Ditch the fancy weddings and say ‘I Do’ at the AG’s office
Weddings are a communal affair, and there is nothing men who have been in long-term relationships dread more than being asked, “tutapima vitenge lini?”.
This dread is not about the looming lifetime commitment with a significant other that tends to scare either party to some degree, but the humongous costs of putting on a wedding event that probably wouldn’t last past five hours before guests begin exiting the stage left.
This is why you will find the majority of men opting to have unconventional marriages where they chose to live with their partners and their kids without legalizing anything- often to the chagrin of the women.
Yes, some women do dream of their wedding days since they were little girls and having to settle for come-we-stay relationships, not marriages!, is something they bitterly but silently accept with three children in.
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Many men will often avoid talking about marrying because of how deep into their wallets they may have to dig to pay hundreds of thousands of shillings to buy expensive wedding attires, hire venues, hire vehicles, dress their bridal team line-ups, pay for food that may or may not meet their expectations, décor; and finally, the honeymoon that may turn out to be a location for them to rest and thoughtfully lament over how much money they spent instead of it being the time for wedding bliss to kick off.
And so, my dear female readers, how do you deal with this situation where you want to legalize your relationship and enjoy all the benefits of being a legal wife over a man’s fear of paying for a huge wedding even if you will chip in?
The ultimate solution, in this writer’s opinion of course, is simply heading to the Attorney General’s Office and tying the knot with your two to four witnesses.
So easy is it to marry at the Attorney General’s Office that they provide you with a website where you and your partner can register your personal details and then sit back and wait to hear if anyone will oppose your upcoming nuptials.
During this time, the AG’s Office will be processing your registration of marriage details, tabulating the fees you will be required to pay and then be slot you in for a wedding ceremony in one of their wedding rooms (I found it weird to write offices) if no one comes forward to oppose the impending marriage.
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Instead of the both of you budgeting for over Sh 500,000 for a one day event, you could opt to scale that back and spend utmost Sh 50,000 that will cover your wedding clothes, the AG fees for marrying and the small get together you will host for your close circle of personal people.
This way, you start off your marriage on a less stressful financial step unlike many who continue to drown in debt after having huge weddings.
While the big, white, fancy wedding may be a dream- even for an achievement for some, I find that the intimacy that the Attorney General’s Office provides a couple to be way much better than having hundreds of guests milling about at your wedding.
With an AG’s wedding, you as a couple have to sit down and really think and evaluate your relationships with family and friends to know who matters most to you to stand in as your witness.
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Here, you will know who matters most to you and will be invited to eat and make merry at a get-together which you budgeted for not more than 20 family and friends.
I find that the big weddings are for the family at large but an AG wedding is more for the couple. This type of wedding lets a married couple know who they are as a team and whom they can depend on outside their relationship.
There is no need for them to impress their witnesses with largesse and expectations of over-the-top gifts, but take comfort that these witnesses will truly stand with them on the mountains and in the valleys.
Also, there will be extremely less people criticizing you and jealously bewitching your marriage that ‘mtaachana tu’.
So out with the big, fancy weddings and in with the AG weddings where you can tailor make your marriage ceremony and after party into anything you want outside of familial and societal pressures.
Also read: Abominations vs Norms: A Kenyan-Tanzanian wedding divide