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Atkinson Country Club New Hampshire Wedding

Samantha and Samuel met as students in university. Their friendship blossomed into a love that brought together two nations and cultures. They wed on a warm summer day at the Atkinson Country Club in Atkinson, NH before their loved ones. Their ceremony and reception included traditions from the Congolese and Ugandan cultures. See a few images from their wedding below, shot by Jordan Sekatawa.

Congo Uganda Wedding in New England
Congo Uganda Wedding in New England
Congo Uganda Wedding in New England
Congo Uganda Wedding in New England
Congo Uganda Wedding in New England
Congo Uganda Wedding in New England
Congo Uganda Wedding in New England
Congo Uganda Wedding in New England
Congo Uganda Wedding in New England
Congo Uganda Wedding in New England
Congo Uganda Wedding in New England
Congo Uganda Wedding in New England
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Laeticia & Terrence’s Timeless Ivoirian-Congolese Destination Wedding in New Jersey

Terrence and Laeticia met in June 2015 at an Afrobeat event in New York City. Laeticia was interning for a fashion designer company while Terrence was working in the banking industry. He proposed 2 years later during a trip to New Orleans for the Essence Festival. They took a jazz cruise in the Mississippi River and had dinner on the boat. At the end of the night, Terrence got on one knee and asked Laeticia to marry him.

Laeticia knew what she wanted. Glamour. Vintage. Elegant. Sophisticated. Timeless. It was our pleasure to deliver. From finding vendors like Alisha Simone who flawlessly styled the room to coordinating with the venue Lucien’s Manor. Every bride should be in awe when they walk into their wedding. Enjoy the pictures beautifully captured by HAK Weddings.

white wedding dress
Congolese bride and her bridesmaids admiring her ring in bathrobes drinking champagne
Congolese bride and her bridesmaids in bathrobes
Congolese bride putting on her wedding dress
peaceful Congolese bride looking out the window
portrait of Multicultural bride and her bridesmaids
Ivoirian groom smiling before their military wedding
Ivoirian groom and groomsmen drinking before the wedding
Ivoirian groom and Congolese bride holding hands for first touch before wedding ceremony

The ceremony was full of joy! In a quick 20 minute ceremony the pastor delivered a powerful exhortation and the couple lavished words of appreciation and devotion to one another. It was an unplugged ceremony, which allowed the guests to focus on this important part of the day and also kept them out of the photographers way.

Ivoirian groomsman and Haitian bridesmaid walking down the aisle at the wedding ceremony
Ivoirian groom and Congolese bride laughing at their wedding ceremony
Ivoirian groom and Congolese bride dancing as they leave their wedding ceremony
Ivoirian groom and Congolese bride kissing as they leave their wedding ceremony
Ivoirian groom and Congolese bride wedding portrait
Ivoirian groom and Congolese bride kissing

They had a super fun and memorable reception. One of the best parts of the night was the speeches (yes, speeches!) They were sweet and emotional yet comical and inspirational. Terrence’s grandmother gave a speech that was funny yet set the atmosphere for the merging of the 2 families, which is part of what marriage does. The dancing portion kicked off with a soul train line dance-off to determine who has better dancers between Congo and Cote D’Ivoire. Who do you think were the better dancers? 😉 

Ivoirian groom and Congolese bride doing the first dance at their wedding reception
Ivoirian groom and Congolese bride cutting the cake at their wedding reception
Ivoirian and Congolese multicultural wedding soul train line dance off during wedding ceremony
Ivoirian and Congolese intercultural wedding dance off during wedding reception
Ivoirian groom and Congolese bride dancing at their wedding reception
Ivoirian bride and groom at wedding reception in yellow traditional attire
Ivoirian bride and groom at wedding reception in yellow traditional attire
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Felly & Fabrice’s Glamorous Congolese Wedding in Nashua, NH

“When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible”. 

When Harry Met Sally

Never underestimate the power of a hookup. For Fabrice, when he took the trip to Canada to handle some family business, what he did not expect was that it would also open up the door to his forever love. While in Canada, his aunt started telling him about a special girl that would be great for him. The girl lived in New Hampshire and he in Texas. However, his aunt spoke so highly of that girl that he decided to contact her, and that was the beginning of a special friendship and love story.

Fabrice and Felly got engaged in April 2020 and decided to get married that same year. They had a clear vision of what they wanted for their wedding day — an outdoor ceremony, lots of dancing, and VIP treatment for their guests. They were specifically looking for an African wedding planner in the Boston area who would understand their specific needs, and they booked our “Total Ease” Partial Planning Package because they wanted to be hands-on in planning their wedding but realized that they needed guidance and a professional to help them stay on track.

