GROOM: Alex Mwakideu
BRIDE: Mariam Mbela
DATE: December 27, 2014
VENUE: College of Insurance, South C, Nairobi
BUDGET: Sh1, 000,000
Alex: We had been friends for close to seven years. Within that period, we went out on numerous occasions. I can’t exactly remember the first date. We first met in 2006. The first thing I noticed about her was her incredible figure. When I asked her out, though, she said no because I was still in a relationship with a different lady – someone she knew.
Mariam: I felt for the other lady. That is why I couldn’t bring myself to go out with Alex at the time he asked me. In 2010 after his relationship ended, I decided to give us a chance. The number of dates we have gone to is innumerable. However, the most memorable is when he invited me over to his place. We ate then proceeded to a really cool restaurant.
Alex: It was New Year’s Eve in 2013. I invited members of her family and mine too. I took her upstairs while everybody else remained downstairs. I didn’t want her to accept the proposal out of fear that refusing would be humiliating to me – especially before family. We had drinks and then I handed my bag over to her. Inside was the ring. Our families joined in after she had said ‘Yes!’
Mariam: I had no idea he would propose. In fact, the rest of the day was uneventful. I asked him what his plans were and he replied, “nothing much.” He suggested that we go for a date to Ole Sereni to which I agreed. We conversed as usual. We ate as well. At some point, he began describing how much he loved me. Everything seemed normal until he handed the bag over with the ring inside. It was a pleasant surprise.
Alex: I had no problem paying dowry. It is part of our culture in Taita and I did due diligence. I had to pay a fine though apart from the exact dowry.
Mariam: I was five months pregnant when he paid dowry. In a situation like ours, the man is expected to pay extra for ‘taking the girl’ without prior consent.
Alex: We constituted a committee with individuals we trusted. We were lucky to have a good team that performed its mandate diligently. The only problem was having to replace two men in my line-up. And we also had to get a different tents’ supplier after it became clear the first supplier wouldn't deliver. Everything else went as planned though.
Mariam: It was a largely smooth process. Except for having to find a different service provider to get us the cake, it was all systems go on the wedding day.
Alex: Sauti Sol performing live for us. They sang ‘Sura yako’, a song I love very much. It was a surprise for my wife.
Mariam: Saying the vows, putting on the rings and kissing my husband.
INTERVIEW: Gardy Chacha
PHOTOS: Tony Nyaga of De Capture