By Esther Oluka
With the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic, individuals are continuously being urged to follow and observe different directives so as to minimize the spread of the virus. This was the case for Wilbert Alpha Musinguzi,28 and his wife, Angela Phiona Kabugho,23 who held their introduction and wedding ceremonies at the peak of the lockdown in Uganda. They share details on how they were able to pull off their official functions during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
When the couple decided to go ahead with their wedding despite the lockdown, they had to do things a bit differently.
How did the couple meet?
He says: We met in 2018 at a Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) church in Kawempe, a suburb in Kampala.
She says: As I was moving out of the church, right at the steps, he stepped forward and said hello. Over time, we continued exchanging greetings while at the church. He then began to plead and persistently invite me for lunch in his church group. I accepted his offer. While having lunch, I noticed how caring and mindful he was to everyone in the group. Later that evening, as I helped him to clear and wash the used “lunch” utensils, we got the opportunity to talk at length about life and each other. To my surprise, I realized we had so much in common and this was what sparked off the flame.
What special qualities attracted you to each other?
He says: She is God-fearing, beautiful, calm, open-minded, a good listener,+ and with a sense of humor.
She says: He is God-fearing, hardworking, gentle, slow to anger, patient, easily forgiving, kind, caring and with a great sense of humor. Wilbert always fulfills his word. And with all such qualities combined, I could not let go of such a man. I wanted him for keeps and that is why I married him.
After proposing to Kabugho in February 2020, the couple held their introduction ceremony on August 8, 2020 in Kyanya, Kasese district.
“It was an amazing event which was however held amidst a number of restrictions due to the current coronavirus pandemic the couple did a few things differently.
The number of guests was limited to 15. These people included mostly representatives of family members, friends, and work colleagues.”
Planning and holding the wedding ceremony
Unlike the introduction ceremony, the couple opted to hold meetings for their wedding. But here was the twist, these were online meetings.
“We started with an online Whatsapp meeting launching our function. Then, during the weeks that followed, we proceeded with Whatsapp meetings exchanging ideas and discussing other important aspects like budget, among other things,” says Musinguzi.
“People were very supportive in different ways with money, pledges and with continuous words of encouragement,” says Kabugho.
Mobilization of funds was also done through phone calls and sending out SMS (Short Message Service) to different individuals.
“We however noticed that as much as some people wanted to contribute to our function, a certain section of them were not doing well financially because of the current coronavirus crisis. Some people’s salaries had been cut while others had lost jobs along the way,” Musinguzi says.
In the end, the couple ended up footing most of the wedding expenses by themselves.
“We funded 65 percent of the budget, which money was mostly from our savings, while other people contributed 35 percent,” Musinguzi says.
As the date of the function drew closer, Musinguzi says they faced a few challenges. In addition, following up with each member of the organizing committee was as well not easy, and, deciding on which guests to invite since the function had to have a limited number of people was also challenging.
Help from My Wedding
Finding what to wear, the perfect reception place and ideas was also not easy. Luckily, the couple discovered My Wedding.
“I got to know about the website about one year ago. I remember one day getting an internet pop up message on my phone mentioning pages I may like including the Daily Monitor’s wedding website. So, I checked out the page, read some of the stories that were published there and liked them. The stories were relatable as they tackled different aspects of marital life using people’s real-life experiences,” Musinguzi reveals.
“Before the wedding, we talked about different kinds of wedding gowns and I remember mentioning that I had not yet concluded on a particular one. So, he referred me to the website to seek more guidance and so, that is how I discovered the website,” adds Kabugho.
We were constantly following stories on My Wedding page as we planned. Some of the helpful tips we got from the website included the essence of preparing for a wedding early enough, the importance of delegating responsibilities, choosing the right photographer and videographer for the function, among other tips.
The couple says, “For instance, from the website, we managed to get some helpful tips including the essence of preparing for a wedding early enough. We read somewhere on the website that early preparations enable couples to raise funds earlier enough, have enough time to vet different service providers, and then also, early preparations makes it a less stressful preparation process for the couple. Secondly, we managed to read about the importance of delegating responsibilities as it makes family members and friends feel important and involved in the function. In the end, this cements the relationship between the couple and them. The other importance of delegating duties is that it keeps the couple’s fatigue in check because there are people part of the journey helping them out to sort out different assignments. Thirdly, from the website, we read about the essence of choosing the right photographer and videographer. This is important because they can advise you on different things like how to pose for pictures but while also blending in and respecting some of the couple’s ideas on they how they want particular moments to be captured. Choosing just anyone to capture moments of your big day may turn out to be catastrophic.”
The other wedding details
How exactly did you have the Whatsapp online meetings?
Wilbert says: For starters, in the beginning of forming the group, we would send out SMS or WhatsApp messages to phone numbers of people well-known in our circles politely requesting them to join the wedding group using a particular link. This is because we did not want to force people into the group. We wanted them to join out of their will and convenience. Upon joining the group, they would find messages including graphics and flyers providing details about the wedding function and the respective preparations. Over time, as members, we resolved to
The wedding ceremony was eventually held on August 16, 2020 at Kamaiba Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Church, in Kasese district. The reception was later held at Virina Gardens, still located in Kasese district. They spent between Shs12 to 16 million for the function.
The highs and lows from the reception
Overall, the couple says the wedding ceremony was splendid! For the groom, one of his highlights was the couple dancing while making an entrance to the reception.
“Dancing was something my wife and I had never embraced, however, on this day, we had to improvise any kind of dancing strokes we had,” says, adding, “This was actually the first time I was seeing my wife dance. It was incredible.”
For Kabugho, she enjoyed listening to her husband crack a few jokes during the reception. His choice of words was interesting and funny.
To others intending to wed
The other couples intending to wed soon, the couple has some words of wisdom for them.
Musinguzi advises such couples to first make God the core of their marriage.
“Having God at the foundation of your relationship tends to define the couple’s behavior, morality and standards which helps to set the appropriate tone for their marriage,” he says.
Secondly, each person should be contented with the choice of partner they picked, and thirdly, both parties should be ready to invest in the marriage emotionally as well as financially.
On the other hand, Kabugho says that couples intending to settle down should bear in mind that there is more to marriage than the wedding. She concludes by saying marriage is basically making a lifelong commitment to someone to be with them through both the good and bad times.
our marriage. In addition, the need for honesty, patience and communication in our marriage.
Some of the wedding costs encountered
Groom: His suit cost Shs 450,000 from Pharoah’s collection located at Coach Towers in Kampala.
Bride: Her gown cost Shs 900,000, from Sikola Bridals located in Kasese town, western Uganda.
Photography and videography: Brandon photography who charged Shs1,800, 000.