By Rashim Nabanja
On December, 7, 2019, Keron Getrude Bwekembe took a huge step in life and decided to introduce the love of her life, Richard Young, to her parents in Kapeeka, Nakaseke. Once the introduction ceremony was successfully concluded, Keron and Richard had to agree on a wedding date and March 28, 2020 was what decided to go for. Little did they know that a global pandemic would interfere with the great plans they had for their big day.
The couple’s initial plan was to have their vows exchanged at Watoto Church in Kampala, and later head to Royal Suites Bugolobi for their reception. However, they started to rethink the venue for the reception.
“Royal Suites turned out to be quite small and yet expensive for us basing on the fact that we had a guest list of 250 people,” Keron shares.
They then decided to switch and have the reception at Patidar Samaj, on Bombo Road, and even fully paid for the venue. However, when the lockdown took effect on March 19th, the decision on which church to be married in remained the same but when it came to the reception things got tricky. Public gatherings had been banned. The management of the venue also told the couple that they could no longer host their event and so they had to look for another place.
“The situation ended up taking us back to the venue we had always wanted (Royal Suites) and the fact that public gatherings had been banned, we had decided to go with 45 guests so it became perfect for us,” says Keron.
The preparations kept going on smoothly but just three days to the ceremony, public transport was also banned. Keron discloses that at this point, she lost hope. She was no longer sure if she really wanted to proceed with the wedding despite the fact that most people wouldn’t make it.
Although Richard had made up his mind to go on with the ceremony despite many things that were not going according to plan, Keron was still having a hard time digesting and accepting what was happening.
“Right from the start when they put a stop on the public gatherings, I was having a hard time making up my mind, whether to postpone to another date or go with the one we had set,” she says.
Friends and family kept on talking to her and showing her the good in proceeding with the wedding but she still couldn’t bring herself to accept it.
Keron didn’t actually make a final decision until the day before the wedding. That is when she accepted that she was going through with it no matter what, “I got inspiration from friend of mine who had a wedding in the same period. According to her, even if only two people were to turn up for her wedding (she and her husband), she was still going to go through with it. I admired her determination.”
On the day before the wedding, she left work, went for the kasuze katya ceremony and later headed to Fairway Hotel where she was to spend her night before the wedding.
Now that she looks back, she feels grateful to God, friends, and family for having helped her make the final and best decision to go on with the wedding because she is now happy and settled. And on the looks of it, no one is really sure when the coronavirus pandemic will end.
Keron shares more about their wedding in detail
How much did the entire wedding cost?
Our initial budget was Shs30 million but we later ended up using only Shs15 million.
Tell us about your wedding outfits?
I wore a strapless mermaid gown with ruffles. My husband was dressed in a grey tuxedo with a peach shirt.
What inspired you to choose that gown in particular?
The story behind my gown is an interesting one. I didn’t want to dress in the ordinary Cinderella gowns. I always had a mental picture of what I wanted but, I was having a hard time explaining it to designers the way I was picturing it in my mind. One day, I stumbled across a video that had a bride with the exact gown that I wanted. I had now managed to get a visible picture that I would show to designers and luckily, I got the gown at Bridal World. My mum didn’t like my gown at first and we didn’t agree but after seeing how beautiful I looked on my wedding day, she too fell in love with it.
How much did the gown cost?
My gown cost around Shs1.8 million. I didn’t have a changing dress because I didn’t see the need to change since there were few people.
And your husband’s suit?
My husband’s suit was Shs1.2 million.
How many people did you have on your entourage?
Nine people. I had two matrons, five bridesmaids and a flower girl. My husband only had a best man.
What are some of the challenges that you faced while preparing for the wedding?
We had to change from the original picture that we had for our wedding to one that fit the coronavirus situation. When it came to the wedding meetings, many failed to turn up because of the situation but they still managed to contribute and we really appreciate them for that. And for the wedding day, transport was quite hard since a car could only be occupied by three people; public transport had been banned. Nevertheless, we managed to make it work and since we had such an amazing introduction ceremony with the presence of many people, we decided to settle with the simplicity of the wedding and also understood those that couldn’t make it.
Any advice to couples out there that are planning to have a wedding?
Always stick to your plan no matter the situation. As long as you pray to God and ask him to guide you, everything will fall into place without any struggle. You should also always work within your means because the only thing that matters at that moment is you and your partner.