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BRIDE-TO-BE: The good, bad and ugly of my wedding

Friday February 22 2019

The wedding happened. We made it guys!

The wedding happened. We made it guys! PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

FLORENCE MANENO
By FLORENCE MANENO
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The wedding happened. We made it guys!

While it is still fresh on my mind, let me try and give you the highlights.

THE GOOD

My dress went through three designs in my head before I decided to settle on one. It was worth the wait because months after people are still talking about it. I made it in such a way that I could wear it again after the wedding.

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg getting your dream dress. If you source for the material yourself and then pay for labour, you can save some money. Alternatively, if you are not the sentimental type you can hire a dress and get your deposit back when you are done.

I really did not want my bridal party to struggle paying for their outfits so I chose designs that were simple and also cheap to make. Nairobi Textiles was a life saver and I had the easiest designer to work with, so that helped a whole lot.

My absolute favourite thing about the day had to be the service. Despite the fact that it had rained, the atmosphere felt calm. The service was short but sweet. The groom cried during his vows, which prompted me to cry. It touched me deeply to know that he wanted this just as much as, if not more than, I did.

I had been practicing saying my vows in his mother tongue and was really nervous about it. Going by the reactions of my new family, it was a gamble worth taking.

The groom sang me one of my favourite songs. I honestly don’t know how he knew to pick that one, but it made me cry. You know how at weddings everyone loathes speeches? Well, I think people truly outdid themselves. My father wrote a 10-page speech that he tried to summarise. The bits that he highlighted were absolutely amazing and I cried throughout.

Seeing certain people come all the way to our venue (it was a really long drive), some with babies barely six months old, made my heart melt.

THE BAD

Anything that can go wrong will go wrong. A week to the wedding, I didn’t have vehicles for me and my maids to the venue. I did have a transport manager who only became active a day to my wedding. I was so stressed and ready to use an Uber if need be. The groom stepped in and privately handled it.

Of course, there was backlash because it seemed like I had gone behind said transport manager’s back. I think to this day that this is a sore spot we may never recover from.

One of my girls got ill the day before the wedding. So ill she had to go to hospital and get a drip. I had thought of the worst case scenario of replacing her with my niece but the dress was made to measure. I said a prayer and hoped for the best. Luckily she was better by morning.

THE UGLY

I now know that a non-negotiable for us as the couple was the entertainment. We let that fall through the cracks and paid dearly for it. First of all, the DJ we spoke to and the one who showed up were different. There seemed to be a lot of confusion as to what he was supposed to do.

Then there was the band, which we later found out were under the influence of alcohol. I wondered why they were so off key and I now know why. It still guts me that we didn’t get to dance as much as we and our guests wanted.

In hindsight, the evening party was not a necessity. First of all, contrary to many people’s opinions, I did not feel emptiness when the day was over. I was quite happy to spend a quiet evening with my newly acquired husband. I was really tired as well and the added pressure of having one more event to attend was overwhelming.

Might I mention that we didn’t have as many guests for the evening party, and I place the blame on us. We didn’t include that in our invites and plus there were a lot of logistics that perhaps we didn’t take into consideration for the morning after.  All that food we bought had to be left behind. Our DJ for the night was a total let-down. Perhaps it was a saving grace that we didn’t have as many guests because the embarrassment would have been too much to bear.

LAST WORDS

Brides-to-be, we have had a great run. Would I do this again? Yes. Knowing myself I will probably be the type to host wedding anniversary parties at our different milestones.

Looking back through this process, I would definitely trust my gut more and make better choices. Your wedding day only comes once. You and your groom are allowed to have autonomy over some decisions. The day is for other people as well but do try and find parts of it that are just for the two of you.

Save as much as you can and step into marriage life debt free. If you can, spend more on the honeymoon than the wedding. You will never have that newlywed feel again, so splurge on that. All you have to keep from that day is great pictures so invest in a good photographer.

After all is said and done, thank God that you made it with someone you love. A toast to the beginning of the rest of your life. It’s a wrap!

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