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When I finally get married…….

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CIMG2541There comes a time in your life when the truth dawns that indeed you are getting old. For a lady, this is the time when your diary has this kind of a cycle. Bridal showers, weddings, baby showers, visiting to see newborns and attending baby’s birthday parties.

This kind of a schedule is probably what has been equipping my weekends of late. There are babies that I am yet to see 3 months after their arrival in this world (*Hamida, King Nzomo and Jean, you know I am talking about you*). Then, I have a number of weddings to attend and at times it becomes overwhelming, especially when these people tell you…. “Mine is an invite only, so please don’t waste my card, come and celebrate with me.”

Girlfriends at Keziah's baby's shower
Girlfriends at Keziah’s baby’s shower

Wedding Galore

There are specific months in Kenya that are recognized as the best months for weddings, especially because weddings in Kenya are a family affair and during these months, many people are able to get leave days and students too are also on vacation. Therefore, April/May, August/September and November/ December are always the most common months for weddings in Kenya. Last Friday, I joined Linda Ongwenyi as she said goodbye to single-hood and the following day, I attended Tina Odero’s wedding. And just within this month, I have two more weddings to attend. I am definitely looking forward to these weddings.

Many a times some of my friends tell me, my liking to attend weddings comes from my tribal background. Coastal people are known for loving weddings and so are people who hail from Taita Hills. Maybe, that is true, I am not so sure about it, maybe someone needs to confirm this.

Linda dancing during her wedding
Linda dancing during her wedding

Now, lets talk about weddings and some of the things that happen at the weddings in Kenya. Let’s start with the exciting things. A wedding is very interesting if the bride is extremely entertaining. When it comes to dancing, as a bride, please dance. Enjoy it, it is your day, it comes once in a lifetime. There is nothing as boring as a boring bride.

Observing people and watching the fashion. I love this. This is one of the best sessions for the day. I love to see how people have over-dressed or even under-dressed. Wedding is one of those days where people spend so much money and time, just to prove a point that “indeed, I know how to dress for a wedding,” especially in Nairobi. I call it a fashion show. A month ago, one of my cousins came from Mombasa to attend a  friend’s wedding in Nairobi, and I can tell you this for free. She woke up at 6am to prepare and she left my house at 11am. Mark you, the previous night, she had done a rehearsal, wore her make-up and until we said it was fine and that everything was matching, then she was happy. In short, give it to all the people who know how to dress for weddings.

And the groom's men dance to the tune
And the groom’s men dance to the tune

African Mentality

Too much for that. Now, let’s discuss some of those things I don’t seem to get at a wedding. Many wedding invites would say that the wedding starts at 10am. However, true to African mentality, most weddings will start two to three hours late. I still don’t understand why would any bride want to spend a whole day struggling to smile. I have said it to my friends before; I don’t need a whole day for a wedding. A bride needs to smile as much as she can, it’s her day and therefore, let’s not burden her by giving her a whole day, she will get tired. Personally, I can give myself three hours of genuine smile, more than that I will just be faking it. So when I finally get married, just know, you will have at most, three to four hours and we call it a day.

Another thing is the photo session. This is one of those irritating segments I hate to imagine that it has to happen. Why would a couple leave their guests at the reception, only to come back two to three hours later?  Honestly, is this fair at all? Is it just me? Look at a weekend as a relaxing day, consider yourself very special because I choose to be with you. But, do you have to leave me parking for that long? Is there a way we can have the photo shot after the wedding? I guess that will reduce the number of hours people spend at the wedding. Is it possible for people to look for venues that will also accommodate photo shot areas? That way, the bridal party saves the guests the agony of waiting.

At Tina's wedding, with the best maid, Brenda
At Tina’s wedding, with the best maid, Brenda

Then, the church sermon and family speeches. Now, this is probably the most boring party of any wedding. The guests once more are subjected to another moment of listening and listening as families parade each other all trying to say the same thing in different languages. We all know that I have been your girl for all these years and yes, it’s not coming to an end, will you leave some of the talk for a different day? I guess, these families will get a chance to meet again and again, can we spare some of those speeches for a later day? It even gets boring if these people are speaking in their native language. Is it possible for the couple to have only the family representatives speak? Is it also possible to let them know in advance that they have only five minutes to say whatever they need to say? If couples have been through counseling session, why does the pastor feel the need to take a whole one hour preaching about marriage? I am imagining that his/her sermon should actually be directed to the couple as a way of giving them his/her final word in marriage? Don’t you think so?

Ungrateful Kenyans

Guests listen to the sermon in church
Guests listen to the sermon in church

Let’s also talk about Kenyan’s who fuss about anything and everything at a wedding. They start by critiquing the couples, from the dress code and even their entire day mannerisms, fuss about lack of variety of foods, or even say that the food was less and not so well prepared and go home with so many negative stories to tell. Can we find it within our hearts to see the positives in any wedding? Couples are going so extreme to ensure that their guest feel comfortable and cared for, please reciprocate the same love by ensuring that when you attend a wedding, make it your plan to have fun and celebrate with the couples. After all, it’s you that they invited
and not just any other Tom, Dick, Harry and Patience.