Planning a wedding during a pandemic was not without challenges. One month before their wedding they had to find a new venue and change the date. Upon finding a new venue, my focus became to get well acquainted with the COVID-19 state guidelines, as well as the specific safety measures being taken by their new venue. I worked around those to create a wedding day timeline that reflected what they wanted. I also worked closely with the venue and with the other vendors to ensure that all vendors understood the plan for the day and were on the same page. It was a fun evening full of dancing and laughter.

Congolese bride and bridesmaids pajama photos while getting ready at the Radisson Hotel in Nashua, NH
Congolese bride and bridesmaids pajama photos while getting ready at the Radisson Hotel in Nashua, NH
Congolese groom getting ready at the Radisson Hotel in Nashua, NH
Congolese groom getting ready at the Radisson Hotel in Nashua, NH
Congolese bride wedding portrait at the Radisson hotel in Nashua, NH
Congolese bride and bridesmaids taking wedding portrait at the Radisson hotel in Nashua, NH
Congolese bride wedding portrait at the Radisson hotel in Nashua, NH
Congolese bride and groom at the wedding ceremony at the Radisson hotel in Nashua, NH
Congolese bride and groom exchange rings during the wedding ceremony at the Radisson hotel in Nashua, NH
Congolese bride and groom leaving the wedding ceremony at the Radisson hotel in Nashua, NH
Congolese bride and groom wedding portraits in front of piano at the Radisson hotel in Nashua, NH
Congolese bride and groom entrance dance at wedding reception in the Radisson hotel in Nashua, NH
Wedding cake and blush decor at an African wedding in Nashua, NH
Pastor praying at Congolese wedding reception at the Radisson Hotel in Nashua, NH
Congolese bride and groom first dance at wedding reception in the Radisson hotel in Nashua, NH
Congolese bride and groom first dance at wedding reception in the Radisson hotel in Nashua, NH
Bridesmaids dancing at congolese wedding reception in Nashua, NH
Congolese bride after change of clothes at wedding reception at the Radisson Hotel in Nashua, NH
Guests dancing at congolese wedding reception in Nashua, NH
Guests dancing at congolese wedding reception in Nashua, NH
Congolese wedding reception at the Radisson Hotel in Nashua, NH
Congolese bride and groom dancing at wedding reception at the Radisson Hotel in Nashua, NH

Vendors

Planning & Coordination: A Peace of Cake Event Planning
Photographer: Kevin Bravo
Decoration:Be Creative Decor⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
DJ: DJ Kunta
Venue: Radisson Hotel Nashua⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

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Reflections from our 7th anniversary!

Yesterday my love and I celebrated 7 years of marriage. All I can think to say is PRAISE THE LORD, Thank you Jesus! We have made it this far truly only by His grace. He has seen us through trials and conflicts. On the other side of the conflict we have found so much joy, and today I love my husband more than ever before.

Here are 7 lessons that I have learned in our 7 years of marriage:

  1. Conflict is inevitable. In marriage two imperfect people are coming together, and that is bound to cause some issues. However, as you and your spouse work hard at becoming ONE, it is possible to reduce these conflicts to a minimal occurrence. Prayer and putting our trust in Jesus has helped us tremendously to overcome recurring conflict during these 7 years.
  2. There is a purpose behind your marriage. God puts two people together for a reason and a purpose, and He has a plan behind your union. One of my husband’s favorite quotes is “Aimer, ce n’est pas se regarder l’un l’autre, c’est regarder ensemble dans la même direction.” This translates to “Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking together in the same direction.”
  3. You make each other better. I am by no means suggesting that one should enter marriage with the intent to change the other. However, I have found that in many marriages, people complement one another. The influence of my husband in my life has made me more outgoing. I am an introvert and he is a people person. Furthermore, his constant encouragement has been the boost that I have needed to carry forward this business. On the flip side, I have helped him to be more organized.
  4. Forgiveness is freeing. There is so much freedom that comes when you let go of offense. I used to hold grudges. But I have found that letting go of them free my mind and allow me to enjoy my marriage even more. On the flip side, I am also grateful when my husband forgives me. Forgiveness is a great reflection of love.
  5. How long you last in marriage is not dependent on emotional love. When we got married, the young, immature me thought that how long you last in marriage is based on how much you love each other but basing love on feelings. I have learned that the love that helps sustain a marriage is love according to God’s definition (Agape, as referenced in 1 Corinthians 13).
  6. Do not be above asking for help. There have been times when we needed the help of wise counsel to get past conflict. The alternative to not getting help is holding it in. This can cause bitterness and resentment to build up, and this would keep you from fully enjoying your marriage.
  7. The work is not over. In these 7 years I have learned that working on my marriage is an ongoing process. The love has to be nourished, the romance has to be maintained, etc. You must continuously work on building your marriage and to be intentional about pleasing one another.

