By Maria Immaculate Owechi
From the time President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni advised couples to opt for scientific weddings with a maximum of 10 people to limit the spread of Coronavirus, there has been a huge difference with people getting used to doing things smaller.
According to Faith Nabaggala, an Image, Etiquette and Brand Consultant with Gala Image Consulting, scientific weddings are associated with less stress because you are working with smaller numbers but because people expect more of you, they too require very good planning.
For couples out there who have made up their mind to have a scientific wedding and you are wondering how you can pull it off. We bring you some helpful tips to bear in mind as you plan for your scientific ceremony.
It has to be a mutual agreement The decision to have a scientific wedding has to be agreed upon by both partners first.
Nabaggala says much as she thinks a scientific wedding is a clever way to save money which you could use to invest in something else, what a couple desires should be first priority.
The wedding stylist adds that this helps in avoiding any strife later on, for instance, the groom wouldn’t want to have a bride who is angry because she couldn’t invite a person she wanted.
James Kamugisha, an IT specialist who was set to get married in May says he wouldn’t mind having a scientific wedding and then have a reception party after COVID19 has ended. However, Kamugisha says his fiancée disagrees because she wants her parents and relatives who live upcountry to be present thus they postponed their wedding for later.
Consider the budget
As a couple, you are advised to sit down and establish your budget, priorities and then look for vendors that can fit within your specifications.
Prossy Lungabo, an event planner with Rosy Events limited, says unlike the pre-COVID weddings, couples may not receive much financial support from friends so it is important to have a manageable budget.
The wedding planner adds that the couple can ask invited guests to confirm their attendance before hand for better planning.
Consider the guest list
If you want a big wedding, you might as well postpone until the pandemic has ended but in case you don’t mind, then the guest list is vital before you do anything.
For a couple that had planned to have a wedding of say, 200 guests, you are advised to go back to square one and cut the list to 10 people.
Capt Enock Musaasizi, Son to Church of Uganda Archbishop Dr Steven Kazimba Mugalu, in April had a scientific wedding with his fiancée Josephine Shadice Babirye.
In an interview with the groom by The Observer, the groom revealed he had printed more than 1000 invitation cards but they were forced to cut down to 18 guests.
“It wasn’t easy to break the news to some people that they are not going to witness the occasion,” Musaasizi revealed. “We have so many friends but going ahead with a simple wedding was more important than feasting and merry-making.”
According to Nabaggala, reducing the guest list is about identifying important people in your life and figuring out how to engage the other people who may not necessarily come to the event but you still want them to be involved.
She gives live-streaming a video for their loved ones so that they can still be part of the wedding.
Consider the venue
The venue matters a lot and you have to decide whether you want an indoor or outdoor.
Lungabo recommends couples to go for self-sufficient venues like hotels.
“Here you not only have a reception venue but also food, tables, chairs plus honeymoon accommodation, all you need is a decorator to beautify your accorded space,” she explains.
Nabaggala adds that you should also ensure your selection of a venue is easily accessible and that the church is near the reception venue.
“Remember time is not on your side, you don’t want to be panicking because you are stuck in traffic and curfew time is soon approaching,” she adds.
When it comes to planning you can’t leave everything to chance. You need to know which service providers you are going to work with, whether they can deliver on time and how fast it would take them considering the lockdown and its effects on the various sectors.
Nabaggala adds that just like the usual weddings, you need to be detailed about what you are going to wear, the theme, ensuring that you have tasted the food, cake and every other detail that is needed for a wedding ceremony.
Lungabo says given the limited time to sit and plan with vendors, couples should take time to seek service providers online, compare their options until they find one that fits their specifications. Nabaggala adds that getting recommendations from random people off Facebook is not bad but you need to thoroughly check their credibility.
Add fun to your ceremony
Just because it is a scientific wedding doesn’t mean that it should lose all the emotion and love. You can still experience a fun-filled wedding ceremony. Lungabo explains that the advantage of having small and intimate weddings is that everyone can fully participate in fun activities.
The wedding planner gives an example of having guests participate in a dancing competition or shoe game to determine how well they know the couple. Lungabo says any fun activity that takes place at bigger weddings is possible for a scientific one too.
Follow the COVID control guidelines
Lastly, don’t forget to follow the COVID guidelines like spacing between the guests at the venues and ensuring everyone has got their own masks.
Also as a couple, you have to plan for hand sanitizers in your budget or buying soap and a presentable water jerrycan before people enter the church or wedding venue.
Lungabo adds that it is good courtesy for the couple to ensure there are sanitisers available for your guests at the venues
With these tips, there is no reason why you should postpone your wedding because nothing is guaranteed that things will come to normal soon. According to Lungabo, we are sailing in unknown waters but action is the antidote to fear so instead of postponing your wedding set dates and just do it scientifically.