Nairobi Groom Stuns Bride After Cutting Wedding Budget by Ksh 1M

  • A wedding gown on sale
    A wedding gown on sale
  • “No one wins the wedding of the year award, spend your money wisely.”

    I saw this quote which elicited debate on Twitter a few days back and I remembered how my brother and I cut down his wedding budget by Ksh 1 million last month. 

    He is going to get married to the beautiful Lorraine, his girlfriend for nearly seven years. How people date for so long amazes me. I have tried my luck but have never surpassed a year. Don’t pity me.

    My brother always laughs at that, saying, “John, your time will come.” Pats my back and adds, “Someone is also working hard on themselves for you. Be patient.” 

    How my brother and I had been for each other in the highs and the lows of life is a story for another day. 

    Funny enough, when we were discussing the wedding budget with him that night, we were listening to Avicii’s song Hey Brother. 

    Hey brother. There's an endless road to rediscover

    Hey sister. Know that water's sweet but blood is thicker

    Oh, if the sky comes falling down, for you

    There's nothing in this world I wouldn't do

    We both sang that line as we sipped our Mojito cocktail in a pub in Nairobi CBD. 

    A glass of Mojito cocktail.
    A glass of Mojito cocktail.

    “Lorraine’s wedding budget is at around Ksh2 million,” my brother stated, telling me the obvious. 

    I had seen his fiancee put all her energy into the planning. Weddings are a very emotional and expensive affair in Kenya. People break the bank to impress their loved ones and kins.

    Most do it for the camera and social media. But there is also a clique that goes for the low budget at the Attorney General. I was recently added to a Whatsapp Group where the couple was planning for a Ksh 300,000 wedding. 

    I know a friend of mine who had a Ksh20,000 wedding. He told me that what mattered was the happy ending. 

    Don’t misjudge me. I am not stingy but am more inclined towards savings. 

    “Yes, I saw the budget bro. Quite some demanding tasks,” I responded to my bro.

    “Lorraine wants the best. Yes, we have that cash but I don’t feel the need to have even strangers at my event, import those designs from abroad and all that. I don’t know how to go about this,” he confided in me. 

    “I know how we can cut down the cost, but first speak to her and allow me to give you two pieces of advice. I have a friend who is one of the best wedding planners and she can aid us to cut down costs,” I added 

    What I told my bro that night will stick with him for life. And maybe you too. 

    “You cannot reason and argue with her on emotion. Reason with her with logic. Remind her that she is being sold into the expensive wedding on emotions. The traders understand that she is pushing for the wedding of her lifetime. That dream wedding. 

    “We are grappling with increased fuel prices rises, inflation, high cost of living, an expensive education system and your kids will be in school in three years' time when God blesses you with them,” I told my older brother. 

    This was quite a sensitive topic for him to pitch to Lorraine, but I was glad that the two came to an understanding. We had a sit-down, agreed to the new budget plan and later discussed it with our folks. 

    Here's where Sarah, the budget planner, came in handy. 

    “I have rounded up tips on how we can plan this wedding on a small budget; budget-friendly, but still ensure that your vision is intact. 

    “First your wedding gown. I have a dealer in Nairobi who imports them but sells them at an affordable price. You don’t have to do it by yourself as you will be exploited. 

    Sarah aided us to check out the online website. 

    “John told me that you have a Co-op bank account and this shop is accepting Co-op Banks Chapa Pay. You know for this online payment for businesses, the traders get more customers by accepting online card payments via Chapa Pay, which is Co-op Bank’s eCommerce solution! 

    “With Co-op Bank eCommerce they receive a unique link (Pay-By-Link) that they use to invoice their customers. You can also consider this for any business you venture into later on.  

    “As a business person, you will not incur any cost to get the Pay-By-Link solution as it is free to get on board. If a customer makes a wrong payment, you can reverse the payment without calling the bank for a reversal,” Sarah noted. 

    We expected it to be tough having Lorraine change her decision on the wedding gown, but she agreed. 

    “Yes, I also agreed that we don’t need to dig into our savings for this babe. It's our wedding, our life and not for the many that I had thought,” she agreed. 

    Sarah added that the reception should amount to 55 per cent of the budget, the wedding ceremony, 12 per cent, 10 per cent for photography, 10 per cent for her as the wedding planner, and 8 per cent for the dress and tuxedo and 5 per cent for miscellaneous. 

    A Co-op bank e-commerce advertisement
    A Co-op bank e-commerce advertisement
    Co-op Bank

    “Having friends and kins match in the wedding is better. But let them cover their own costs, or expunge them from the list. 

    My brother explained that for them, they opted to raise the wedding budget on their own and have friends and family only cater for gifts. 

    The two lovebirds also agreed on non-negotiables that can be cut out from the wedding list. 

    “Let's reduce the budget on flowers and for the live band we can have a DJ,” Lorraine proposed and it was nice to have her weigh-in. 

    “Your guest list is a leading factor in determining your budget,” Sarah, the wedding planner advised, stating that they should limit it to close friends and family. 

    “You can also consider doing a cocktail rather than a full dinner and wed on a weekday rather than a weekend,” she advised. 

    I chipped in and asked her if her online shop friend could offer different attire for the reception and she agreed. 

    “Yes, all you have to do is pay with Co-op Banks Chapa Pay. He can fix all that for you,” she added. 

    “I see by this budget we cut down the expenditure by Ksh 1 million,” Lorraine calculated. 

    “Yes, we can invest the money or let it remain in our Co-op bank account and we figure out what to do with it after our honeymoon in Diani,” my bro added. 

    “We are halfway there,” Lorraine added. “I am quite stunned by how we cut down this budget.” 

    It was exciting to see the two hold hands and smile at each other after agreeing to save as much as they could. The budget was, nonetheless, left open for any compulsory additions.