BRIDE: Njanja Kimani
GROOM: Steve Koby
DATE: February 20, 2015
VENUE: Fun Zone, Off Thika Road
PHOTO SHOOT: Thika Road Mall (TRM)
Koby: We met at Vera Beauty College one afternoon in May 2009, where we had both enrolled for a four-month beauty therapy course. I was already in class when Njanja walked in and sat right behind me.
Apparently, the entire time class was on, she was distracted by the waves on my hair. I was always on point, but I don’t say. I did notice her too; long hair, pretty, innocent-looking girl wearing a flowing skirt. I waited for her downstairs after class to walk her to the bus station with the intention of wooing her.
Little did I know that this would be the beginning of a long chase. The chat to the bus stop was great and so was the second and the third, the 83rd was not too bad either. She was determined to play hard-to-get, but I was not giving up easily. It was on July 11, 2010 that she finally let her guard down and gave me a chance.
A year later, she travelled to Taiwan for work; she was a Sarakasi dancer then. They were the longest seven months of my life. We communicated daily via mail and occasionally Skyped. Her return made me realise that long distance relationships only work if and only both parties are willing and committed. Save for the geographical distance, our love had grown in leaps and bounds.
Koby: On October 5, 2013, a day after her birthday, I sat and watched her organise her birthday party in my house for the first time, as she would not allow me help her with the planning. Later on in the day, I told her I had to go to town to pick up my friends as I waited for the party to begin. She asked that I pick up her white forest birthday cake on my way back. As I picked up the cake, I also picked up the engagement ring and headed back home.
After the party was over and she had given her vote of thanks, I was asked, as the host, to give a speech. It was then that, as the hopeless romantic I am, went down on one knee and popped the question in front of our close friends.
Njanja: The proposal at that very moment was a splendid surprise, evident from the tears of joy I shed. I had been anticipating a proposal, but not that way. He had been threatening that he would propose in the streets so every time we walked and he slipped behind or went on ahead of me I would be on the lookout.
Njanja: I had entrusted a friend with the task of making the bridesmaids dresses. To ensure they were made in good time, I paid the deposit, bought the material and even had the measurements taken two months to the wedding. A month later, the dresses were yet to be made but she promised that the dresses would be done by Wednesday; barely a week to my wedding. When we arrived at her shop on that Wednesday, we found the shop closed and on calling her she so happened to be at the Coast. She directed us to her tailor and the fitting for the dresses were all wrong. With no time to spare, I sought another tailor who made the dresses in a record four days and the fittings were perfect. I am yet to get a refund for the bad work done. For my dress, I had it custom-made after going to more than ten wedding shops and not getting the gown I wanted.
Since I wanted Koby to do my make-up for the wedding – not to save on cost but because I am that much confident in his skill – we set our wedding for the afternoon. For that reason, I could not sleep home, as tradition has it that the groom is not allowed to see the bride before the wedding. So, I stayed at a friend’s place in Kileleshwa. After Koby was done with my make-up, we made our way back home to my parents’ house where we would be picked from.
Once the bridal team got to the wedding, we waited for the groom and his men for more than two hours before they showed up at the wedding venue. They had problems with transport that caused them to delay with one of the drivers bailing out on them 20 minutes to departure time. Surprisingly, I did not panic the entire time. We chatted away with my bridesmaids as we waited for them to arrive.
Koby: We did the planning together as we felt it was not fair to overburden the bride with planning logistics. That is how most brides end up cranky on their wedding day.
Do something out of the ordinary. For instance, apart from not having a committee, we did very little consulting on what we wanted. We also had an extra ordinary photo shoot session at Thika Road Mall (TRM). Our wedding was also on a Friday and was by invitation only. We did not have a honeymoon, we just took a couple of days off and spent them sleeping.
Njanja: To couples planning to wed, do not bother other people for money to fund your wedding. Do your wedding when you are ready. We waited a year before we did a wedding, what is the rush for? Avoid the need to please people. Chances are, you will never please everyone and people will always have an opinion.
The entire wedding was memorable for we had fun, laughter and danced a lot. We were there to please us, and that made it more fun.