BRIDE: Illuminata Mbuya Njeru
GROOM: Denis Mugendi Mutegi
WEDDING DATE: February 14, 2015
Venue: St Clare Catholic Church, Kasarani
Reception: NIBS College, Ruiru
ILLUMINATA: We met online and had been communicating on Skype and phone. I always looked forward to the day I would meet him. We first met at a restaurant in Ruiru, we had tea and parted ways.
Denis: I was longing to see the real person who I had been talking to. Although we had exchanged photos through social media, I was very eager to meet her in person.
DENIS: After a year of regular chats, I was coming from Tanzania feeling ready for the next step after socialising for all that time. So I got into a jewelry shop at the airport and bought a ring.
ILLUMINATA: Denis called that day saying he had come home for a short holiday as he was based in Tanzania. He asked if I would make dinner and I did so at my place. After we had our meal, he told me that he had something that belonged to me. He then went down on his knee and asked if I would marry him. I was very excited since I was really waiting for that moment as we had dated for long.
DENIS: At dinner as I was serving her wine, I took the box that the ring had been kept and told her to open it as I slowly went down on my knee. I told her what we had been through, where we were and where I felt I wanted us to be...there was one mistake though, the ring I had bought was a wedding ring and not an engagement one! I was forced to return it to the shop and get an engagement ring immediately.
ILLUMINATA: It happened during dowry negotiations. Denis had not interacted well with my sister. He had not actually realised that we resembled each other very much. Traditionally during such functions, the bride-to-be and girls of the same size are covered with lessos and the groom-to-be is asked to identify his fiancee. So Denis was unable to do this and had to pay cash to be pardoned.
DENIS: Imagine failing to recognize your wife-to-be despite dating her for more than three years? The elders who attended the function were not sympathetic. I was fined for this.
ILLUMINATA: Choose your best partner wisely. This should be someone you can rely on. Someone who will stand by you in the long run. Take time to understand him or her. Marriage is the only institution one can get a certificate without going to class, so be wise! As you plan your wedding, take time to avoid the pressure that comes with running short of time.
DENIS:Simple, follow your heart and get into a relationship when you feel your time is right. With that feeling, you will persevere through many of the obstacles that life throws your way.
ILLUMINATA: When we raised our marriage certificate after signing showing it to our guests at the church. It was an amazing sight.
DENIS: When she walked down the aisle. I felt blessed. This left inexplicable peace flooding my heart.
PHOTOS AND INTERVIEW: FILEX MURIITHI