Tell us your story? How and where did you meet?
Kenn: We met online on Afrointroductions.com. I was attracted the moment we started talking. I asked her to come to Denmark and visit me and my family. My children loved her and I loved crashing at family members houses just for a short visit to stumble in to say hello and introduce her. Then half a year later we met up again in Kenya, meeting Sarahs big family and joining her cousins wedding in Mombasa. That was a breathtaking introduction between 2 cultures, 2 families, 2 individuals that soon became one.
Sarah: Afrointroductions.com is where we met in late 2014. We chatted and skyped for a few months then I went to Denmark to visit him, his kids and his family who were so warm and welcoming. I went back to Kenya and in August the next year he came to meet my son and family. They say the rest is history because here we are now…….A blended family
What do you love the most about each other?
Kenn: I love the unconditional love and mutual understanding we share. My wife is very talented and a fantastic mum, and I’m just beyond proud of all that she accomplishes. The trust and belief we put into each other makes life so beautiful. We often laugh we are sort of twinnies, because we say and think many of the same thoughts. In general we laugh a lot, share lots of photos, stories, gossip, videos and we never tend to go to bed angry. Honestly,we are in peace because we can be ourselves and open about each other and never wants to change each other.
Sarah: From the beginning Kenn accepted me fully for who I am. At times we call each other twins because we almost have the same traits and think alike. Asides from that he is the best father to our children, he is honest, very funny – I can never get bored with him around, a great time keeper and am learning from him due to my African timing and above all he knows the Lord and we get to share the gospel together
How did he propose?
Kenn: To make a long story short. I came to surprise Sarah during Christmas and New Years eve 2015. Had to do an unusual detour / secondary preferred air road to make sure, she wouldn’t get suspicious on me, like e.g. why I didn’t return any messages. With great help from my small disciples in Kenya and Denmark we managed planning this. Planning this surprise was so fun and I wish she could have been in my shoes, to feel my excitement I felt at that time. It was so hard not to ruin it all by just blabbering it out, the way we usually share everything. Also involving lots of people to keep my travelling a secret was hard, because I had twist carefully every action I made, otherwise she would know what I was up to. But I came to surprise her in a mall, and what a shock on her …. She pinched me hard, but was so so happy. I was happy to see her, our son, brother in law, my mum in law, friends and the remaining family. Hearing my brother in law shocked as Sarah told him I was in Kenya was priceless: ”Kenn’s in Kenya … WHAT???”. The next day we took off to the beautiful vacation spot and relaxed. In the evening alone I gave Sarah my book, that I had been working on the last 2 months with pictures from our time together since we met and texts of how I feel about her. At the end I went down on one knee and proposed to her.
Sarah: Well, to be honest I was shopping in Nakumatt Stores doing my regular shopping and when going through the beverage aisle there he was pretending to also shop. I did not expect it at all. Am really hard to surprise but he got me on this. We went with family and friends for vacation and that night he gave me a present which was a book he had made of all our photos since 2014 and on the last page of the book….the writing was there…..WILL YOU MARRY ME? He went down on one knee and asked me to be his wife which I gladly said YES. One thing I love, I can look at the book every single day and it reminds me of that day 28/12/2015
What songs did you and your bridal team walk down the aisle to?
Kenn: That’s definitely a questions to ask my wife
Sarah: Since it was a Kenyan wedding, we decided to go with Kenyan songs so:
Bridal team: Mercy Masika – Mwema
Bride: Rebekkah Dawn – Kutembea nawe
What was your wedding theme and what inspired your choice of colours, suppliers and style?
Kenn: We wanted a simplified wedding – Not over the top nudge style. Still with an amazing scenery as seaside, so we had picked Mombasa, but found it more ideal with Rusinga Island. We had chosen blue colours, because I love blue. The colours changed a few times, as we went along finding tailors to do our suits. White always looks good on an African skin, so it came obvious to choose that also for Sarah and her bridesmaids. We were inspired by Pinterest. Here we found ideas for invitations cards, flowers, hair, photo scenes, chair arrangements, seats, décor etc.
Sarah: Our wedding theme was more of a beach wedding but instead of choosing Mombasa, we went for Lake Victoria
Our choice of colors was inspired by our favorite colors which is blue and white. Kenn loves blue and I love white. We wanted the style to be simple since the view at the lodge already made the place look spectacular so we used minimum flowers for the gazebo and table arrangement. Rusinga Island Lodge was our main supplier which was tables, seats, and food. As for décor we used Kisumu Art House
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.
Kenn: Excitement is the common word I can think of after waking up in the morning. Finally the day has arrived where I was going to put the ring on finger of my dream woman – the woman I had always dreamt of, feeling part of something bigger and valuable, getting the blessing, meeting so many family members, looking forward to the dancing bit, photo sessions, seeing happy people. I had taken the kids to a quick breakfast, then to the pool next, as we then did the wedding rehearsal. I was excited to feel everyone’s presence, doing the dressing up with my grooms men, taking photos, unwrapping special chosen gifts from Sarah as I was trying to remember my vows in my head. I remember I tried to stay calm, because the bride is usually late on her wedding day, so the grooms men and I took a seat in the bar and relaxed for a bit. My grooms men looked amazing in their suits we had gotten customized from Nairobi tailor. As the bride walked down the aisle she looked like a zillions sparkling diamonds and butterflies surrounded my body … and she was dressed in the most beautiful gown, perfect hair and makeup choice. The ceremony went so fast, but I remember saying my vows very clearly, receiving my brides vows and the preaching from our pastor. Lots of dancing followed after photo sessions, and I think the next time we sat down was at night, where we had our dinner. In between I only remember, happy, smiling and dancing people.
