By Beatrice Nakibuuka
They seemed distant workmates until their employer held a get together. Martin Arinda and Barbra Tusiime grew fond of each other and one thing led to another until they wedded on September 5.
On September 5, 2020, Martin Arinda and Barbra Tusiime tied the knot at St Kizito Church in Bwaise. Barbra describes her wedding day as a fun-filled and hectic. However, if there was something she would change about it, she would not wed while pregnant.
“I was due in a week’s time for my second child but I did not want my baby to be delivered before our wedding. We set all the dates mindful that the ceremony would be before my due date. I was unable to wear high heels and chose a Cinderella gown and changing dresses that would not affect our baby. Imagine pulling all the dance strokes fearing that you do not go into labour soon!” Tusiime recounts.
She had heard about brides who get into labour on their wedding day but she took the risk. During church service, she kept praying that it ends without any interruption from the contractions.
“The baby kicks during the church service were inevitable but I had to enjoy my day. At the reception, I felt a pang but I was able to maneuver and the day ended successfully,” she says.
Barbra says pregnant women preparing for their weddings should always have someone to count on because stress initiates early labour, “What really helped me is taking things slow. when I felt things were not moving well, I always took a step back because I didn’t want to loose my baby at the end of it.”
Barbra and Martin used to work in the same company but had no mutual ground for interaction. According to Martin, Barbra acted like she had a lot of money and he feared getting close to her.
One day their company organised a get-together and the two were able to talk. A friendship was born and they exchanged contacts. On that same day, Martin dropped her off at her home.
“I do not know for what reason, but I fell for Martin for his openness in our conversation. Also, his gentleness of dropping me off was irresistible,” says Barbra. “We started talking often and he revealed his intentions.”
In Barbra, Martin saw an intelligent, hardworking and wife material who was also developmental and a good finance manager. He could look no further.
After three months of dating, he asked her to move in with him.
“I hesitated but he asked if I was concealing something from him but it was too early for us to move in. For the next month, I would appear at his house unannounced. There was nothing to show he was seeing someone else, so I moved in,” Barbra explains.
In a short time, she had conceived and they informed their parents but they were not sure about marriage. They did not want to rush things and regret. The couple produced their first born.
“Even though we had a baby, we had to continue studying each other, trying to know how the other person reacts when they are happy or angry. We had to be sure about our feelings before we tied a knot. She stood the test of time. I realised she was the one I should live with for the rest of my life,” Martin says.
When they were sure about their feelings, they involved their parents who agreed about the kukyala and introduction dates (August 18 and August 26). The couple set their wedding date for September 5.
Preparing for D-day
After the kukyala, Martin went to church and paid the fees. In a short time, they had booked all the service providers. They used their friends’ help them spot service providers.
Barbra brags of a supportive mother-in-law, sister-in-law and matron that made sure she had everything delivered to her doorstep. Since she was pregnant, scouting for service providers, the attire would have been hectic for her. The trio eased everything.
“They would take the specifications I gave them and I would only go to fit in. I sat home and relaxed while I waited for my day. They did a great job,” she says.
The Arindas had a Shs 40m budget and they had a quarter of this. Parents, relatives and friends contributed the balance. The most expensive item was food; a plate with two drinks cost Shs80,000. Décor cost Shs4m, the wedding gown from Angel’s Bridals at Shs1.3m, the changing dresses one from Mercy and another from Olive fashion houses cost Shs1.2m and Shs750,000 while for the reception venue, they parted with Shs4m.
The peach and white 12 tier-cake with three centerpieces cost the couple Shs2.7m. The give-away cakes were red velvet and chocolate with orange icing.
Lessons from premarital counselling
For a couple that has one child and has been staying together since 2016, one would think they had a grip of everything marriage but the Arindas needed these sessions.
At first, the sessions were separate for men and women, later, they were joint. Barbra says they were educative and she learnt to be more patient and control her emotions. She would get angry whenever her husband told her about something that did not go well.
“My husband is open about everything and will not keep quiet about what displeases him. On the other hand, I am emotional and would cry whenever I got angry. I am sure there are some things that I would do that irritated that he doesn’t mention. The word sorry was never part of my vocabulary,” Barbra says.
She adds that her husband changed the way he speaks to her about the things that displease him and they now live in harmony.
Date: September 5, 2020
Groom: Martin Arinda
Bride: Barbra Tusiime
Main celebrant: Fr Kenneth Ddungu
Church: St Kizito Church, Bwaise
Reception: Hotel Africana
Colour theme: White, Peach and |Royal blue