How did you meet?
Jackson: We met in 2009 at Fish FM in Eldoret, where I was working as a presenter. Rawder came in as an intern for three months. Thereafter, she went back to school and we lost contact till 2013 when she joined Hope FM and found me there as a radio producer/technician. We became good friends and soon realised that we were more than friends. I found another job and realised something was missing in my life; Rawder was missing. Since we had already established a strong friendship, I asked her out. It wasn’t easy at first because she was a hard nut to crack. I kept pursuing her and she finally said ‘Yes’ in January 2017.
How long did you date?
We dated for five months (officially boyfriend and girlfriend), and in May 2017, I asked her to marry me. It might sound crazy, but we had been best friends for years.
Rawder: The proposal was the best day ever for me. Jackson knew that I don’t like public stunts, so, one evening after work, we met at a hotel in town that was uncrowded. He went on his knee with a ring and proposed. I gladly said ‘Yes’. I couldn’t sleep that evening; I spent the night thanking God in tears, because to me, Jackson was the man I desired to spend the rest of my life with.
How was the process of planning your wedding? Did you involve a planner or a committee?
We have always wanted a simple wedding, with only what we can afford. So, we did not have a planner or committee or tea party. We only approached a few friends and family for financial support (some came through, some did not). Three weeks to the wedding, we formed a logistics team to help us out with the day’s coordination. We thank God for giving us the wisdom. We cut the cost of nearly everything and paid for only what we could not do without. We even reduced the number of guests from 300 to 150. We did not publicise the wedding, only sending invites to friends and family. We came up with a unique programme to make it simpler. Since most guests came at the reception, we were joined at that time after guests had eaten.
Did you face any challenges?
Jackson: Our main challenge was distance. I work in the US, so, planning the wedding with my fiancée on phone was crazy. Getting the providers, consulting and making payments was extra hectic, especially because of the time difference. I came back in the country a week to the wedding for final touches. Luckily, we had a wonderful mentor couple, Mr and Mrs John Kimani, who went many extra miles to support us. We had a few Christians telling us how we must be joined in the sanctuary and not in a garden, but we know that our God is omnipresent. We went ahead. In that garden, God was present.
Did your wedding turn out as you expected?
We thought inviting people for a wedding reception at 11:30am and serving lunch before we were joined would be challenging, but people kept time. Everything worked out well, except finishing two hours later than planned because we brought a dancing community together.
What was the theme of your wedding?
Shades of purple. We wanted to remind ourselves that we are royalty; children of the Most High King.
You had no bridal party
Rawder: No, we didn’t. Our wedding was simple, as we only had one flower girl, my 11-year-old daughter Sharline Muhonja. We call her the real princess. This decision helped us cut on cost, logistics and time. We only needed two cars to the wedding and one to the photo shoot.
Advice to couples planning a wedding?
You don’t need an expensive wedding to get married. Don’t stress yourself with debts trying to fit in. No matter what the society expects, do what you can and do away with what you cannot. Secondly, don’t expect the people you have supported before to support you. God will send you your own crowd and you will get what needs to be done.