Wedding day and mud should never feature in the same sentence. The same way soaking wet and bride just sounds…Aih! I always felt sorry for the bride in the muddy dress who planned the garden wedding reception of her dreams only to get surprised by the rains. And then it rained on my wedding day! By rained, I mean poured down relentlessly for 17 hours straight and then for most of the next day! Someone even asked me if I’m a “straight-from-the-pot-eater” (which I absolutely am) because apparently if you are, it will rain buckets on your wedding day?? At some point it rained so hard I couldn’t hear my own voice. Still, it was a beautiful wedding and I wouldn’t have it any other way or any other not rainy day. In my previous post I mentioned that the rains were a blessing in disguise. In fact, two blessings in disguise:
1) I learnt on the job that on your wedding day, you get so tired! I wonder how pregnant brides do it. Halfway through the reception I was over it! I was operating on 3 hours of sleep. It’s a wonder I didn’t sleep and drool all over my groom’s tuxedo during the first dance! Also, photo shoots are EXHAUSTING! I always collapse and die for a few minutes after shoots. The rains made it impossible for us to go out for the main shoot which was scheduled to be in Karura Forest. Throughout the wedding ceremony as it poured down harder and heavier, I was thinking “There goes our money down the drain”. But the good people of Karura called and said we could reschedule our shoot to a sunny day. Guys, these happenings of events saved my husband from being drooled on during our first wedding dance! Praise the rain gods!
2) Because the shoot was rescheduled, I became one of the “one in a million” brides who get to wear their wedding gown twice! I got to do hair and makeup again and the pictures turned out magical because I was so relaxed and happy and a few grams heavier because all I did on my honeymoon was eat and laze around. I wasn’t a blushing bride but I was a bride again with my husband doubling as my Maid of Honor because someone must help the bride with her heavy train. Praise the rain gods!
Had the shoot happened on the wedding day, everything would have dragged on…and I mentioned we had a boring DJ, right? Also just to mention that it was a smart decision to have both the church ceremony and the reception at the same venue because otherwise let’s just say it would have been a disaster!
Pssst! Here’s a secret nobody knows, I strongly believe my mama had something to do with the success of my wedding. I made sure she was present by seating her picture at the very front where she could also witness it all. Her spirit was there. I felt it.
Back to answering your questions:
Q: Who did your catering (the food looked amazing) and what was the feedback on the food?
A: I chose this chic, boutique hotel The Bedelle , for my wedding venue. When I showed my husband Chris the pictures of the hotel he was immediately sold! The Bedelle has a wedding package and because it is a hotel, they have their own chefs who do a kick ass job! The owners of the hotel also have great taste, so their food is delectable. No one has complained (at least to my face) about the food plus the two mouthfuls I got a chance to eat tasted great!
Q: How did you choose your wedding venue?
A: I was looking for a chic, well taken care of venue that would in itself provide a perfect backdrop. At first we were looking at having our wedding at the Lake house in Tigoni but things did not work out. Had that venue worked out we would have gone with a completely different theme because I mean, picture having your nuptials overlooking a breathtaking view of a lake with beautiful, tall trees in the background…enchanted forest theme would have been it!
I had previously randomly bumped into the Bedelle’s website and I made a mental note to check it out as a potential wedding venue. We also looked at two other venues which both had potential but one was run down and needed paintwork badly and the other one though picturesque and beautiful had really bad food. That’s how The Bedelle won!
Q: How did you and hubby agree on concepts of the wedding.? The Venue? The Budget? Also, did you have a budget and did you go overboard?
A: Chris trusted that I would do a kick ass job. I mean, the man has seen me at work before and so he let me run with everything. All he asked for was a beautiful wedding and I said “Babe, say no more!” Once in a while I would ask for his opinion (our tastes are VERY different but sometimes I needed a man’s opinion). I also wanted to surprise him with the outcome of it all so I made sure to exclude him from meetings with the planner. He chose our first dance song all by himself though. He loved the wedding and appreciated everything including me picking a fun, female MC. 🙂
As for the budget, we did have a budget and of course it went overboard. Always expect it to go overboard. Once we had the budget drawn out, I picked whatever I felt I could handle and Chris handled the rest which was practically 80% of the budget… bless him!
