A Kenyan couple who spent just Sh100 on their wedding a few weeks ago married yesterday in a lavish Valentine’s Day ceremony funded by well-wishers to the tune of Sh3.5 million.
The event was held at Bliss Garden along the Northern Bypass in Nairobi.
Wilson and Ann Mutura were unable to raise Sh30, 000 for a wedding in 2016 so they postponed the ceremony twice.
In January, they opted for a low-key ceremony in Nairobi — without cake, flowers or decorations — and were widely praised for their frugal wedding.
News of their Sh100 wedding went viral on social media and many Kenyans offered to help.
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At their first wedding, they wore casual clothes and their party afterwards took place without the usual trimmings.
The groom spent just Sh100 on two wedding rings, which he produced amid cheering during the exchange of vows.
Other expenses surrounding the nuptials — including the licence fee — were borne by their church.
Online commentators praised their courage, pointing out that weddings were becoming increasingly expensive.
This is the romantic story of Wilson, 27, and his 24-year-old bride Ann.
After dating for more than three years, the couple was ready to tie the knot, except for one hurdle — money. Their appeals to family and friends last year failed to raise enough cash.
Wilson told the BBC that his older brother even advised him to forego the wedding and just live with Ann.
But that was not an option for the self-employed fruit seller and his fiancee, who wanted “a permanent and blessed union”.
“As a (Christian) couple, we wanted to get married and live in dignity in order to avoid temptation,” said Ann.
So the pair opted to have a low-key ceremony in Nairobi.
The couple wore denim, T-shirts and simple shoes. Their only assets were two shiny steel circles that served as wedding rings.
But the new wedding photos show that this time, they have had all the trimmings, including a wedding car. The bride was dressed in a white gown, complete with veil, while the groom looked sharp in a grey-and-black suit and red bow-tie.
During the first wedding service, Wilson surprised the congregation by running out of the church to buy the two rings, Pastor Jasper Ojwach from the Community Christian Worship Centre in Nairobi told the BBC.
The groom was cheered when he produced them from his pocket just before the exchange of vows.
The couple said they were surprised by the positive reaction to their frugal wedding on social media and have urged other young Kenyans to follow their example.
“I don’t believe money should stop young people like us from getting married. If people love each other and want to marry, they should,” Ann said.
So warm was the reaction that the couple has received gifts from companies and individuals who were inspired by their courage.
They couple went on their honeymoon recently after a travel agency donated a five-day getaway.
“This is impressive. The most important thing is the marriage, not the wedding,” said Daniel Wafula on Twitter.
“Their wedding had nothing, but their marriage will be beautiful,” Beatrice Oloo said on Facebook.
“God has done for them, five-star hotel!” Esther Renson commented, on Facebook.
“This is wonderful and I love it so much — using what you have is the best principle of satisfaction,” posted Moses Matikho, also on Facebook.