Sarah: I and my bridesmaid woke up by 7am to have some spa moments at the lodge and just enjoy the morning till 3pm when the wedding would begin. We did a last minute rehearsal after breakfast then went to get ready. It was a really easy morning with no butterflies as I expected. My elder sister did my makeup and the bridesmaids chose to do their own makeup. We were all dressed up by 2 pm and ready to see Kenn and get married. My bridesmaids looked really lovely and all the credit goes to my mother who designed all the bridal team dresses. Walking down the aisle was so spectacular…I have no words -Kenn and I both thought we would tear up but funny bit we did not. The church ceremony went very well with our Pastor Francis preaching. All the guests enjoyed the preaching, they talk about it till today. We said our own written vows and were pronounced husband and wife. The reception was very active and Kenn really danced. I expected to see some “mzungu” moves but he truly shocked me…he did all the shoulder shaking like a true luhya. Our wedding ended at around 7.30pm. We decided instead of speeches every guest would say a word of advice for us. All in all it was a simple wedding just like we wanted and we didn’t break the bank
Tell us your biggest cost saver and any cost saving tips you have for people planning their wedding.
Kenn: Having a plan A, B, C and D was our biggest cost saver. Doing things on your own really helped save on the budget. Searching the internet for ideas made it easy for us to choose which direction we wanted to go. Doing things on your own like wedding invitations, print jobs, flowers reduced the total money spent. I had a graphic artist to incorporate our summer picture with a stylish and beautiful design for the invitation card. The “Save the Date cards”, I created myself searching ideas on google, and then put together. We also have good bargainers in the family which also helped us to reduce a lot of expenses. We avoided renting transportation as we didn’t need to go from the church to the ceremony place. We avoided renting plates, forks, chairs, tables, table cloths etc, as it was already in the lodge.
Sarah: As my husband says, we had plan A B C and D. One of our cost savers actually was the flower decor décor. We decided to buy flowers from Finlays Kericho then hired a flower specialist to do the décor for us. We ended up saving almost 80,000 kenya shillings.
Another cost saver was our wedding location. Choosing Rusinga Isalnd Lodge to us saved us. By paying for catering services Rusinga offered us dressed tables and chairs which we didn’t have to worry about hiring
By choosing a destination wedding, we saved on transportation on the actual wedding day
Your wedding was held at Rusinga Island Lodge. Why did you settle on that venue and what did you love the most about the venue?
Kenn: What we love about Rusinga is the scenery. Been there once, then you know, what we are talking about. It doesn’t really need much explanation. We had good cooperation with the manager Mr. Young and Mr. David the food and beverage manager about what we wanted from the catering, how to put tables, music, after party etc. It didn’t take us long to settle for Rusinga, because we had all things settled in one place. We also reduced the amount of vendors by choosing Rusinga, and the possibility for delays decreased radically. From my sister and brother in law’s wedding, which also took place in the same location, we knew it was a good place for 2 families to join together. We could close down the entire place, not letting anyone else into the Island, while our wedding was taking place.
Sarah: Kenn and I wanted a destination wedding and also we wanted to do an invite only so we needed a hotel we can close down for two days and Rusinga Island Lodge worked perfectly for us. My sister and brother in law had their wedding there in 2013 so with the experience I had and shared with kenn, we both chose the same place. We also wanted a water body view and close to my hometown Kisumu so again Rusinga worked perfectly. For us Rusinga Island Lodge acted as a wedding location but also a vacation spot for our families who resided there for 2 days
Any other tips/lessons you would like to share with other brides and grooms planning for their wedding?
Kenn: Look at the timing is an important factor. If you don’t both feel the excitement of planning this as a couple, then wait until you both are. It is a couple’s thing, like being married so it needs both of your attention and happiness …. Fully ! Help each other with chores and listen to ideas. Start planning in good time. Make a budget and make regularly follow-ups on cost and also the vendors, to make sure they understand your needs, exceeds your expectations so that you are comfortable they can deliver on TIME. Still you should always keep an alternative or tertiary solution in place as a backup plan, if plan A or B fails. Keep focus and remain calm.
Sarah: As my husband has said, start early and everything will go as planned. We put everything down on an excel sheet with different vendors plus our budget. We talked about it, put things in a priority list and worked through till the end. We thought planning a wedding while far apart would be really hectic but communication was a key point for us and we managed to pull through of course with the help of family.
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 created our own wedding invitations with help from Kenns friend and colleague and Ken printed them from his end. It saved us about 20,000 kenya shillings. I custom made my own wedding gown and it was made by jasminebridals and sent to me. We also managed to save quite an amount of money
We gave each other gifts on the morning of our wedding day.
From the beginning, we chose not to break the bank since we have kids and life goes on after the wedding so we made it simple and simple actually worked for us.