To say that we're obsessed with this wedding, is putting it lightly. We love the intricate details on the bride's dress and the bridesmaid's blush dresses will make your heart sing.
And wait till you see the reception at the gorgeous Sawela Lodges...you will be blown away!
Tell us your story? How and where did you meet and What do you love the most about each other?
Alex: I met Cate in Milton Keynes church but we did not think much of each other as we were both in relationships. We then went different ways and months later when we both became single our friend reacquainted us.
I invited her to a barbecue with my family at our present home which led to our marriage. I love Cate because God sent her to me as an answer to a prayer; I asked for three things in a wife; God fearing, loving and beautiful.
My analogy is, if a woman is God fearing she will have love in her and a loving woman is beautiful regardless of her physical appearance. Cate is a very beautiful woman in appearance as well and I consider it a bonus from God. I have since enjoyed my marriage and the wedding day was marvellous.
Cate: I love my husband, Alex, because he comes 2nd to God. He is God fearing, we share the same beliefs and Christian values that are very fundamental to our marriage. He is my best friend, my therapist and my confidant. He is everything that I am not and everything that I am.
God has truly blessed me in ways that I cannot express. I am the luckiest girl in the world, I get to wake up to the most handsome, loving, caring and humble man.
How did he propose?
It was a few days after my birthday (I never thought this day would come just after I turned 30). I went home really sick from work. I took a day off work and went to Alex’s place so he could look after me as he had a day off work.
He wanted us to go for a walk but I was so frail and all I wanted to do was rest. After spending the whole morning persuading me, I eventually gave in and grabbed my leggings, trainers and winter jacket. Off we went to visit St Albans Cathedral.
It was in the middle of January walking around to see the cathedral. Just before we went inside, I asked “what are we really doing here Alex”? I turned around and he was half way to kneeling holding a closed box.
I knew there and then he was proposing!! I was pleasantly surprised and I thought ‘not when am feeling rough, wearing leggings!! Eventually, with my mouth wide open, he gave me the box still closed.
I opened it and gave it back not knowing what do with the ring inside it. He then popped the question ‘will you marry me?’ and I could not resist to say yes!!, while he was putting the ring on the wrong finger. I quickly mentioned to him; ‘I don’t think that’s the right finger, it kind of feels funny.’ we exchanged it and tried it on the left hand and it felt perfect. Luckily, there was a photographer on sight taking pictures of the cathedral so we asked him to take some pictures for us, and capture the moment.
It took me 1 month for it to sink in my head that we were engaged. A few days after proposing, Alex was on the plane from UK to Kenya to meet both my mum and dad in Kenya and ask for my hand in marriage.
Both our families held a traditional ceremony ‘the Ithege’. Where we were given blessings from both families and permission to go ahead and plan the wedding.
What songs did you and your bridal team walk down the aisle to?
I seriously cannot remember but I walked down to a live performance song sung by 1 of Alex’s cousins.
What was your wedding theme and what inspired your choice of colors, suppliers and style?
The theme was “simple chic”, girl meets boy; blush pink for the ladies and royal blue for the men. Dominated by white decor for most of the venue, we kept it very simple and subtle. Less is more is what my friends advised me.
Our cake was from Valentine’s cake - reliable and cost effective for the size and amount of cake we had.
For the flowers they were purchased from Black Petals Ltd in Kenya.
All of the decor I sourced throughout the year, planning from the UK bridal stores and online stores. We then collected and shipped them to Kenya closer to the wedding date.
Give a brief recount of the wedding day, from waking up till evening and the things that were going through your mind at the time.
I woke up very hot! I have to say. Very nervous and worried about what I hadn’t done to make my day and basically I was such an emotional wreck. Then I got ready, still nerves everywhere luckily I had my vows written coz there is no way I would have remembered them by heart. Having my cucu, my mum and my aunties help me dress before I left the room was so surreal; because these were the women that brought me up from a little girl. Family and friends was all I needed by my side on that day.
Having my mum walk me down the aisle in the open air garden wedding was just a dream come true. Walking down to meet the man of my life, my Alex, was just a gift from heaven. Surrounded by family and friends from as far as Europe, America and Australia; it was just the perfect place to be.
My husband was worried as it looked like it was going to rain but God was on our side. As soon as we got back from the photo session to meet our guests at the reception, the heavens opened and rain poured as a sign of blessings.
Tell us your biggest cost saver and any cost saving tips you have for people planning their wedding?
Time is the best cost saver; I now know exactly what it means time is money. We had a year of planning which gave us an opportunity to search for the best deals and tailor-make our wedding.
The best advice I received from my father in-law was to share ideas with like-minded people and to quote him he said ‘You may meet someone with an idea that will save you a lot of money’, and we took it on board.
Try and negotiate all your contracts and don’t rush into signing them before discussing with your spouse because both your perspectives matter.
With the décor, you can source flowers from the flower farms if you network, and this will immensely cut your costs and avoid exorbitant décor companies because some will hire to you the equivalence of buying the décor.
What did you love most about your experience at Sawela Lodge?
The scenery of course. My bridal party and I arrived with an entourage on a boat! It was such a unique experience; a perfect picture moment.
The management, Ms Mary Mburu and the team, were just exceptional from day 1 when we contacted Sawela for an enquiry about our wedding in early March 2015 to date we remain great friends and she is now like a sister to us.
The food; not even one bad comment or feedback about the food from over 300 guests they catered for. All of the guests were happy with the food at the wedding day, some even booked a night at the venue.
We stayed back for our honeymoon for a few more nights and one night was a complementary from the hotel. The atmosphere was very relaxing, we looked forward to every meal so many options it’s a shame I have a little tummy. LOL
You must have learnt quite a number of things during the wedding process. What did you learn regarding the wedding photography that you would like to other couples to know?
Always smile and engage with your guests. It’s a once in a lifetime event and the people you share this experience will also share their same experience; therefore, make every hour count. If possible start the ceremony in the morning and prolong the day as much as you can. Time goes so fast you won’t even realize it.
Meet your photographer beforehand and get to know each other. Have him or her briefed and follow it up with an email summarising all that you have discussed in case you need to reference this in the future. (Cate says) - Spend as much time with your family because you will now be making a transition into womanhood.
Traditionally, when you leave your maternal home and go to your matrimonial home there is no turning back and this transition may prove somewhat difficult for a mummy’s girl. And so make it a celebration and keep smiling. Our pastor advised us to sleep with coat hungers in our mouths ready for the next day.
Any other tips/lessons you would like to share with other brides and grooms planning for their wedding?
Always have a couple of forever moments.
At Kenya Weddings we are always looking for something different unique and creative that a couple incorporates in their wedding. Please let us know what your something different was, what inspired you and how you got it done.
We had traditional dancers perform at our wedding all day and it was amazing! Coming from UK, this was very new to us but we wanted to entertain everyone and having diversity in entertainment was the way to go.
When we watch our wedding video, it brings tears to our eyes seeing our grandparents, aunties, uncles, cousins, and friends: young and old dancing to “mwoboko.” We would highly recommend the “Ruhia Cultural Dancers” co-ordinated by Wanjambi.
To inquire about the wedding packages at Sawela Lodges contact them on 0729451546
Photographer: Leon Muli
Wedding and Photography Venue: Sawela Lodges contact them on 0729451546
Number of Guests: 300 pax
Decor and flower arrangements sourced from Black Petal arranged by Mr Kohen Kimani.