Q:How did you settle on financial matters that arose before the wedding? (if any)
A:Chris is REALLY good with money. He is a financial guru of some sort (and he is not stingy). I have a financial advisor for a husband y’all! Dude is also very principled with money. I envy him.ugh!
Q: Did you manage everything on your own? Or did you have some assistance?
A: I work best alone. I did mention that I had a planner though. I chose not to have someone to bounce my ideas off of (I had previously tried that approach and it produced disastrous results as everyone has their own taste.) I kept most things a secret because I didn’t want stress.
Q: Who was your makeup artist?
A: I chose Marlyn of @makeupbyMarlyn. She is amaze balls! (do people still say this? LOL). I love how she is not extra when it comes to makeup plus she has the best rates in town. When she is done with you, you look in the mirror and say wow! Not because you’ve seen a man slightly resembling you wearing a lot of makeup staring back at you and you’re in shock but because you can truly see yourself looking back at yourself almost flawless. She also doesn’t mind doing touch ups here and there for free. One unfortunate thing though, she is ALWAYS late! 🙁
Q: Where did you get your gorgeous invitation cards, shoes, gown, perfume, rings?
A: I got them all from different places. I previously mentioned that the gown was from HongKong. The invitation cards from Singapore, shoes from Italy , the rest from the States. My sister was kind enough to let me have stuff shipped to her address in the States and then she came with them. Bless her!
Q: What did you save on and what did you splurge on?
I saved on:
*The wedding gown. By having it made in Hong Kong I saved quite a bit which also enabled me to buy two gowns.
*The rings. The same rings would’ve cost two fortunes had we bought them locally.
I splurged on :
*I love good food, so we definitely splurged on the food (we had a cocktail hour and drinks as well).
*The invitation cards.
*My shoes and hair.
*Photography and videography.
*Chris’s gift. He had been such a sport throughout the whole process and I decided why not spoil him a little?
*The clear tent?
A short story about the clear tent
I was never going to compromise on the clear tent because I had always planned on having one at my wedding. I was determined to have it come rain or shine! Our initial and only problem had been the roasting factor! I was forewarned that that kind of tent tends to get very hot and I would have to risk baking, roasting and grilling my guests in the sun because these tents are known for that. I was ok with that. Lol. I had already pictured it in my head…Beautiful clear tent, lots of fairy lights at night, black and white dance floor…bliss! I have a heart though, so I compromised instead on the timing in order to address the matter of “medium raring” my guests. I pushed the wedding by a few hours so that the dinner reception would start at 5pm when the sun had died down. And then a few days to the wedding the rains were upon us, which was quite out of the blue considering when we were picking the date, I purposely chose beginning of March because the rains are known to start from mid March. I was wrong and a day to the wedding our main concern was not even about roasting guests alive anymore but about keeping guests dry during the ceremony and the cocktail hour which were to be held in open space where tents were not supposed to feature at all. Sigh!
Q: How did you handle those you didn’t invite? Are they asking why you didn’t invite them?
A: Well, I just asked myself a couple of questions knowing already that we wanted a small wedding. Do you know my fiancés name? Have we hang out in the past year? Have you ever called me to ask how I’m doing? Are we really friends? Do I like you? If you were to have your own small wedding would I make the guest list?
Yes, people asked why they were not invited and my response was simple: “It was a really small wedding.”
Q: What would you advice a lady who makes more money than their man but are looking to wed?
A: It all depends on your understanding of each other and the kind of relationship that you have and what a wedding means to you. The wedding belongs to the woman (there’s no secret there) so do whatever you can to make your wedding day as special and eventful as can be. However, there are some things that the man should be able to do like pay your dowry, buy your ring (you are supposed to buy each other’s rings..he buys yours, you buy his), his outfit and maybe he could pick one major thing from the list to pay for like the invitation cards, or cake or photography etc the rest you can work out. Remember it’s your wedding and if you can afford it, go for it!
