Kwame and Diane: A Pan-African City-Chic Wedding in Patterson

It was at the restaurant of their first date where Kwame took Diane leading up to asking for her hand in marriage.
Love was in the air during that walk in the park where Diane said “yes,” like it was when they were first introduced by mutual best friends. A love that continued to deepen over time, carrying them across the altar towards each other to say I do during a city-chic ceremony with Pan-African elements. Their fondest wedding memories include “walking down the aisle to meet each other,” and the “the Circle of Friends soca song reception entry.” Read all about their love story and wedding experiences – featuring photography by Blue Pictorial, day-of coordination by Details Made Simple, and hair styling by Hair by Sadiku.
Bride & Groom: Diane & Kwame
Wedding Location: Patterson, New Jersey

Tell us how you met and all about the proposal! Met through mutual best friends. For the proposal, Kwame took Diane to the restaurant where they had their first date (although she didn’t have a clue what he was up to) and then after dinner, took a short walk over to Washington Square Park and proposed on one knee under the arch.

Describe your wedding attire. Diane wore a custom wedding dress from Pantora bridal and then changed into an African print custom dress made by Assane designs. Torian wore a very unique purple suit with floral embellishments designed by Connaisseur Paris and then changed into a custom matching African print suit by Assane.

What was the wedding shopping experience like for you? Diane originally got a dress from a mass retailer, but there were lots of hiccups with getting the dress and the fitting. One month before the wedding, she went into Pantora Bridal and fell in love with a model dress that she learned could be fully customized for her. The dress designer rushed the order so that she got it a few days before the wedding! It was perfect!

Did you incorporate any culture into your wedding? We wanted the wedding to be a Pan-African experience. Diane’s family is from Sierra Leone, and Kwame’s family is from Newark, by way of the South. Our wedding menu reflected all of our favorite foods from the African Diaspora-including West Africa, the Caribbean, the South, etc. We changed into African print clothes, and some of our family and friends did as well. Diane’s mother organized an Aso ebi, which is a West African tradition, in which my mother and her friends all wore the same African print. We also incorporated African print throughout the wedding décor.

Wedding Party Gifts: We didn’t have a wedding party, and are blessed to have a great circle of close friends. We did invite some friends and our siblings to get ready with us. Kwame gave them African print bowties and Diane gave her friends robes, African print jewelry.

Gifts for Each Other: We gave each other the gift of love!
Ceremony Entrance Song: Diane came out to a live saxophonist rendition of “At Last.” Kwame came out to live African drums playing (as he danced down the aisle).

First Dance Song: “Too Good to be True” by Lauryn Hill.
What is your best memory from your wedding? One is walking down the aisle to meet each other and the second is the Circle of Friends soca song reception entry. We had all of our friends get into a big circle and jump and wave in a big circle.

What is the best wedding advice you can give to engaged couples? Make the wedding about you! Only incorporate things that you actually want, and do not just do things because it is tradition or your parents want it. Also, choose two or three things you absolutely want to be amazing (ex. food, music, décor) and focus your money and resources on those things.

Photographer: Blue Pictorial
Bridalwear: Pantora Bridal
Groomswear: Connaisseur Paris
Bride & Groom Second outfits; Flower Girl; & Hostess Outfits: Assanese
MUA: (Bride & Sisters) Nikky, DreBrown (moms and friends)
Hair: Hair by Sadiku
Wedding Day Styling: Evolution Green Room
Custom Wedding Bands & Engagement Rings: Lorraine West Jewelry
Videographer: LJR Films
Florist: Byelias Design
Venue: Art Factory Paterson
Second Dress Stylists: Lloyd Jessie, Laridodi, Lex Lee
Wedding Shoes: Designed by Alexandria Harris
DJs: DJ Kaos, DJ Samira and Kayla
Photobooth: Gold Booth
Wedding Invites: Carinda Greene
Officiants: Akoma House
Day of Coordinator: Details Made Simple; Qunnah

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