Asaph Turyahebwa, a librarian at Bishop Balya College Fort Portal, and Gladys Tusiime, a teacher at Kabarole Primary School, exchanged their vows at St Mark’s Church of Uganda, Kidukuru Parish on December 30, 2017. Zuurah Karungi brings us their story.
How did you meet?
Asaph: We used to fellowship and minister in the same church.
Gladys: Asaph’s parents who are priests were transferred to our church and that is how I came to know him.
When did you eventually get close?
Asaph: Four years later, when I was at university, I was ministering with Ruwenzori Anglican Youth Missioners-Makerere chapter, we had a mission to one of the parishes. Coincidentally, I used to worship at the same church which happened to be Gladys’ home church. We ministered and later exchanged contacts.
Gladys: I do not recall how it started but he had come for mission about four years after his parents had left our church. At the end of the mission we exchanged phone numbers, and God did His thing.
What attracted you to each other?
Asaph: Her love for Christ and kindheartedness.
Gladys: Asaph is devout.
For how long did you date?
Asaph: About three years.
Did he propose?
Gladys: Yes, one evening, he invited me for coffee at Kalya Courts- Fort Portal, and while there, he asked me to marry him.
How did you feel?
Gladys: I had mixed feelings. Much as I loved him, I felt both nervous and excited. I never expected it on that day and I was wondering how I would spend the rest of my life with such a stranger.
When did you come up with the wedding date?
Asaph: In September, after we had discussed with our families and confirming no interferences on the date we set.
What was the budget?
Asaph: About Shs15m because we wanted a simple wedding. A host of friends and family helped us to raise the funds because through our preparatory meetings, people gave generously.
Gladys: My husband and I had saved some money. So, we involved friends and family to raise the balance. We are grateful for their efforts.
Who was your best man?
Asaph: Grant Munkwase, my childhood friend and when I joined university we got closer though he had completed his course.
Who was your maid of honour?
Gladys: Agnes Kajumba Abooki my long time friend. She is humble and God-fearing.
Where did you buy the suits ?
Asaph: We got a pair through Isaac, a friend who owns a shop at Ham Shopping Ground in Kampala. Each cost Shs600,000.
Where did you buy your gown from?
Gladys: Aziz Bridal Home in Fort Portal town. I paid Shs600,000 for everything.
What was the most expensive item?
Asaph: Apart from food, our wedding cake. We bought it from the local confectioneries of Fort Portal Town.
Where did you buy rings from?
Asaph: We bought golden rings from Flower Park and Bridal Home in Fort Portal.
Did you involve a wedding planner?
Asaph: No, we had a picture of what we wanted our wedding to be. When we shared with friends in our meetings, they helped us put it into realty.
Gladys: With our friends and family, we would not go wrong. Besides, my husband and I knew what we could afford.
How was your wedding eve?
Asaph: It was a busy day that I spent in town, meeting friends and ensuring every thing was in place. Maybe to note something, I went for a haircut. I was at home with my family members the rest of the evening.
Gladys: Culturally, the bride is not supposed to remain in the house with the paternal aunt. On the contrary, I went to the salon in the afternoon but I was back home by 4pm.
What did you enjoy on that day?
Asaph: The church service. The memories are still fresh because everything went as we desired.
Gladys: Church service too felt glorious.
Given chance to wed again, what would you change?
Asaph: We would put some more decoration at the reception venue.
Gladys: Nothing, all went well.
Who officiated your wedding?
Asaph: The Rev Michael Kitooke- Principal, Bishop Balya College, presided over our wedding. He is one of the people who know the aspects of worship in any Anglican liturgy. He is a friend and mentor and my employer.
Gladys: I tasked my husband to look for a clergy man to officiate and he chose the Rev Michael Kitooke who is known to both of us. I liked his choice.
Where did you have the church ceremony?
Asaph: St Marks CoU. Kidukuru Parish and the reception at Kyebambe Girls School.
What was your colour theme?
Gladys: Purple and red. Purple represents majesty and honour and it blended well with my husband’s suit.
What was going through your mind during the ceremony?
Asaph: Nothing big, I was thinking about that time when I would give a speech. I looked forward to it since it would be preceded by a chorus that I sang with my wife in honour of God. I was worried we would not sing well because we were tired.
Gladys: I was just too excited
Did you go for premarital counselling?
Asaph: Yes, we had wonderful sessions with the pastor. Among others, I learnt that my wife is not perfect, and so liable to errors. Fear of God, respect and forgiveness were emphasised.
Gladys: Our counsellor encouraged us to tolerate each other’s weaknesses and help to build one another’s life. Love and patience are vital.
What advice would you give to those planning on a wedding?
Asaph: Believe you can and you are halfway there. Every battle is won in the mind, if you measure your resources and understand your abilities, God will not withhold His blessings from you. Simply do what is within your means, after all what matter most is the marriage but not the wedding.
Gladys: Put Christ at the centre of your preparations, you will be surprised at what God can do for you.
What are some of the challenges you encountered?
Asaph: At some point, I thought the wedding would fail. This was because money from friends was not coming through as one would have loved it. Secondly, our wedding happened three weeks after my brother’s. That was not bad, because we had planned for it. The worst was on the eve of my brother’s wedding, my parents’ vehicle was involved in a terrible accident. This was a big set back! But God never let us down, we are grateful to Him.
Gladys: I was always discouraged whenever we would wait for people in our preparatory meetings and they fail to turn up. But God is faithful, because the few that would come, would do greater than anyone could imagine.
How many guests did you have?
Asaph: We hosted 350 guests.
Where did you go for your honeymoon?
Asaph: On our wedding night we were in our house and one day later, we were in Church for the New Year’s celebration. Our honeymoon will be on one of our anniversaries.
Gladys: We went to our home. My husband and I are planning on a vacation on one of our anniversaries. I hope we will have fun.