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I faced discrimination from bridal shops

 Boniface Njoroge Gathee with his bride Elizabeth Njeri Kimani: Photo; Courtesy

BRIDE: Elizabeth Njeri Kimani

GROOM: Boniface Njoroge Gathee

DATE: November 22, 2014


CEREMONY AND RECEPTION VENUE: Madre Theresa Catholic Church, Zimmerman and Royal Gardenia Garden, Kiambu Road

BUDGET: Sh790,000



We met at a friend's wedding which I was invited to by my older sister. Some of her colleagues were busy chatting and there was this young man who kept on checking me out. I had not noticed for a while that he was admiring me. He asked his workmate to gather more information about me.

 After two months, he approached my sister for my contacts which she declined to give. He continued bothering my sister who later consulted me then I accepted to have a brief meeting in one of the coffee shop in town.

 At first, I did not expect anything to come out of the relationship though we agreed to remain friends. With time, I learnt that he was God-sent, humble, hardworking and focused in life.


He proposed three times and each time I made up an excuse and he had to give me more time. The fourth proposal was during his graduation at the University of Nairobi. We had prepared for a surprise party which later turned out to be my surprise proposal.

 We had invited some few friends and family and after dinner he posed the big question on bended knee with a beautiful engagement ring. I was so confused and first I said no then I realized he was for real and said yes.


My mother has always wanted her daughters to be given away from her home in Gatundu South. This caused a logistical nightmare for me because this meant that the bridal team would have to spend last night in 'shags'.

 Transport was needed to take everyone there and it was costly. There was also the risk of unpredictable weather. My elder sister offered her home in Buruburu which required lot and lot of convincing for my mother. Time keeping was the biggest challenge because we held our planning committee meetings in town while some work along Mombasa Road.

They really gave it their all by ensuring that no matter how late they were, attended all the meetings. We started these meetings three months to the wedding which meant that all suppliers had to be outsourced and comparisons made within a short time.

Initially we were not sure that we could pull off a wedding from financial support from family and friends; though God is great that all was well and 95 per cent of pledges from family and friends were honored.

My initial idea was to have my gown custom made and after disappointments, I had to abandon the gown as it was not made as per my expectation. I had to shop for one off the shelf and every shop I visited, I was not welcomed as they thought I couldn't afford it.

 Photo; Courtesy

They would allow me neither touch nor try one and they would only direct me to other shops that they felt that I could afford. Picking the bride maid's was just interesting because even my older siblings wished to be in the line-up which is against our culture, were forced to have invitations card printed in a different color and have the wedding theme a secret.

On our way to pick me up, The bridal car was involved in a small accident. The Chrysler sustained a minor scratch which forced the driver to stop. The onlookers threatened to remove my gown and wedding rings which they assumed were inside the car.

 Later, when the bridal team arrived from photo shoot the cake table was empty, which raised some concern. The catering vehicle was involved in an accident and my cake cracked. The emergency team arrived and performed some first aid magic.


We would have planned the programme so that we had enough time for entertainment. Our advice to young couples planning a wedding that they should keep God first. Choose members of your committee who will be there for you not just because they are your friends or your family members.

Start planning early enough to ensure you have ample time to source for supplies and do benchmarking and comparisons. Inform the committee of your desired wedding for their input.

Not to concentrate so much about the wedding and forget about the marriage and to remember that there is life after the wedding.


During the "you may now kiss the bride" moment, my little nephew gave us a "no" look like we were doing something wrong. One of our bride's maids cried on my behalf as I walked down the aisle and it was a coincidence that it was birth day for one of our bride's maid and she had no idea about it and thus it came as a surprise to her. We travelled to Zanzibar for our honeymoon.

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