By Rajab Mukombozi
Have you ever witnessed couples struggling to have splashy weddings and later end up in debt? Or attended wedding meetings and wondered why the couple has a huge budget even when their economic status can not match?
People plan, budget and vest hope in contributions from friends through wedding meetings. Others even go for loans.
This is partly because of competition, or the need to match up to other colleagues.
Mr Isreal Kabareebe of Kakiika Mbarara says he is a victim of wedding competition. He says in 2009 having seen most of his peers put up what they used to call ‘classy’ weddings, he also chose to have one.
“Yes, I had been working for two years in one of the banks in Mbarara, I joined the corporate class but unfortunately also forgot my humble background. I had not invested in anything, back home my siblings and family were struggling but what I was looking forward to was a classy wedding to outdo my friends who had gotten married before,” narrates Mr Kabareebe.
He adds the wedding was done and indeed identified as ‘classy’.
“We blew huge sums of money to feed people, get service providers that would wow the guests and make us the applauded couple.”
After the wedding, outstanding pledges remained unfulfilled as we struggled with the burden of paying service providers and other debts. The joy we got from the wedding turned into misery.”
He notes that as they struggled to make ends meet, people painfully started gossiping about their plight.
“I thank my wife because she stood by me. I have witnessed some marriages fail because of challenges they go through due to hyped weddings, “he adds.
Mr Moses Mwesigwa, a family counselor in Mbarara says using a wedding to prove anything other than commitment to one another is wrong and should never happen.
“Competition is the reason couples go for loans, bother friends and relatives with contributions. Couples usually have astounding energy with which they look for wedding contributions, that will leave you wondering why they can’t use the same zeal to mobilise for investment,” notes Mr Mwesigwa.
Mr Mwesigye adds that most couples that do weddings for show off often lose valuable friends as they end up blaming them for not contributing to their ceremonies as generously as they expected.
“These days couples make wedding preparatory meetings to get contributions. They put their friends and family members at ransom to contribute. Some people may contribute while others will not, after all, this is by choice. But because of your expectations, you tend to hate them for allegedly not being there for you,” adds Mr Mwesigye.
The Bishop of Ankole Diocese Rt Rev Sheldon Mwesigwa says many couples these days tend to leave in unholy and illegal marriages because of competitive weddings.
“The bar for marriage has been set too high that people without the financial muscle keep praying to work and eventually afford a lavish wedding which does not come easy,” Bishop Mwesigwa observes, adding that, ” A Wedding is not about making those around you happy but saying your vows”