Daughter of BET Cofounders Gets Married in a Lavish Wedding in the Bahamas

No expense was spared for the wedding of Paige Johnson.

Dudley Payne and Paige Johnson at their beachside wedding ceremony in the Bahamas. Photograph courtesy of Shelia Johnson.

How does Washington royalty tie the knot? If you’re Paige Johnson, the 27-year-old daughter of BET cofounders Sheila and Bob Johnson, you do it with four days of partying at the One&Only Ocean Club on Paradise Island in the Bahamas.

Reached by phone yesterday in New York City, the bride’s mother said she was “just trying to recover” from the long weekend’s extravagant celebration. The part-owner of the Washington Capitals, Wizards, and Mystics said her daughter chose the tropical destination for her nuptials because she’s “a James Bond freak” and parts of Casino Royale were shot at the Ocean Club.

When planning the fete, Johnson, also CEO of Salamander Hospitality, reminded her daughter that one of her resorts has a nice beach [the Hammock Beach Resort in Palm Coast, Florida]. But she says Paige told her, “I really want to do something that’s just about me.”

The bride wore a lace-covered Monique Lhuillier gown for her ceremony, and a beaded, backless dress, again by Lhuillier, for the lavish reception. Guests dined on lamb, grouper, and “the best heirloom tomato and burrata salad I’ve ever had anywhere,” says Sandy Ain, a family friend and Sheila Johnson’s lawyer. “It was even better than [in] Italy.”

Celebrity party planner Colin Cowie (whose clients include Oprah Winfrey, Jennifer Aniston, and Jennifer Lopez) orchestrated the affair. Sheila Johnson says she was particularly impressed by his quick thinking last Friday, when a beach party for guests was disrupted by “a monsoon.” Cowie moved the party to a beautiful room indoors, and Johnson says “it was even better than if we had been on the beach.”

R&B singer Ne-Yo, the bride’s favorite artist, performed at the reception, as reported by Reliable Source. Actors Tim and Daphne Reid [ed. note to kids of the ’90s: He played Tia and Tamara’s dad on Sister, Sister; she was Vivian Banks on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air] were among the guests. Record executive L.A. Reid also attended.

And what about the groom, Dudley Payne? Johnson, who describes her daughter, an equestrian show jumper, as “fearless” with “a strong personality,” says she wondered as Paige grew up what kind of man wouldn’t be intimidated by her. But she says her new son-in-law is “more than what I would have dreamed of.” Johnson says the competitive golfer comes from a great family—his dad is a retired Virginia judge—and has “impeccable” character. We wish them all the best.

Senior Editor

Marisa M. Kashino joined Washingtonian in 2009 and was a senior editor until 2022.