Finally, there are those who are always looking for a chance to grab something to carry home. In the rural areas, many of them will sneak some foods in their handbags, so as to carry for their loved ones at home. Interesting that these same people who never brought  with them a wedding gift  in the first place. But, now they want, food and cakes, for themselves and their families at home. In Nairobi, I realize that the trend changes. After the wedding has been dismissed, people are quickly rushing and fighting so as to get to carry the flowers back home. (See photo below)

Guests walk away with the flowers
Guests walk away with the flowers


When I finally get married one Monday, I am hoping that I would have finally found a lasting solution to some of these irritating segments at wedding ceremonies. Whether you spend 4 hours or a whole day, whether you like the food or fuss about it, really, whatever way you look at it, it does not change the end result. At the end of the day, Patience and her groom will leave the venue as a married couple, happily ever after!

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Patience Nyange

I believe in a just society and I am a strong believer in Ralph Waldo Emerson words: “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate and to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”

12 thoughts on “When I finally get married…….

  • You just cracked me up darling, miss u bigtime!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • agwatta

    I like it when you write about weddings. Now when I get married and I have stressed this in some other forum, it will be my pleasure to see small kids hiding food in their clothes and bags. if I see that then the wedding is successful. nice read
    #and I see you have hinted at having your wedding on a Monday.

    • Haahhahahahhahhahhaa, unfrtunately in my wedding, I don’t think there will be excess foods for some children to hide on their way home. Thanks Agwatta for reading my blog. The “Monday” is just but a figurative word.

  • George

    Interesting article Pesh…I think your friend should continue going out. Having said that, I believe the dating scene pool has been contaminated with lots of jokers so its maybe hard to get someone serious to settle down with. In addition, its a terribly expensive venture (from a man point of view), I once took a girl out to a fancy restaurant and on getting the receipt I was shocked. Sincerely I never knew numbers went that high,it was…wait for it…Kshs 5945. That, for a one-off meal is not only ridiculous but a daylight rip off especially considering am a college student.Two years later, if you ask me if I would do that again I would say….YES. Because the road to marriage is not about the destination but about the journey. After the travel you will have learned that Prince charming doesn’t exist, there’s only (4 my case), princess Anyango. So I would advice your friend to continue dating till she finds someone suitable.Even though people think its needless and expensive I believe its so worth it. Its more like an I pad, it’s expensive too and you certainly don’t need one, BUT you want one because its such a beautiful…thing.

  • Kenyans will always go to weddings just to critique. Its in their blood. Gossiping in church while the sermon is still ongoing. And once the wedding is done, they will have a whole news segment to take to their friends and neighbors who were not at the wedding. Giving all the negative observations and leaving out the positive ones. I gossip at times 🙂 (its fun) but not during the occasion. I have my manners. The lengthy sermons is what i hate. No offense, but seriously, if i needed a sermon, i would have looked for a christian fellowship somewhere or a crusade. But i came to the wedding to see the bride & groom and witness their union. Not to be preached to.
    Your article is beautiful. We share some of the opinions expressed, but the photo session, i disagree…. its my day! So, people can take their time to wait for me to complete my photo shoot. After all, the day was dedicated to me. But in this, one has to be cunning, serve the food once the bride comes back from the photo shoot. If you do it before, you will come back to an empty reception!

    • Hahahhahahhahahhah, Kenyans go for weddings to gossip! Hilarious!
      I love your sentiments!

  • Tom Lepski Ochola

    Karma and murphys law always strike at weddings. take my own wedding for example,my hard working committee planned it to the last detail only for the wedding cake Tiers to collapse when we were just about to cut the cake sending it crashing to the Table. Today,many years later,the photograph of the mess on that Table and the look on the maid of honor’s face gives us a good laugh!

  • Incredible work. I read through and its typical experiences of our lives. You indeed spoke the all truth. It doesn’t matter the experience on food, fuss, fashion and anything on the wedding day. It is all about after the drama of the day-you hold your partner hands and you walk down the path after the Monday wedding. Depending on various players and factors-as groom you either live happily or hurtling. But until them accept as many invites as you would. It will be story someday trod-ding down the path. As much as the thoughts of getting old brings some soul searching moments-indeed the fact of being able to get married reduces the anxiety. With this deep reflection, Nyange you brings us to things that often matter not at the start, but often in the end

  • Tina Odero

    Hahahaha … Patience I am glad you captioned our story. This looks like a good read… Just bumped onto it. I’ll go through it once out of my busy schedule then drop a comment again. Thank you. Brenda should also read this 🙂

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