Which lesson registers with you the most? What would you add to the list?

With love,

Laetitia

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5 tips for selecting the right wedding venue for the best guest experience

Venue selection is a very important part of the wedding planning process. If you haven’t booked a venue, then you technically do not have a wedding date. That is because venues tend to go fast, and if you have a large guest list you will have even less options for a venue. While it’s important to book fast, it’s also important to make the right choice, as the venue also plays an important role in the overall experience for you and for your guests.

There are many venues available for weddings. For example, Herecomesthebride.com lists 234 venues in Massachusetts alone. You can quickly narrow down from this large offering by location, maximum guest size, site type and style, and cost. After narrowing it down based on those factors, below are 5 questions to ask yourself to help you select the right wedding venue that would give your guests the best guest experience:

What is the true maximum capacity of the ballroom?

Not all venues are configured solely for weddings and parties, and as a result the quoted max capacity may not take into account a dance floor. Make sure that the venue is large enough to accommodate all your guests so that you don’t have to stuff chairs in a table beyond its capacity. Regardless of the seating style (ex: banquet, family style, etc.), your guests should have enough room at their table to sit comfortably and to move in and out of their seat without bumping into another chair. In addition, observe the size of the dance floor. The dancing portion of the wedding is very important in the overall experience of most weddings, especially ethnic weddings. Therefore it is important to have a dance floor large enough to accommodate the guests that are present to celebrate with you.

Would my guests get lost or confused?

If your wedding ceremony and your wedding reception will not take place at the same location, then consider the distance between the two sites before booking. Your guests may not know the area well, especially out of town guests. By keeping the distance between the ceremony and reception sites as short as possible will also reduce the risk of anyone getting lost. You will also reduce the likelihood of people going home to change or to rest between the ceremony and reception, causing even more delays.

If a particular venue holds multiple events on the same day, consider how well the space is apportioned. How would your guests know where to go? How would the venue keep others out of your space?

Where would my guests park their cars?

Look into the parking options and examine how well they will work for your guests. Does the venue provide parking? Is it near or far? Is it free of charge? Is there ample parking? Venues in the city do not always provide parking, leaving guests to either use a ride-sharing service (hello, Uber!) or to park in a parking garage. Consider whether the majority of your guestlist would do well with these options.

Would my guests enjoy the food?

Does this venue offer food options that your guests would like? Do they offer different cuisines or do they stick to one? How does the food taste? Would they allow you to modify it in a certain way? For the most part people eat the same foods, but just prepare them differently. Ask the venue coordinator whether they would allow you to describe how to prepare the food. Inquire whether the venue allow you to bring in an outside food? Note: if you opt to hire you own caterer, we recommend using licensed caterers.

How is the customer service?

Customer service is paramount to the guest experience. It makes everyone present feel valued and appreciated. Examine the friendliness of the staff during your visit. Are they quick to help? Do they have a smile on their face? Inquire about what the staff will do exactly to serve you and your guests on the wedding day. Note: if the venue that you select does not offer wait staff, we recommend hiring some. There are several companies that offer servers to do tasks like welcoming guests, bartending, clearing the table, and serving cake. If you need help finding such vendors, let us know and we will be happy to help you find vendors that will serve you with excellence

Bonus: How clean are the bathrooms?

I believe that bathroom cleanliness says a lot about the business. It speaks on how much they put into their business and how much they care about guest satisfaction. Examine how much care has been put into the bathrooms, and don’t hesitate to ask them how often they clean them.

As wedding planners we advocate for our clients to have the best vendor experience with vendors. We will work with you in finding the perfect venue and coordinate with the venue to ensure that your needs are met. Let’s chat about how we can help ensure that you and your guests have the best experience on your wedding day!

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Nancy and Ramo’s Beautiful Congolese Wedding in Peabody, MA

Beautiful Congolese wedding in Peabody, MA

“Marriage is sharing your life with your best friend, enjoying the journey along the way, and arriving at every destination together.”

