Aimee: I remember meeting Mike for the first time at the University of Nairobi, around 2005/2006.
He was attached to or working for the Journey (a popular Christian movement based at UoN). My drama group would always perform after the Journey and I would always ask Mike to lend me the lights they used at the Journey for our plays.
We also had friends in common like Steve Warui. But we really got to know each other when Mike was organising a hip hop concert called Vinaa na Maana and he asked me to be on board to help him.
It was around this time that we started going out, in 2007.
What do you love the most about each other?
I love that he is patient, understanding and not judgemental.
I also love that he is a creative person and is a handy person. Like seriously – he fixes everything – from broken toilets to my brake pads.
How did he propose?
Aimee: He proposed twice in 2007 and in 2016. We were barely a week in our relationship, sited on a bench at Chiromo campus- he was a Veterinary Medicine student and I was a Bachelor of Science (Maths and Chemistry) student- he asked me to marry him.
I seriously thought he was joking. So I said yes – you know to be a good sport and play along.
The second time was during the traditional ceremony at my parent’s house in Mt. View.
He proposed and declared his love in front of all present (and there were many people) - I said a resounding yes!!!
What songs did you and your bridal team walk down the aisle
Mike: Well, it doesn’t really matter because the DJ played the wrong songs.
People didn't quite notice and I caught my first breath when I realized the bride also didn't notice anything was amiss so I played along, constantly reminding myself of the decision I had made earlier that day at the barber shop.
What was your wedding theme and what inspired your choice of colours, suppliers and style?
Aimee: The theme was a big mash up. I started off favouring a Persian, Arab, Indian themed wedding.
As things progressed, especially when designing the invitation cards - I wanted glitz and glam.
Then for the venue I was dead set on a rustic theme. To be honest, I themed various sections of the wedding differently. I was worried as to how things would turn out when brought it together- I feared it would be a big clash!
So you will notice the bridal party outfits were not typically African themed ( as in no Kitenge, Ankara etc) – I was going for a glitzy/glam look - but the grooms party was African themed – evidenced by the designs.
The reception had hints of glitz and glam mixed with a rustic feel.
I also operate on ‘feelings’. Yes I am just that dramatic. I would wake up feeling one way – and that is the theme that took the day. I just felt that this how the wedding should look!
Make up was done by Kangai Mwiti ( Bellesa Africa)- she is a childhood friend ( we were in the same primary school) and I love how she does her makeup. She totally understood what I wanted.
The organiser and designer was Hawi Creations (Irene Ochanda-Odak to be precise) She is a dear friend to me and I also love her creativity. We gel when it comes to designing outfits.
The cake was designed by a friend – Cynthia Aliwa.
The suppliers are people who know and get me. So it was easy to work together.
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.
Aimee: I just wanted to see how the venue turned out. So in my mind, even as I got ready, I was like I hope everything looks good. I also couldn’t believe that I was finally getting married.
We have been together 9 years and counting – at some point I never thought this would happen. So I kept pinching myself.
To be honest, I was not freaking out. I felt that I had done what I could and decided to detach myself from the outcome and be content with the process.
When I got to the venue- it was GORGEOUS!!!! I just started smiling and laughing to myself. That is all that mattered. I don’t even remember the songs that played or who said what. I was so in love with the set up- I checked out mentally – to pat myself on the back- haha.
I was late (as most brides are) - going to Maasai Lodge was like a trip in itself. I just kept pushing any worries and drama to the side and I tried to empty my mind. It all seems like a blur now.
Hair was done by Cynthia Rita N. O- she styles natural hair very well. She was recommended to me by my best maid- Zipo who is a fierce naturalista.
Photography was done by Steve Warui whom I have known for over 10 years and is also a close friend to Mike.
Mike: I spent most of the morning trying to figure out what hadn't been done yet. I was so ready the previous day, everything seemed to be in place but now everything seemed unfinished, a lot of loose ends and it was driving me nuts.
In the midst of all this I realized I needed to get a haircut and while at the barbershop, I made up my mind to let go and let God and have a blast while at it.
Tell us your biggest cost saver and any cost saving tips you have for people planning their wedding.
Aimee: Everything was sourced locally. All outfits including the wedding dress were tailor made by Hawi Creations- and were reasonably priced.We sourced suppliers from within our networks – yes we do support friends in business- and this also comes with its perks such as friendly rates.
Nature provides the best décor! This will cut down décor costs
Mike: Having few service providers as possible and everything centralized to the best of your ability saved us a lot of money.For instance, the venue provided catering and was also where we had the ceremony, reception, photo shoot, evening party and also where we spent our first two nights.I must say we had immense support from family and friends. We got the friends and family discount in everything we spent money on and some of our friends were gracious enough to give us free services. We had a friend doing the invitations, outfits etc.
My friend Robert Burale was the Mc, transport was done by my 2ndfamily, the VW anonymous club who provided vintage transport for the bridal party.
We absolutely loved your outfits; from the bride’s gown to the groom and bridal party’s outfits! What inspired the design?
My gown was inspired by the fact that I was 6 and 1/2 months pregnant at the time of the wedding. So as to remove attention from the bump (not in a bad way). The dress was heavily beaded in front and had a low back, detailed lacing. The term I believe is empire design.
My best maid is in such good shape; I love the crop top trend and suggested that this should be her look. Lace is one of my favourite looks and this was accepted and loved by the bridesmaids.I did not want Kitenge/Ankara designs……this have been overdone in my humble opinion.For the men, I wanted it very simple but bold- a lot like Mikes character. All white is a powerful statement – then add African inspired gold embroidery against the white gave it a royal touch. To me, the men looked like royal warriors!
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?
During the process- I learnt that the wedding is mine- I should therefore theme it as I please- and not be bound by rules or what’s the norm.One should have fun and own the process – pour your energy, heart and soul- have fun – the day is yours. It’s like a clean canvas- go wild!!For the photography we insisted that Steve capture moments- and not make the photos look too posey posey.
What (in your opinion), do you think is the most overrated thing in weddings?
Aimee: I honestly don’t think any part or thing is overrated – they all add up to make one great thing. What I would caution against is the ‘importing’ craze. Everything you want to make your wedding work for you – can be found in Kenya.It’s so fulfilling (and dare I add- patriotic) – to have a gorgeous wedding 100% local.
Any other tips/lessons you would like to share with other brides and grooms planning for their wedding?
Don’t be afraid to create your own look and theme. The wedding should reflect both of your personalities and aspirations.
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 used nature as our main piece of décor- apart from being free- it is stunning.A friend joked that she felt connected to mother earth at the wedding! So there were no tents- guests sat under the shade provided by Acacia trees for the wedding ceremony. The reception gave a magnificent view of the national park.
So there; we had a getaway wedding J As a car enthusiast, a classic VW beetle owner and a member of the VW anonymous club, I had to have a VW wedding and I believe that is what made the wedding stand out. Nothing can beat a fusion of nature, wildlife and classic cars.