Emmanuel Ainebyoona, a journalist at Monitor Publications Ltd, and Sarah Kyasiimire, a social scientist and businesswoman, wedded at All Saints Church in Kabale on January 27, 2018.
How did you meet?
Emma: We were at a family gathering where one of my sister’s friends told me that they had spotted a potential wife for me. My friend said this jokingly but went ahead to describe Sarah’s character and shared her picture. I picked interest and wanted to know her more. Her friend then gave me her contact. We contacted each other on phone for some time then arranged to meet. She was staying in Kabale so I used one of my off-days at office and travelled to meet her. It was love at first sight and the rest is history.
Sarah: That was in 2016.
What attracted you to each other?
Emma: Sarah is beautiful, humble, God-fearing and hardworking. The first time I met her, I saw a mother of my children because she is loving and caring.
Sarah: Emma is handsome, hardworking, caring, responsible, honest and God-fearing. He fits that man I had been praying for.
When did you get close?
Emma: Towards the end of 2016 and I discovered that her elder sister Anna is my primary school OG. Despite the distance between us, Sarah would check on me every day. I sometimes got home tired and sleepy but a call from her would re-energise me. We would talk until late. I would also use Kigali buses that go through Kabale to check on Sarah at the weekend. She would sometimes come to see me.
Sarah: After two months of talking to him on phone, he started travelling to Kabale where I stayed to see me.
For how long did you date?
Emma: Two years.
Sarah: Actually our wedding fell on the date we met for the first time.
And, how did you start talking about marriage?
Emma: After I had known her well, I introduced her to my father and she introduced me to her parents and siblings. We decided to get married.
Sarah: After knowing each other for one year. We felt that we could make it in marriage. This is when we involved our parents and decided to legalise our relationship.
Did he propose to you?
Sarah: Yes, he asked me to go with him for an evening out. As we moved he did not give any clue of where we were heading to. We arrived one of the fancy restaurants and there were his friends who looked like they were waiting for someone only to get to a neatly set dinner table. As soon as we started eating Emma paused looked at me, stood up and he popped the question as his friends cheered him on.
How did you feel?
Sarah: It was emotional. I broke into uncontrollable excitement, I felt respected and loved more.
How did you come up with your wedding date?
Emma: We had proposed a date after the festive season but when we visited All Saints Church, Kabale to fix the date, we were told that lent was starting on February 14, and we could only choose a date before Lent. After considering the available dates we settled for February 10, 2018.
Sarah: We had to go for less busy dates.
Did you involve a wedding planner?
Emma: No, I had a picture of what I wanted my wedding to be like. I formed a wedding committee for mobilising my Kampala friends then, my father Charles Badidi and his friends also set up a committee for Kabale where the wedding ceremony was held. My treasurer Paldona Ndyomugyenyi who doubles as my cousin and my Uncle John Ndyomugyenyi, my best man Gilbert Arinda and my fiancée always advised me on key components.
Who comprised your entourage?
Emma: I had four groomsmen who are my long-time friends and, family. The best man, Gilbert Arinda is my close friend and my primary school OB. Erasmus Ohabwa, my cousin and Ian Arinaitwe are my old boys from Kigezi High School. Leone Muhoozi used to be my housemate and Brain Ssemakula is my friend and neighbour. Emma Manzi Kenzo, the pageboy is my nephew.
Sarah: I considered my siblings, workmates, old girls and my closest female friends.
How did you raise the money?
Emma: We had some savings but also fundraised through our friends and family through wedding meetings. Our friends, and family contributed greatly towards the success of the function.
How did you choose service providers?
Emma: I considered their experience and deliverables. For example, the cake provider was recommended by my wife and the decorator has more than 20 years of experience. I decided to get Kabale-based service providers to support my people. The tents, tables, chairs, music and food were also locally sourced.
How did you choose the celebrant?
Emma: My father approached retired Bishop of Kigezi Diocese, George Katwesigye and the bishop in return asked to meet us for premarital counselling.
What were you doing on your wedding eve?
Emma: It was our introduction and kuhingira ceremony after which I had my bachelor’s party for my friends in Kabale at a hangout called Shield and we later hopped to another one called Mist. I had previously had one party in Kampala.
Were you disappointed in any way?
Emma: No, I was just worried about the weather but God granted us the best.
What did you enjoy the most?
Emma: The church moment as we exchanged vows and seeing people who sacrificed their time and money to come to the Kigezi hills turn up in big numbers. I enjoyed the company of my workmates from Kampala and Kigali. My two maternal grandmas attending my wedding. One of my grandmas, I was told that after receiving the wedding invitation, she would look at it every day in anticipation of the function.
Sarah: The MCs were hilarious. I laughed until my ribs hurt.
What went through your mind during the ceremony?
Emma: I was excited as we exchanged vows and achieved the life-time milestone.
Sarah: The vows we made in church echoed through my mind and I was praying to God that I never let down my partner and the people who witnessed our union.
Did you go for premarital counselling?
Emma: Yes, we had three sessions. One with the Vicar of All Saints Church where we were taught about marriage the purpose of marriage, tolerance, true love and also the importance of sex in marriage.
We learnt that marriage requires love, patience and understanding each other.
Bishop Katwesigye who wedded us also dedicated about an hour as he advised us on how to handle situations that may arise in marriage.
Sarah: At St Luke Church, Rev Henry Nzana also asked us about our expectations and fears and advised us on how to live in harmony as a couple.
What do you advise those planning to wed?
Emma: Before we decided to get married it was a “hard paper” but after making up our minds, we were ready for marriage then we hit the ground running. First identify that person you genuinely love.
Sarah: Know and understand each other before making a commitment. Actively participate in the preparations of your functions to avoid disappointments.
My suit cost Shs700,000 from Olive Garments on Jumbo Arcade. We wanted something that was in line with the theme colours that would come out smart.
Justus Rukundo of Iris Media Limited in Kabale and Kabale Photo Studio. They got the job because of their good quality work, experience in videography and affordability.