By Maria Immaculate Owechi
It is a lot of work to pull off a perfect wedding, but it is even double the work to pull off the perfect wedding at a time as such when many facilities in the country are closed.
Simple services such as salon, makeup, plus complex choices like choosing a wedding gown and reception venue all become complicated but while these can be fixed with had work, many couples have had to forego the honeymoon.
Mr Mathias Munyantwari who works with the Ministry of Works and Transport under Face Technologies docket and Ms Brenda Tusiime who works with Ankole Diocese had planned not only to have a mega wedding before the lockdown but also enjoy a one month honeymoon at a quiet place gifted by nature.
With courage and determination; eyes on the prize, they narrowed down their 300 people wedding to 15 and tied the knot on April 18 at St James Cathedral, Ruharo, Mbarara. Due to the lockdown, however, the couple returned to their home hoping to work on travel documents to their Kampala house as a symbol of honeymoon, which if anything, was very different from their dream of spending a month with nature.
Like the Munyantwaris, many couples have been forced to reschedule or do away with their honeymoon. However, there are ways simple ways to continue contributing to the perfect honeymoon.
Accessorize and redefine your style
Many of the couples at the honeymoon tend to realise they forgot important things at home. When someone Googles honeymoon, images of models wearing bikinis and shirtless men show up. In the end, many pack clothes they are uncomfortable in. Use this lockdown period to figure out what looks good on you but also what you will be comfortable wearing.
Ruth Nakato who got married in 2017 says honeymoon brought some challenges she had not anticipated, “When it comes to the sexy clothes I took, It became hard to use them. I kept wondering what my husband will think of his shy church-going wife all of a sudden turning into a confident sexy bomb-shell. I think the very revealing clothes are for couples that are used to each other, it may be more comfortable for people living together for the first time to dress up smartly but closer to your usual as long as you have good underwear on,” Nakato comments adding that this is the period to find out how comfortable one can get in dress code.
What are you looking out for on your honeymoon
It is a mindset that every honeymoon should be had in a top destination country that is not Uganda, however, you may help you to write down and make a plan of the activities you want to enjoy. In most cases, you will different places offering those experiences in Uganda and that you are likely to have a better time at a relatively cheaper price.
Planning for a holiday or honeymoon sometimes gets a bit tricky because of lack of enough knowledge about destinations. This is why you may need to use the available options of local travel planners.
Nakandi Carol Kinobe, the CEO of Twese Safaris says couples can enjoy activities like game drives, hike/drive to the top of the waters falls, boat cruise and nature walks, enjoyable sounds of birds chirping every morning, swimming in the tranquillity of a forest, bird watching and so much more.
“You will want to plan out details of your preferred activities and discuss them with your planner, travel agent. That way, our team will take on the responsibility to plan your travel, lodging and make sure you get those activities lined for you so that you enjoy your experience.” Nakandi comments.
Think about smaller details
With the wedding stress, people tend never to fully envision their honeymoon. They pack in a rush and end up forgetting items or realising there are some essentials that they didn’t think about. Lockdown gives the perfect opportunity to reconsider what you may want for a better honeymoon experience.
Couples can use this time to think and read about sentimental details they want to be captured on their honeymoon and different items they want to take, say a camera, a shawl, a special scent, etc.
Nakato says because you do not know where you are going, you may tend to pack different, “I remember thinking, I wish we packed different shoes or some matching clothes for photos. Also, I wished I had packed our own soap so that when we smell that scent, it reminds us of our honeymoon instead of the hotel provided soap.”
Couples should, therefore, take this time to figure out what they want. They can also have a honeymoon suitcase so that whenever something pops up in mind, they can add it to their luggage.
Take advantage of offers and discounts
With Coronavirus hitting the wedding industry hard, there are discounts and offers to be had and the couple may have better bargaining power at this time.
Since most activities haven’t fully recovered. According to the Twese Safaris CEO, this is the time to talk to your travel agent, see what offers they have on the different packages they offer and discuss the specifics and take your time to browse their website.
It is also the opportune time to pay a deposit on your travel before you spend all your balance from the wedding. This will also help you as many people will be going for honeymoon after lockdown and you do not want to find the lodging or activities you want already booked out.
Nakandi thus advises couples to book now so that when the time comes for them to go for their honeymoon, their plans are not altered by the congestion.