‘You Have to Imagine This … Jennifer Lewis Was the Bride’: Sheryl Lee Ralph Recounts How Members of Her Star-Studded Bridal Party Hoped to Have Their Own Shining Moments 

Actress Sheryl Lee Ralph may have had the most iconic bridal party. 

In photos from her 2005 wedding day, the “Dream Girl” and her husband, Pennsylvania state Sen. Vincent Hughes, are flanked by several of Black Hollywood’s most adored entertainers, each adorned in light lavender dresses and natural glam. From Patti LaBelle, Loretta Devine, Niecy Nash, AJ Johnson, Victoria Rowell,  Jennifer Lewis to former “Divorce Court” Judge Mablean, there is no shortage of beauty or star power.

Sheryle Lee Ralph had a bridal party full of Black Hollywood’s favorite entertainers. (Photo: @thesherylleeralph/Instagram)

In recent years the “Abbott Elementary” actress has shared photos from her ceremony to mark her anniversary, and each time fans fawn over the star-studded photo.

“Every year, I marvel at Sheryl Lee Raplh’s bridal party cause wow the fame,” a fan commented. “My gawd! The black excellence in this wedding party,” and “Wow…you had the real BLACK HOLLYWOOD Queens in your wedding party!! BEAUTIFUL!!” commented others.

Now, nearly 20 years since the photos were snapped, Ralph is sharing how two bridesmaids both hoped to add to the special day with all eyes on them.

Patti LaBelle, who was actually upset that I did not ask her to sing,” Ralph recalled while appearing on the “Jemele Hill Is Unbothered” podcast. “And for me, I really wanted the bonds of friendship and sisterhood. I did not want her to think that I was asking her to be in my bridal party because I wanted her to sing. No, I wanted your sisterhood, I wanted your friendship.”

But LaBelle was not the only bridesmaid who had hoped for a solo of her own. “Jennifer Lewis was also upset I didn’t ask her to sing,” Ralph added. She went on to explain that unlike LaBelle, Lewis made certain to have her moment of shine. 

“Now, you have to imagine this, this is true. The doors are about to open for the bridal party to come down the aisle. Jennifer Lewis pulls me aside. I’m the bride, and says, ‘Now Ralph, I know this is your wedding and it is you, the bride, but I may never have one of these and so when those doors open, it is all about me,’” Ralph aid with a smile. “We have it all on film. When the doors opened and she walked down the aisle, oh, Jennifer Lewis was the bride.”

Back to top