By Desire Mbabaali
Like anyone else would attend a friend’s party expecting it not to be about them, Joseph Paul Ntambi was also simply attending a friend’s baby shower when he met his wife, Resty Kizza Nakalanzi.
Though he was meeting her for the first time, his sisters, who were also at the party, knew Nakalanzi and what a great person she was, and having just recovered from a heartbreak, they encouraged him to try her for a relationship. Just like that, the goal was set, and the pursuit began.
“I am a shy person, so, I wished we would talk through WhatsApp, so I asked for her contact number which she willingly gave me. She also took mine and we started communicating via WhatsApp,” Ntambi recalls.
Three weeks after, things were looking up for them and the two met again for their first date. “What I always wanted was someone we shared religion with and was quiet because I am an equally quiet person. We found out that we were both very quiet people and that largely connected us,” Ntambi explains. This very time, he also made his intentions clear; he was interested in having a relationship with her but a serious one that could lead to marriage since he was at the time looking for someone to settle with.
Before long, the pair met again and this time, Nakalanzi agreed to his request for a relationship. For one year and eight months, they built their relationship with each other. During the same time, before she even moved in with him, they constructed their own house which they moved into when she was six months pregnant to start living together.
On Jan 26, 2019, they visited Nakalanzi’s parents for a kukyala, had their twins on October 20, 2019 and planned to have their introduction and wedding ceremonies in May 2021.
The change of mind
Whereas the pandemic saw some weddings postponed, the Ntambis saw it as an opportunity to have theirs in 2020 instead of next year as they had earlier planned. When asked about this change of mind, they honestly shared that it was a decision based on family interest.
“I have a relative (a priest) who asked me to consider using this period to have the wedding because it would financially favour me in organising it. When I asked my wife, she told me that she was very okay with it. We then contacted her parents who gave us a go ahead and since we had decided to have a small wedding, my in-laws also decided to organise a small introduction ceremony, Ntambi explains.
Additionally, Nakalanzi shared that she also considered the fact that her brother and brother-in-law would be travelling next year and since it was important to both of them that they attend the wedding, they considered pushing the dates back to have them around.
“Additionally, what I wanted was a sacrament, regardless of the situation,” she adds.
After agreeing to proceed, they organised their wedding and introduction ceremonies in three weeks.
“What helped us to pull off the wedding in this short period of time was that we worked together on things. We had meetings and outlined everything that we needed and then worked towards it. Again, with everything, like getting a wedding gown, or other attires, we made sure that we buy things within our financial means. I also had two bridesmaids and a flower girl,” says Nakalanzi.
On Thursday 16 July, the couple had their introduction.
“The introduction wasn’t big. My husband prepared gifts he would be bringing to my parent’s home and on my side, the biggest thing was to prepare the meals for the visitors. We had some simple decoration that a family friend offered to do, so I didn’t spend on it. As for the music, we used the woofer at home so there was no need to hire a music system. We only hired an MC, otherwise, we kept everything simple and indoor,” she explains.
Ntambi additionally shares that at the introduction, he went with a total of 10 people and found only a few close relatives that made the total people on the occasion between 20-25.
That very weekend, on Saturday 18 July, they walked down the aisle at Kitovu Cathedral Parish, Masaka and had a reception thereafter at Hotel Zebra, Masaka.
Though they have their home in Mityana, it made more sense for the couple to have their wedding in Masaka since that is where most of their people are; both their parents but also where they work from.
Nakalanzi enlightens that at first, they had expected very few numbers. “We were thinking of having 25 people on either side to make 50. At the church, they had asked for 15 people but the numbers were bigger, so we had to talk to the Parish priest who sought police approval and we were allowed to have about 30 people at church and more at the reception, but not more than 100.”
The other challenge, Nakalanzi points out, was time. Since they had to finish everything by 6 pm, everything was done in a hurry. The church service was at 12 pm and the reception at 2 pm.
“Normally, couples go for photos before or after church before going to the reception, however, we were unable to do a photoshoot so we just have photos from church and reception. Again, because of the pressure to finish in time, we passed through the program speedily, and by the time I went to change into my changing dress, some people had started leaving. But other than that, I enjoyed my day and everything went as we had expected it.”
“For me, the greatest thing of all was the simplicity. Our total budget for both the introduction and wedding was Shs15million. We only had one wedding meeting with family members and that came from them. Our parents had estimated both the introduction and wedding budget at Shs 58 million so, cutting the Shs58 million to Shs15 million was just magical. We wanted easy, simple but beautiful and that is what we had,” says Ntambi.