We planned our wedding via skype
By -MAUREEN AKINYI | August 2nd 2013
BY MAUREEN AKINYI
BRIDE: JUDY GAKENIA KIMANI
GROOM: NGAYU WA THAIRU
VENUE: ST ANDREW’S CHURCH AND JOCKEY CLUB.
NO OF GUESTS: 800
WEDDING DATE: JUNE 1, 2013
Eve Bridal: Describe the first time you met.
Judy: It was kind of a blind date. We were both invited to lunch in Westlands by a close relative of his who was also my colleague at work.
Ngayu: I never believed in love at first sight, but since that day, I got the real meaning of those words.
I called her immediately after the lunch and pretended it was in error so that I didn’t seem too keen. We organised a proper date a couple of days later. The rest is history.
Eve Bridal: What struck you about her to the point of proposing?
Ngayu: The first thing was her name (Gakenia). It really fits her personality — she is such a delight to be with. And not just because she’s a natural beauty. She’s smart, funny and considerate. She’s ambitious without being obsessive about it. She can be a joker but also has the seriousness required of a university lecturer.
Eve Bridal: When and how did he propose?
Judy: It was on the second anniversary of the day we met. It was actually not exactly as he had planned. We were supposed to travel to India in January, and he wanted to surprise me by buying the ring and proposing in Mumbai, but around Christmas, he began to suspect I had found out his plan (I had!). As he was coming to my house on the morning of our anniversary, he asked me if I would marry him but he hadn’t bought the ring yet. Being the funny man he is, he had to use a substitute. He had once asked me what kind of ring I’d like, and I said it had to be “yellow with a big stone”. So he used a banana skin and a pebble! I pretended to think about my answer for about half a second.
Eve Bridal: How did she react?
Ngayu: We had talked about getting married quite early in our (long-distance) relationship, so it wasn’t a surprise that I was going to ask her and my attempt to keep my plans for our trip to India a surprise, clearly failed. So, I didn’t expect her to run around screaming with joy, and I was scared she would not think my substitute ring joke was funny. But I think she was happy, and when I gave her the real ring a few weeks later, she was even happier.
Eve Bridal: What major challenges did you encounter planning the day?
Judy: He was abroad for two and a half months after our trip to India, so he could only contribute to the wedding preparations over Skype. I had also just started a new job, so it was exhausting. But I had overwhelming support from family and friends, especially from our parents and our wedding committee. We are incredibly grateful to them all.
Eve Bridal: What was the most memorable part of the wedding ceremony?
Judy: When I said “I do” to him and when he did that to me. A distant second was the fireworks display before the evening party and the spit roast whole cow at the wedding.
Ngayu: Seeing her walking down the aisle, and taking off her veil. She looked amazingly beautiful.
Eve Bridal: Did you go for premarital counseling? If yes, what lessons did you learn?
Ngayu: Yes, we did. We learnt so much we can’t mention it all. Much of it was common sense but it’s always good to hear it from someone you both respect and trust. That marriage requires compromise has probably been the most useful advice so far.
Eve Bridal: Where and how was the honeymoon?
Judy: We spent a couple of nights at Sweetwaters Serena Lodge in Nanyuki with friends who had come from abroad. We then proceeded to Swahili Beach Hotel in Mombasa (South Coast), which was fantastic. The food was unbelievably good.
Eve Bridal: Tell us the highs and lows of the whole process that culminated into the wedding ceremony?
Judy: Long-distance relationships are tough but not as tough as long-distance wedding planning. Organising a wedding via Skype is tough.
Eve Bridal: What would you advise love birds planning to wed soon?
Ngayu: Avoid using any supplier without a personal recommendation from someone you trust. For example, we were very disappointed with our photographers. Some of their pictures were very good, but most were so overexposed that you can’t see any of the beautiful detail in Judy’s dress, and all the light-skinned people were so washed-out. In the video, they edited out or missed crucial moments, like speeches by parents, the fireworks and our first dance, which we spent so long rehearsing.
Eve Bridal: What are some of the adjustments you have had to make now that you are married?
Ngayu: Every decision I make now affects two people, not just me. It’s one of the wonderful things about marriage, having someone else you depend on, and who depends on you.
Judy: In marriage, your husband is you and you are him, people suddenly call you Mrs Ngayu, which is a constant reminder that everything you do reflects on him.
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