Dann: I saw Wangechi and said hi. At many other gigs later on sharing the stage as Number 8 and Zidi the band we interacted more and I also had an affiliation with the band because I grew up with the lead singer. So once in a while we would perform on the same stage; we even did a performance together! Wangechi sung one of the verses and I rapped.
Wangechi: The next time we met was at another gig at Hilton and by then I was available and we had also had some conversations on Twitter; particularly a conversation about Elliots (the bread!) Around that time I had been observing him and that is pretty much where the journey began; as friends.
Dann: At first, she was just that lady I would drop off after events and then we just had a lot in common and by the time we were both single we realized that there was potential of a relationship but we wanted to take it slow.
Long story short; both of us were looking for someone who was committed and has a firm relationship with God. So one day, I’m at Nation Centre at work and she says that she needed to go to Thika to see her parents and needed a ride. As I was driving, my scales fell off and I realized that this was the woman I wanted to spend my life with. I don’t like making decisions based on excitement so I gave it 2 weeks to think it through.
We talked on phone later that day and I realized, that for sure, this was the woman! Her place was on my way home (she lived with her sister) and she would regularly invite me for meals. She treated me so well and I felt sooo blessed. It felt authentic; not plastic at all.
One day, she had a parcel delivered at my office so I could drop it off at her place. But she told me ‘Don’t open it!’ It’s because she knew it was something I did not like. It was a weave!! (both burst out laughing) So later she went and had her hair done and she put on a weave. At this point it was still not official so I didn’t want to offend her by asking her about it. When I went to pick her I didn’t say anything. She entered the car and I didn’t say anything.
I was just thinking; I’m not asking a lady with a weave out. Call me vain, but I just didn’t like weaves. So later that week she came to see me at work and I got to see her real hair…and she looked beautiful!! I couldn’t take my eyes off her. I said ‘God has answered my prayer’. I had given myself 2 weeks to know for sure and the 2 weeks were up and she came without a weave! The next day I kept wondering how to tell her but eventually I asked her out after an hour of going round in circles. I told her that I realized that God needed to deal with me first before I could make a commitment.
So at 11.56 pm on 28th September 2013 I asked her out. And at exactly midnight, she said Yes. So we have 2 dating anniversaries; 28th is Wangechi’s because that’s when I finally asked her out and 29th is mine because that is when she said Yes! We sat there and prayed. It has been 2 years since we started dating.
What do you love the most about each other?
Wangechi: We are very good friends and that is the very important for us.
Dann: I love her passion for God and her selflessness.
Wangechi: He too is very selfless and his language of love is acts of sacrifice. It's in the way he serves people, his ministry, it’s easy for him to give of himself. He submits to God's authority and makes it easy for me to submit to him. I love him…
Dann: I love her…
How did he propose?
That was last year March 14th 2015. That’s the day he hit bended knee. It was at a gig called Bits and Pieces.
We went through the whole gig and at around 8pm I said goodbye to my family and when I run back to say goodbye to the others I met Dann at the entry point. He asked me to gather people quickly so we could pray and release them to go. So I did just that and I took the team to the room where we were meeting. So we get there and I'm so exhausted; I can barely listen.
But everyone seemed to want to talk. I was actually on my phone because I was exhausted. Somewhere along the way I realized Dann sounded very strange; like he’s stammering. He looked nervous and that’s when it hit me! He became all tearful (Dann: I did not tear!) (Wangechi: Yes you did!)
He was reciting one of his pieces and I could tell that something was up. I was like ‘Oh my God! It’s happening!’ He approached me and went down on his knee; I was so surprised because I didn’t see it coming!
Dann: I did it that way because we had come from God's presence and that’s the confidence I needed. I know people do very flamboyant things but for me we had just done a gig which is a big deal for both of us and we were amidst friends and brethren.
That’s exactly how our relationship is too. We are keen on fellowship and friendship. I wasn’t going to do it on stage because that would have taken away from the ministry and it's more important that people get ministered to than I have a flamboyant proposal.
I forgot my lyrics when proposing; I was a mess. And people started crying around us too. I think they cried more than us. (laughs)
Wangechi: God had really worked on us and on Dann and that was like a stamp on where we were headed. So for him to ask me to marry him I was like 'yes, I want to journey with this man'. So …I said of course!
We prayed and went for dinner and then he dropped me home
What songs did you and your bridal team walk down the aisle to?
The groom and best man: we danced down the aisle to 'We can be more' by Sho Baraka and JR and it was done in beatbox and Accapela
Bridal team: Lecrae - All I need Is You
Bride: Orchestra playing I’m Gonna Be Ready by Yolanda Adams. We chose this song because as we were rehearsing it for a gig, God let me know that this was the time to get married and this song was actually our theme song as we were planning the wedding
What was your wedding theme and what inspired your choice of colours, suppliers and style?
Wedding theme was love, faith and music.
Love – it's what we share and who God is, Faith - what we share in common as well and Music – what we love and what brought us together
We both love yellow and so it was an easy choice to make. We were also pretty easy on introducing the blue. The main colours were yellow, gold, white, blue…yummy sunshiny colours (laughs)
Suppliers – We focused on people that we know. We have many people around as who are talented. One of our supplier; DIY decor was done by Faith Avia and Cathy (check out her blog diykenya.com) she did an excellent work with the DIY details. We love DIY stuff and she was so creative!! We wanted to be unique and comfortable.
