Blair Underwood marries longtime friend Josie Hart in intimate Caribbean wedding (exclusive)

Friends for 43 years, actor and Hart tied the knot at Casa de Campo Resort & Villas in the Dominican Republic: ‘It was surreal and magical’

<p>Martin Ameztoy Photography</p>
<p> Blair Underwood and Josie Hart” src=”–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTY0MA–/″/><noscript><img alt=Martin Ameztoy Photography

Blair Underwood and Josie Hart” src=”–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTY0MA–/″ class=”caas-img”/>

Martin Ameztoy Photography

Blair Underwood and Josie Hart

When it came to planning his wedding to longtime friend Josie Hart, Blair Underwood was a busy groom.

“I’ve been very involved,” Underwood, 58, tells PEOPLE exclusively about the couple’s destination wedding. In front of 100 guests, including actress Kim Fields and actor Malcolm-Jamal Warner, the two were married on June 24 at Casa de Campo Resort & Villas in the Dominican Republic. “I’m a Virgo and a bit of a perfectionist, so I like to make sure the details are taken care of.”

For more exclusive wedding photos and all the details, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE on newsstands Friday.

Wedding planner Theresa Calcos of Casa de Campo worked with Angelica and Adriana Noriega of Caribbean Celebrations who created the ambiance and decor for the celebration, which included a pre-wedding welcome party.

Guests enjoyed a cocktail with a menu of Dominican ceviche, coconut breaded shrimp and plantains wrapped in grilled bacon as well as the bride’s signature drink, Prosecco with a splash of grenadine.

“It was a beautiful and moving celebration of kindred spirits, love and family; as amazing as Josie and as phenomenal as Blair,” Fields said.

<p>Martin Ameztoy Photography</p>
<p> (Left to right) Blake Campbell, Paris Underwood, Summur Berrett, Brett Owens, Randii Foster, Blake Underwood, Brielle Underwood, Brie Owens” src=”–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTY0MQ–/″/><noscript><img alt=Martin Ameztoy Photography

(Left to right) Blake Campbell, Paris Underwood, Summur Berrett, Brett Owens, Randii Foster, Blake Underwood, Brielle Underwood, Brie Owens” src=”–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTY0MQ–/″ class=”caas-img”/>

Martin Ameztoy Photography

(L to R) Blake Campbell, Paris Underwood, Summur Berrett, Brett Owens, Randii Foster, Blake Underwood, Brielle Underwood, Brie Owens

For the ceremony, Hart wore a tailored two-in-one transitional dress with a fitted trumpet silhouette and removable overskirt with a cathedral-length train designed by Nneka C. Alexander of Brides by Nona Couture Atelier. Underwood opted for an ISAIA ivory wool/silk jacquard pattern evening jacket with satin lapels paired with a linen waistcoat and evening trousers. Under a vault decorated with roses, two handwritten vows exchanged.

“The first time I saw her in that dress, she looked like a princess,” Underwood said. “She was so beautiful. The deep emotions that came through the ceremony, the lightheartedness and fun of the reception, it was all humbling because it all fell into place. It was amazing.”

At the reception, the couple celebrated with a five-tier French vanilla and buttercream icing cake from Flor Reposteria. While GCStar Punta Cana’s DJ Germán Cabello provided the music with Underwood’s friend Milo Levell, the bride and groom had their first dance to Tony Terry’s song “With You” – performed live by the singer as a surprise for the Hart – before the fireworks lit up the night sky.

“It was surreal and magical,” Hart said of the day. “His wishes, hearing him say the words he said to me for our eternity was amazing. Between our kids and everyone toasting, the fireworks right after our first dance, the whole day was just beyond my expectations.”

Underwood first met his wife when he was 16, and the two began a friendship that would last 43 years. “My mother loved and adored him. We lived separate lives on separate coasts. We never saw each other much. But when we spoke, there was always such a strong bond to understand each other,” he says.

The two started dating after their respective divorces and Underwood proposed last fall. “It’s so good,” he adds. “I just feel like this is the next step in moving forward in my life and doing it together in our lives together.”

More than anything, the actor is especially grateful to have the love and support of his family and friends. “For anyone who knows us, and I’m talking about our nine children, grandchildren, ex-spouses. That everyone is on board and embracing and accepting this union is nothing but God,” he says.

“To find love and discover love in someone who has been in my life, in my family’s life, and as I have been in theirs, for so long in an honorable and platonic way To find ourselves in this space when we are both single and looking to see how we are going to spend the rest of our lives is a beautiful love story.

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