Fawn Weaver

Nancy and Ramo have a beautiful journey. Their love story began as a teenage love while they were young living in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It survived years of living continents away, and you could feel it all around. Plus they had the most precious guest at their wedding – their first child, 2-month old baby Jayson.

They wed on a brisk November day. The bride and her bridesmaids got ready at the hotel and the groom and groomsmen at the best man’s house. The wedding ceremony took place at the church they attend in Everett, MA and then the bridal party and families headed to Bell Rock Memorial Park in Malden, MA for pictures. After pictures all headed to Holy Ghost Society hall in Peabody, MA for the wedding reception.

Holy Ghost Society in Peabody, MA worked perfectly for their specific needs. It can accommodate up to 446 people as it could accommodate the 300 person guest list. This hall also gives people the option to have to select their own caterer, which was important to the couple. Nancy and Ramo chose to hire a caterer who could prepare their favorite Congolese dishes.

One of my favorite parts of the wedding was the bouquet toss portion. Instead of tossing the bouquet to the crowd of ladies standing, Nancy walked over to her sister and handed her bouquet to her. Right away, the music changed and her sister’s boyfriend serenaded her right before popping the question. This surprise engagement was beautifully curated by Nancy and her sister’s fiance.

Newly engaged? We would love to help you plan your wedding. Send us a message, and we would love to share more with you about what we do!

Congolese bride and bridesmaids bathrobe photo in Revere, MA
Congolese bridesmaids bathrobe photo in Boston, MA
Congolese bride wedding ceremony in Everett, MA
Congolese bride and groom sand ceremony in Everett, MA
Congolese bride and groom wedding portraits at Bell Rock Memorial Park in Malden, MA
Congolese bride and groom wedding portraits at Bell Rock Memorial Park in Malden, MA
Congolese bride and bridesmaids with lavender dresses in Malden, MA
Congolese groom and groomsmen walking through park in Malden, MA
Congolese bride in Malden, MA
Congolese bride and groom dancing at wedding reception in Peabody, MA
Congolese bride and groom dancing at wedding reception in Peabody, MA
Congolese bride and groom dancing at wedding reception in Peabody, MA
Congolese bride and groom dancing at wedding reception in Peabody, MA
Congolese bride and groom dancing at wedding reception in Peabody, MA
Congolese bride and groom at wedding reception in Peabody, MA
Congolese wedding surprise proposal in Peabody, MA
Congolese wedding surprise proposal in Peabody, MA

Vendors

Planning + Coordination: A Peace of Cake Event Planning
Photographer: Jeff Photography
Decoration: Aimee Decor⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
DJ: DJ Kunta
Bride’s Makeup: Clara Beauty (Clarisse Lukanda)⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Bridesmaids makeup: Makeup by Jammika
Hair: Korlu Bulaya
Cake: Konditor Meister

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I’m engaged, now what? Tips for the african couple

Wedding planning for an African couple is typically not limited to what is shown on TV. There are cultural norms and practices that should be accounted for early on. Last week we shared on the 5 preliminary things to do once you become engaged. Today we’re sharing on the first 5 things to do for the African bride/groom-to-be.

1. Consider your cultural traditions for engagements

In most African countries, engagements are not official until there is an engagement ceremony (example: an introduction or knocking, also known as “presentation de famille” in French) where the groom’s family formally asks the bride’s family for her hand in marriage. Should you and your families choose to partake, do make sure you plan that too. Consult the parents on both sides of the family to select the day to hold it and other logistics and do your research to uphold the standards of your culture.

2. Get a vision

Along with your fiancé(e), agree on a vision for your wedding day. Discuss everything from the size of the wedding to the theme to the wedding date to your desired ambiance. Also discuss the budget. Ask yourselves questions like whether you prefer traditional food from your country or any food that the venue can provide. The goal is not to finalize all the details for your wedding day but to come to an agreement on how you want your day to be. (Note: wedding planning is great grounds to exercise compromise, which is much needed in marriage).

3. Obtain family input

In most African cultures, weddings are a family affair. However, if you open the door for everyone’s input, it could lead to confusion and frustration. Determine those in your families whose input and advice matters the most to you (example: parents, a knowledgeable cousin), and share your vision with these individuals. Listen to their advice because they will have great tips and ideas for you. Ultimately it is your wedding day, but since your family (especially parents) are also emotionally invested in your wedding day, a good way to show them that you also care is to consider their input.