Q: Did you go on a wedding diet or special work out?
A: To be quite honest, no. I worked out for keeping healthy purposes and I still do. Besides, this is my body type : two weeks of cutting out carbs and fat and sugar and working out and I end up looking like a teenage boy. Everything disappears. Even the boobies. I needed to fill out my dress and I didn’t want my beau saying “I do” to a teenage boy…that’s not what he had in mind. I did minimal work outs, walked home from work and ate and drank everything in moderation and kept stress free (I gain weight when stressed).
Q: Who did your bridesmaids’ dresses and did you have flower girls?
A: Wambui Mukenyi and no I didn’t have flower girls, I don’t know how to handle kids.LOL. Honestly though, I have four nieces and Chris has nieces too and I felt it would have been unfair picking one or two flower girls and leaving out the rest seeing as they are all in the same age group.
Q: Who made your day extra special?
A: A couple of people:
My sister (also my acting Mother of the Bride) who brought with her a “Say no more!” attitude. She not only walked me down the aisle while fighting really hard not to let her face leak (she lost the battle), she traveled for miles and took days off work, made sure I was ok the whole day and said a powerful prayer with me. She was like “My love, have the nervous farts checked in?” and before I could answer her she was gone and back in a second with something to kill the supposed stinky, happy nerves . She also gave a really beautiful speech. Love her!
My twin cousin Tim -I mean, we were born in the same year, him on April 8th , and me on August 8th (months that begin with the letter A) and we went to the same nursery school and class …if that doesn’t make us qualify as twins then I don’t know where you went to school-who traveled for miles and gave the most heartwarming speech . He came to have fun and have fun he did despite being let down by the DJ. His being there for me made all the difference!
My Maid of Honor who did so much for me I can’t even begin to list everything down but what I appreciated most was the epic bridal shower which I REALLY loved and enjoyed that she helped coordinate. Thank you Maid of Honor!
Chris, without whom everything would have gone to the dogs. He not only gave me the wedding of my dreams but he also kept proper records of everything. Filing this and that receipt and other documents, thoroughly going through contracts and making payments on time as per the contracts, following through with this and that. Not giving me grief through it all and trusting me with everything. Also for standing in front there in all his handsomeness waiting for me to get there and marry him already and acting all goofy just the way I like him to which assured me that I was indeed doing the right thing. Love him!
Q: Any disappointments you experienced?
A: *We were not allowed to use smoke bombs for our photo shoot in the forest. SMH !
*I missed out on some important photos, like I have no picture with my Maid of Honor, or with my sisters alone, or my brothers alone.
*There was no time to change into my other dress.
Q:Any more important tips for a bride to be?
A: There are certain things that are necessary to do while preparing for your big day. For example, the day before the wedding I went in for a massage, which I was looking forward to I must say. The massage was ok. Which was quite disappointing because I expected more…pain? I guess I’m just used to the hard core kneading and squeezing of the Thai which makes you wince in pain and want to fart out loud –old man style- but end up leaving you feeling like a newborn baby. Do spoil yourself a little.
Make your wedding fun and have fun too. Because we didn’t have a band we had to come up with ways to entertain the guests. We had the magic booth guys and guests took pictures with silly props and got Polaroids as well.
We played the wedding shoe game which was fun.
Because I don’t have a dad, we didn’t have a father-daughter dance. Instead we had a father-in-law+ bride / mother of the bride+groom dance off which was so much fun.
Incorporate things you love doing , for example I love dining out (the romantic atmosphere, candles and flowers) so I opted for a dinner reception, I appreciate good food too. I love fairy lights and clear /acrylic/ transparent things.
Be prepared to pay a whole lot more above normal for everything just for mentioning the word wedding…from makeup, to styling hair to flowers…
Here’s one last thing, you will miss the wedding planning process after the wedding is over, so enjoy it. Every stressful minute of it!