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The Morning Show Writer Stacy Osei-Kuffour’s “Ghana in the California Desert” Wedding

By Shayna Seid | Photography by 

Le Nozze Photography

Stacy Osei-Kuffour, a playwright, actress, and writer for shows like PEN15, The Morning Show, and Watchmen, and Sherif Alabede, a television writer for Perry Mason on HBO and music video director of songs like “Lean Wit Me” by Juice WRLD, met on OkCupid in 2011. After eight years together, Stacy heard Sherif talking about his plan to propose in his sleep!

“I guess he was so stressed about the proposal that he was having a nightmare about it,” she explains. “I didn’t tell him about this until a few days after he actually proposed.” On their eight-year anniversary, he surprised her with a trip to the Ojai Valley Inn for the weekend, and once they got to their suite, she saw rose petals and heard classical music playing, and he got down on one knee. 

The engaged couple chose January 18th as their date because both of them have birthdays on the 18th, so they wanted it to fall on their favorite number. They also agreed that they wanted something with desert vibes for their winter wedding. They chose Newhall Mansion in California, since it could host both of their families for the celebration. “There was a mountain and the desert behind us, and this classical Victorian mansion in front of it—it was perfect.” 

To help plan everything, they hired Summer Newman Events. “It was important to me to have all of our vendors be Black-owned,” Stacy says. “Our florist was Whit Hazen. She and Summer made the day so fantastic.”

When it came to picking what she wanted to wear, Stacy decided she wanted two looks. She found them both at Eva’s Bridal in Chicago with her mother, Denise. The first was a lace, off-the-shoulder design, and the second was a backless flowing dress, which was more comfortable to dance all night in. They were both tailored by Mia Danilowicz, who also handmade her veil. The bride paired the latter one with earrings from her sister’s brand, The Vintage Royalty, to complete her ensemble.

The groom looked handsome in an Indochino velvet tuxedo and Calvin Klein shoes. And they asked their guests to wear bright colors to contrast winter’s cooler temperatures. Then came the time to gather outside for the ceremony.

Stacy walked down the aisle with her father, Godwin, to a live violin rendition of “On the Nature of Daylight” by Max Richter, from the film Arrival—it was important to Sherif to incorporate classical music from their favorite movies throughout the day. Then, her best friend from NYU, Nathan, officiated the service and led everyone in a brief meditation before the couple shared their vows. “Sherif for first time in our relationship, shed so many tears, which made me cry even harder,” the bride says. “It was so sweet!” 

After being pronounced as husband and wife, the two went off to take portraits and munch on cheesy appetizers. Later, they rejoined everyone outside for their evening desert reception. The space was filled with wood tables and chairs, lush, colorful flowers, candles, and beautiful rugs to match the rustic feel. For the seated dinner, caesar salad, braised short ribs, fried chicken, mac and cheese, and maple glazed sweet potatoes by chef Theresa Koenig were served , followed by a huge dessert table with four different kinds of cake from SusieCakes.

Dancing was the highlight of the evening. “We didn’t want typical wedding music, so there was lots of trap music and R&B,” Stacy says. “The music was pretty raunchy, but that’s exactly what we wanted—we wanted it to feel like you were in a club!”

After the reception, the after-party began in the mansion’s “dungeon.” “We have literally no pictures of this which makes me so sad! But we continued the celebration with more drinks, gooey honeybuns, and of course my favorite thing ever…KARAOKE!”