4. Start working on your guest list

When it comes to African weddings, it is important to start working on the guest list and guest count as soon as possible. That is because you will need to have a good approximate count before you book your hall. Speak to both sides of the family about the guest list and discuss how many guests they can invite. Make sure they understand and address any concerns about the guest list ahead of time so that there are no surprises after the hall has been booked.

5. Book your hall

Wedding venues book fast and large wedding halls do not come easily. Once you determine the time frame for your wedding date, know how much of the budget you want to allocate towards the venue, and also have a good enough approximate guest count do not delay in booking your hall.

Bonus: Hire a planner

African weddings most often have larger guest lists, more customs to take into account, and, consequently, more components to manage. On your wedding day you should not have to worry about details like whether the jollof rice will arrive on time. Hire an experienced wedding planner and one who understand the various customs of African weddings to help you carry that load from start to finish.

If you need a wedding planner, we would love to speak to you more about how we can serve you. Learn more about our wedding planning services by visiting our Weddings page.

Bridal party wearing ankara aso ebi at a Congolese traditional wedding in New England
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I’m engaged, now what?

CONGRATULATIONS!!! Jump, shout, dance… you’re engaged! You have met the one who you can’t imagine living without, and you’re on the road to happily ever after. Plus, you have a nice rock on your finger 😏. Sure, there’s a lot of work ahead in the wonderful world of wedding planning, but do take the time to rejoice. It’s a great day!

Now that you have celebrated, we have outlined five things to do as soon as possible once you’re engaged.

1. Get a vision

Along with your fiancé(e), agree on a vision for your wedding day. Discuss everything from the size of the wedding to the theme to the wedding date to your desired ambiance. Also discuss the budget. Ask yourselves questions like whether you prefer traditional food from your country or any food that the venue can provide. The goal is not to finalize all the details for your wedding day but to come to an agreement on how you want your day to be. (Note: wedding planning is great grounds to exercise compromise, which is much needed in marriage).

2. Choose the time frame for your wedding date

Along with your fiancé, talk through the month and year that works best for you. Perhaps you both desire a short engagement of just a few months. Perhaps you want to finish school first and need to wait over a year. Take the time to talk through the different factors that affect you and choose the time frame that works best for you.

3. Set your budget

Set your budget early on as it will set the tone for what you get, from the decoration, to the venue, to the cake, and it will determine which vendors you hire. As you set your budget, realistically consider how much money you already have allocated towards wedding expenses, how much more you can save by your wedding day, and how much you know for sure you will receive from loved ones (if applicable). It is important to set your budget before booking any vendors and to consistently update your budget as needed.

Black bride newly engaged in Boston, MA

4. Book your venue

Wedding venues book fast, especially during the peak wedding season. Once you determine the time frame for your wedding date and know how much of the budget you want to allocate towards the venue, do not delay booking your hall.

5. Consider Premarital Counseling

This is a part of wedding planning that is often overlooked yet it’s very important. As you start planning for that great day, make sure you do not neglect planning for your great marriage. Check with your church or a trusted counselor for pre-marital counseling classes to learn ways to build a solid foundation in your marriage. There are also great books that you can read to learn more about each other and prepare for life after the wedding day.

Bonus: Hire a planner

You may have hired great vendors for your wedding, but the wedding planner is the glue that will hold everything together. A professional wedding planner will guide you and will keep the planning on track from start to finish. They will form the plan to be followed by your team of wedding vendors, and they will be present to problem solve issues that may arise. The earlier you book a wedding planner, the better as it will allow you to receive assistance early on.

If you need a wedding planner, we would love to speak to you more about how we can serve you. Contact us today to learn more about how we can serve you! 

Black bride newly engaged in Boston
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Happy New Year 2018!

Happy New Year! What a blessing it is to be alive and to step into the year 2018! I, for one, do not take that for granted. From the entire A Peace of Cake Event Planning Family, I wish you a joyful and prosperous new year! May 2018 be full of love, laughter, and wonderful surprises. May your relationships flourish and may your family ties get even stronger and in unity. I hope you find yourself with many reasons to celebrate this year, and we will be right to help you with all your celebration needs.

With love,

Laetitia

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Welcome to our blog!

Hello everyone,

This is Laetitia Gnoumou, Founder of A Peace of Cake (APOC) Event Planning. Welcome to our site and to our blog! I hope you can find all that you need here. If not, fill out the “Contact Us” page, and we will be happy to answer any question that you may have. The blog will be your opportunity to learn more about me, APOC, and all that we have going on. Feel free to leave your questions and comments. I’m excited to share and communicate with you more through this medium!

Until next time,