For the bridesmaids I included them in the process to ensure that they were stylish but very comfortable. For our clothes (the guys) we had them made rather than buying ready-made clothes.
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.
Dann: I slept very late because my attire needed some fixing. The guys came to my house, we prayed together and then we left to walk to the bus stop to catch a matatu from Kenyatta to the venue. We waited a bit as the setup was still going on. I’m very particular on time but I didn’t let it get to me.
The bride, however, was very early which I really appreciated. It was a very happy day for me. I was excited, so content and confident in our decision to get married and thankful that God had gotten us to this point. We didn’t have all the money but God came through.
It was really fun watching our bridal party walking down the aisle to hip hop music. The wedding was a very celebratory event rather than a mushy day.
Wangechi: I woke up at 3.45 am . I slept at my mother’s place and I was so energetic. We were out of the house by 7ish. It hadn’t really hit me that this was my wedding day because I don’t like attention. It hit me when we were on the highway. We got to Jockey Club by about 9.50 am and then I was walked down the aisle at about 10.30 am. I could see everyone from the car and it was so beautiful!! I saw akina Dann and Mark grooving down the aisle and then the rest of the bridal team.
At some point my dad was telling me ‘we need to hurry up’ but the song was slow and mellow! (laughs). When I saw Dann it continued to dawn on me that it was my wedding day. What was important for us was that when people come to the wedding they would really experience God through the worship and the whole ceremony.
And we felt through the music, the worship, it was so beautiful to sing songs and surrender to Christ at the wedding. We wrote our vows. We had the standard ones and our own and then we performed to each other. Wangechi sung and I did the rap bit of the song. We later went for the photoshoot. We stayed too long but we had a great time. Then got back to the reception and we danced, danced and danced.
We had the usual train with the people and then the bridal party did a shuffle and then each of us bust a move! It was so cool! The energy level was so high, that at the end I was like...is that all? Give us more! We are still full of energy!
Tell us your biggest cost saver and any cost saving tips you have for people planning their wedding.
We had a huge support system from our friends who helped us planning the wedding. The DIY part especially turned out to be a cost saver. DIY decor was done by our friends; tit was surely a labour of love with the DIY elements. Not buying ready made clothes also saved us a lot of money.
Dann: For example, my suit, which was custom-made, cost about Ksh. 6,000 as opposed to a ready-made one which would have cost me Ksh. 20,000.
Your ceremony and reception décor was very creative. Who handled the décor and what inspired the design?
Our décor was DIY; most of the ideas were from Pinterest (it is quite useful). There was a team of ladies who executed the DIY ideas; Faith Avia (check out her blog diykenya.com) and Cathy lead the team. There were also several other friends who helped bring our ideas to life. They were a very creative team. Here is another tip; hire them for your wedding!
Another lady who helped with the décor was Kate who provided the chairs and the parasols.
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?
Our wedding photography was done by Steve Kitoto and he did a great job. For the couples, a tip would be if you have any ideas you have in terms of poses or backdrops you want in your photos it is important to communicate it to the photographer. These are going to be your photos from your wedding. So feel free to communicate your ideas.
Any other tips/lessons you would like to share with other brides and grooms planning for their wedding?
Wangechi: My gown was beautiful but it was really heavy. I tried it on a number of times but the one thing I wasn’t very comfortable with was how I felt when I sat down in it. It was like double the trouble when the wedding day came because the chair that I used wasn’t what I used when trying out the gown. And it was so uncomfortable for me.
One of the main thing I have been telling friends who are getting married after me is to make sure they are comfortable in the wedding dress. And get a firm seat that will be able to support you during the wedding.
Also, enjoy your day beyond any issues that come your way. Even if things go wrong, you don’t need to know. Maintain that smile no matter what happens; you want to see that in your photos. If you see something that didn’t go your way just brush it off. Ensure that you make a deliberate effort to have some dates with your fiance without wedding talk (it was much harder for some than others).
Dann: What happens when things don’t go your way? The person who did the outfits for myself and the groomsmen really disappointed us. We had to buy waistcoats on the day before because the ones that had been tailored were not done well. I had to improvise a lot on my outfit as well. And so we made do with what we got and it actually turned out better than what I had planned for. So my advice would be to have good communication with the vendors. The wedding day is one day, so make sure that you begin to work on your marriage. Communication as a couple; that is very important. For us, it had been a journey with God. Enjoy the journey of your relationship so you can celebrate it on your wedding day. Be deliberate about enjoying yourself; one of my groomsmen did not make it to be on the lineup because of the wardrobe issue and even though I was disappointed, I had to get past that and enjoy this very important day!
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.
The first one, was the music. We really wanted our wedding to be a gig and we got that from the orchestra, the live music, the DJ and a live band. When we had gone for the photoshoot, we had some musicians performing so the guests really enjoyed themselves even as we were away. We had someone specifically in charge of the music and they planned a musical journey where they found out details about that which they shared when we were away for the photoshoot. We wanted our wedding to also be a testimony from our lives.
The DIY bit for us was something quite unique and we used the support of our friends who made it a success. We also used burlap to decorate the bridal car; which was very unique.
So…music and DIY!
Wedding Venue: Jockey Club , Photography Veneue: Dari
Wedding Photographer: Steve Kitoto
Number of Guests: 1000