By Joan Salmon
It is the 21st century and several changes are happening to what we called the norms. In the wedding etiquette world, many norms are not written on stone as we might have thought them to be. So, regardless of what the world may think of you, you can go away with a few changes here and there. Some people share what they did differently on their wedding.
The groom’s family pays for the wedding
Usually, after the Kwanjula ceremony whose party is mainly if not wholly paid for by the bride’s family, it is almost common knowledge that the groom will cater to the wedding with the help of his family. Marylyn Kirigwajo found that quite a task to heap on her husband-to-be, Martin Kirigwajo. “Even when someone comes from a big family, there is no certainty that they will all rally behind you on your big day. Besides, some of them will not be happy for you. In my husband’s case, he had no family as he had lost them a few years back. We had to find ways to fund our wedding in a manner that puts the strain off of his shoulders,” she shared. Apart from toning the budget to just essentials, the Kirigwajos saved for two years to see to it that three-quarters of the budget was covered. “While my mother was not amused by my delay to officialise our relationship, I was bent on being my husband’s helper,” Marylyn said.
Mrs Rose Tindyebwa, Marylyn’s mother, was not amused that Martin could not foot the bill. “Whether your natural family is gone, you can never grow up without a family of sorts. Martin had one, and it was them that I thought would help him with the wedding. However, when Marylyn put down her foot regarding their plan, I grew to admire her because girls of her tenacity and love are rare, lately.”
Adults only wedding
Monica Esabu has been to several weddings, being one that comes from a big family that celebrates each other. However, one thing always disturbed her, the children. “Don’t get me wrong, they make the entourage look amazing, but the running around and the noise they make is so irritating. As a parent, I wouldn’t want to have to go through the rigour of restraining my children from running about, looking around for them during a wedding ceremony, not to mention worry about their whereabouts,” she shares. As such, when it was time to prepare for her wedding, she made it clear to her husband-to-be that she would love an ‘adults only’ wedding.
“It came as a surprise to me because there are several children in her family and I did not know how she was going to convince them, about her decision,” Marvin Esabu shares. He was fine with it and watched as she delivered the news to her family.
Mrs Esther Muwanika, Monica’s mother, was more than infuriated. “I wondered why she was doing such a thing yet all our weddings have had children at them. I waited for her to tell the rest of the family because I found it quite mean.”
While tempers flared, Monica was adamant and set to go her way. “It was my day and I was telling them how I wanted it to be. The best they could do was support me like I always have on their big days.”
While they may have detested the idea, Miranda Muwanika, Monica’s sister, says she loved how it all panned out. “I had never had such a relaxed and beautiful day like Monica’s wedding. Devoid of chasing or worrying about children, it was splendid and serene.”
Renee comes from a very big family where Christmas is akin to a village gathering. However, on her big day, she wanted very few people. “If I have ever had to fight, I had to triple my efforts to achieve this. Not all these people were real family, to start with. Then, seeing that most were in the village, the onus was on me to transport, accommodate and feed them. I was not ready for such a big expenditure at all,” she shares.
Mr Richard Ndyanabo, Renee’s father was short of words. “The thought of telling these people that they could not attend her wedding was so shameful. They have been our family for so long that the divides of blood no longer existed. It felt so hurtful.” But Mr Ndyanabo’s pocket was not deep enough for him to chip in either, so he let the matter slide. “I hope I can make it up to them when she comes home someday.”
Mother’s wedding gown offer
Trish Mukankusi is the first of seven children and when she shared about her wedding, her mother was quick to say she would take care of the wedding gown. “I was glad to hear the news and thanked God that I did not have to cater to it. However, a month to the wedding, I asked my mum about the gown, only for her to present me with her wedding dress.” While Mrs Mukankusi is surely stylish, the fashion when she got married was different from what looked fashionable Trish had in mind and what looked fashionable in this era.
“I was elated that for over 20 years, I had kept my wedding dress and was now going to pass it to Trish. My joy however faded when she gave me a blank stare before turning my gown down,” Mrs Mukankusi shared.
“My idea was a white gown, but here I was, being presented with an ivory dress. Even if I had wanted to touch it up, I would not be happy because I did not want any other colour in my dress,” Trisha revealed.
Desiring to allow her daughter to enjoy her wedding, Mrs Mukankusi instead paid for a white gown. “That way, I had fulfilled my vow although I had hoped she would use mine.”
Mother-hosted my bridal shower
For most of the bridal showers we have seen or heard of, it is usually the maid-of-honour or matron that organises the fete. However, that was not the same for Sharon Twehayo. “My mother had always wanted to do something extravagant for me but she seemed to fail because an aunt or friend would beat her to the game. So as we discussed the wedding, I guess, the idea of a bridal shower was birthed in her.”
Mrs Ruth Mukasa, Sharon’s mother, is elated at the fact that she was able to give her daughter something beautiful. “I threw caution in the wind when word that she would get married in the next six months started filling our household. While it was never the place for a mother to throw a bridal shower, I was going to do just that in gratitude for how she had been there for me after an accident that almost took my life. She held my hand through it in a manner I had never expected. This was my only way to say, “Thank you.”
Twehayo holds back tears as she tries to explain how much it meant to her to be at her mother’s side during that time. “It was excruciatingly tough, but I would not have done otherwise. I am humbled that though it is years back, she is still grateful and I loved my party”
Honeymoon was a year later
Many people have their honeymoon immediately after the wedding. Andrew and Carol Mugumya, however, had their wedding at a time when Carol was heavily pregnant. “Inasmuch as people were against the idea, citing stress to me and the baby, I felt at peace with having the wedding when we did,” Carol shares. However, right after the reception, Carol was so fatigued that another journey to a honeymoon destination was not reasonable.
“We had discussed this and left our options open. Nonetheless, we did not pay for anything regarding the honeymoon, just in case we fail to make it,” Andrew said. And as fate would have it, Carol started experiencing labour pain two days after their wedding.
“I am glad we stayed. It would have been such a disaster had we been miles away,” Carol smiled.
A year later, the Mugumyas went for their honeymoon, leaving little Bradley in the care of Carol’s mother. “It was everything we expected. The rest was also deserved after a year of starting our lives as well as a family in one go,” they said.