By Marcella Akinyi
How did you meet?
Mike: We met in Mathare slums and dated for five months before she became expectant. I couldn’t handle the pressure, hence I terminated the relationship for about one and a half years. We later on reunited and dated for a year before I proposed.
How was the proposal?
Ours was an informal one. I had not intended to move in with her before paying dowry and marrying her officially, but since our daughter was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, I had to call her to the house to discuss the way forward. The illness made our daughter to be in and out of hospital, so we opted to stay together to take care of her.
How did you win a fully paid wedding?
Magda wrote our wedding story on the Brides on a Budget Facebook group that was running the competition, with the title, “I met my hubby in the slums of Mathare, Nairobi”. This made us win the free wedding. During this time, we were in the process of paying the dowry. Little did I know that our lives would change forever. We had just spent a lot of cash on our child’s hospital bills running from one hospital to another with no signs of improvement, and I had also struggled as hard as I could to pay the dowry last year in August. I desired to have the wedding in 2017, but it didn’t happen. I guess all these realities touched the hearts of people who nominated us to win the wedding. All wedding expenses were catered for. It was our dream come true.
Did your wedding day turn out the way you wanted it to?
Our day turned out better than we expected, and we would like to thank everyone who made it possible.
Did you face any challenges during the process?
Not that much. After being vetted by the group administrator, the wedding suppliers offered their free services to us and we were lucky to have four wedding planners to take us through the process. That is, Winnie Wendy of Kayluna Events, Wambui Waweru, Florence Njuki of Red Pearl Designs and LeAnne Peris of Aster Events. However, some suppliers who had committed to be part of the competition bailed out, hence the bridesmaids and maid of honour had to pay for their own dresses. Challenges after the wedding: we had so much fun that we had muscle pulls, which made it hard for us during our honeymoon (laughs).
How did you choose your bridal party?
It was mostly comprised of our best friends who were going to be available on the day of the wedding, since it was a weekday.
Advice to couples planning a wedding?
Trust God with your wedding plans and work as a team with your spouse.