By Charlotte Ninsiima
Finally, the wedding bells were loud and it was clear that my sister, Susan was walking down the aisle with her beloved Ernest and I was to be part of the entourage! I was excited but all smiles faded away when I was told to foot my bridal wear costs at Shs180,000.
First, it was the end of the year and I had a tight budget. I had heard tales from friends about footing wedding costs but I didn’t see this coming because we were family and my memories as a flower girl had been about bliss and never spending. “We should have hired out,” I grumbled in my mind.
As bridesmaids, we were told to look out for the designs and styles for a royal blue dress. Since we were investing in this, I needed to have a versatile dress that I could wear beyond the one day. Agreeing that we all wanted the same thing, we plodded through the internet, chose a few stunning dresses and shared them with the tailor.
She was happy to start working after some deposits were made. I soldiered hard to make my payments so as to rest and concentrate on other things on my to-do list since the year was coming to an end. We danced on our toes after the bride declared that she had waivered off saloon and footwear bills. All this time, the bride made courteous calls often to remind us of what to do. Like any bride, she wanted the best for her day.
Bumps in the road
Unfortunately, I was too busy to run around town to choose shoes or jewellery. This irked the bride that she regretted having no help rendered at the time. In my absence, I delegated my mate to help me choose my A week to the wedding, I didn’t work at all. We needed to conclude on errands. We visited the saloon to review which hairstyle we could accommodate and so forth.
The December rains had started becoming our nightmares. As a group, we prayed for a miracle knowing we had an outdoor ceremony. December is a busy season for saloons; some things had to be worked on earlier including the pedicure and facial cleansing.
A quick visit to our tailor revealed a shadow of our expectations. The lovely designs we had dreamt about had been altered to what the tailor wanted. We were crestfallen. Sadly, we couldn’t change anything. We were out of time so we went away with blue dresses smeared with a bit of lace wherever she pleased.
If we had been told that that was only the beginning of our misfortunes, it wouldn’t have seemed possible yet it turned out to be the case.
The salon proved to be a nightmare with a long queue of clients. Our only chance to stand out and save the dresses with good hairstyles was destroyed when they gave us student hairdressers that would look at the seniors as they tried to re-do what they saw in our heads. Our hairpieces were attached to our heads with glue. We were disheartened. We pleaded with the good lord to be in the hands of the workers, for at that moment, he was the only one who could save the day.
Will this day get better?
The makeup was light, the photoshoot moment at Café Javas gardens in Kamwokya was breathtaking especially the crazy and single shots. The D-day which had started with a heavy downpour was finally shaping up. I decided to act like an award-winning model. Those that viewed my social media statuses can testify to it. I was ‘the girl’.
Soon, however, the rain decided it wasn’t done yet. It drizzled at church and rained before the reception. This affected time and the reception commenced at 6 pm. Thanks to good planning, the music, the entertainers and the food were amazing.
The ground, however, was soggy. Being an outdoor wedding, we splashed spills of mud on each other as we tried to dance, all this while holding up the bride’s white dress to save it from the mud. Our flooring dresses and pretty new shoes were soaked in mud as we maneuvered to our seats, the cold evening sending a shiver through our off-shoulder dresses.
Although we had paid and taken time to choose changing dresses, we ended up agreeing not to put them on and neither did the bride. Our service provider later allowed us to give us a refund of 50% for this.
My best part about the wedding was the plentiful cake. Each of us got a plate full. The most important thing is that Ernest and Susan were man and wife and in every way, they had exhibited their first test of being with each other through thick and thin. I congratulate them on reaching this milestone.
Some lessons learnt from this ceremony include;
- December is known for its hefty rains. Opt for indoor reception to enjoy the day to the fullest.
- Most service providers (saloon, tailor) are money-minded, look out for someone known to give quality and value on a referral basis. Check on then consistently9 about twice a week to make sure they deliver as agreed.
- Make sure the dresses are finished about a month before the D-day so that you have time to make changes if need be.
- It’s better to share the cons and pros of using some stuff with other alternatives, for example, the hair glue is easy to use but may be hard to remove out of the hair. Although plaiting takes a longer time, it may be a more reliable option if done about a week prior.