and Miles’ tender love radiates from their wedding photos. Here, she made her way to meet him during their romantic first look.
“Miles is my best friend,” says Diarra. “He makes me laugh harder than anyone. He sees me, he gets me, he loves and he supports me.”
Miles and Diarra had plenty of compliments to go around. “She’s incredibly talented and super smart,” says Miles. “She’s very funny and sharp. On top of all that, she’s sexy as hell. It’s a good package.” Diarra sings his praises too! “There’s a lot of depth there,” she adds. “Miles is grounded, quick-witted, highly intelligent, compassionate and creative.”
“One of our first dates, he cooked lamb chops, in a brandy cream sauce,
green beans, and roasted rosemary potatoes, and I was done,” says Diarra. “I wouldn’t even eat that now. LOL. Now he makes a lot more vegan or vegetarian dishes. But at that time, I was like, this guy is something special. Who makes lamb chops from scratch in college? And then he had the nerve to give me a massage afterwards. I have to admit, he might have sealed it up then and there. But, as we grew and matured together, I was able to see all the depth of who he is. Frankly I was impressed.”
“When Miles and I got together, I was so young,” Diarra admits. “I certainly wasn’t husband hunting. In many ways, its been the happiest of accidents.”
Diarra and Miles’ big day was bursting with rustic elegance from the details to the backdrop.
Diarra’s niece Anaya was their flower girl!
“When Diarra came down the aisle,” says Miles. “That feeling is something that I’ll never forget.”
“I got a lot of my crying out at the rehearsal,” says Diarra. My maid of honor, Farron, told me to press my tongue against the roof of my mouth and it would stop my tear ducts. It worked, for the most part, but I still dropped a few tears.”
The couple’s wedding venue, The 1909 was absolutely breathtaking.
“We decided early on, we would write our own,” says Miles. “I’m glad we did. Our vows really touched people. So many people told me that ours was the best wedding they’d ever been to and one of our friends recorded our vows and plays them back on his iPhone for inspiration.”
We love absolutely everything about this picture!
“Looking into his eyes, I was really connected to him and I felt very proud of us,” says Diarra. “It was like we were both putting away our childish things together. It was a beautiful moment!”
Diarra and Miles sealed the deal with a romantic first kiss as husband and wife.
Meet the new Mr. and Mrs!
“I felt like I’ve made the right choice,” says Miles. “Looking into her eyes it was just right. And I felt really lucky.”
We can feel the love!
Just look at Diarra’s bridal glow go!
“We also had a mixing of lands where we combined soil from both our hometowns, Bolinas, California (his) and Detroit, Michigan (mine),” says Diarra. “We planted literal and figurative seeds for our marriage. We also gave our guests seeds and invited them to plant seeds for our union in their own homes and gardens or parks.”
A signature cocktail for the couple of the evening. We love the name!
The couple’s reception style was uber romantic.
“We danced to ‘In Love With You’ by Erykah Badu featuring Stephen Marley,” says Diarra. “I love Erykah Badu and Miles eats and sleeps reggae so the song felt like a good fit for us. Its very sultry and melodic. Our first dance was choreographed by our friend Ameenah Kaplan.”
A lovely cake for a lovely couple.
“We had a spoken word poem performed by our friend Iona Morris and David Dean Bottrell who does the best one man show in LA,” says Diarra. “An absolute high light of the wedding was the R&B a cappella medley performed by some of our friends from NYU. They did a mash-up of ‘Pony’, “The Ignition Re-Mix”, ‘Whatta Man’ and Michael Jackson’s ‘The Way You Make Me Feel’ and ‘Black and White’. It was so fun. Everybody was jamming.””
Cutest bouquet toss photo ever!