TO HAVE AND TO HOLD. Peter Nsiko ,30, a microbiologist wedded Fiona Tagema , 27, a medical doctor at Evangel Church, Jinja. They told DENIS MUKUNGU their story.
How and when did you meet?
Fiona: We met in United Faith Chapel fellowship at Kampala International University (western campus). I was a freshman and he was a finalist and older in fellowship too. Since we come from the same home area (Jinja), I think he took the responsibility to help guide and chastise me as a young sister in faith.
Peter: I first met Fiona in 2008. We normally held fellowships at campus in which I was the leader. So through interaction I got to know most of the members.
So, when did the two of you eventually become close?
Fiona: We performed several leadership roles together especially when I became the church secretary.
We sat on several church committees together and in the long run we became friends. Peter and I became so close.
Peter: We became close for more than six years. We got closer to the point of marriage, when I knew she was the person God was directing me to and I proposed to her.
Did he propose to you?
Fiona: Yes, it was Friday afternoon when our Pastor informed me that someone would come to ask for my hand in marriage. I waited until after supper when brother Peter came asking to talk to me. We moved away from the rest and he proposed. He did not sound bold and loud like his usual self. I was dumbfounded but did not respond right away. It took me two months to answer.
What attracted you to each other?
Fiona: I admired his love for God. What else is more valuable than a man that will keep talking to God on my behalf? He is charming and humourous. He is caring and compassionate.
Peter: She is beautiful, meek, quiet, respectful, and God-fearing. Above all, God told me, ‘I’m giving you someone who will understand you’.
When did you come up with the wedding date?
Peter: It came about when we went for the first visit to her home. After they had agreed to our intentions, her people demanded to know when we intended to have our functions (traditional and church wedding). We had earlier agreed to have a wedding before February 8.
But, Lent was going to start on February 10. So they asked us to ensure all is done by February 10. We settled for February 6.
Again they said according to the Anglican tradition, there should be a three-week period in order to have marriage banns. They suggested January 16, for kwangula.
What was your budget?
Peter: My budget was small and I tried to keep it that way. We cancelled things we deemed not biblical, such as bridesmaids and groomsmen. We stuck to matron and best man as it is in the bible.
How did you raised the funds?
Peter: First of all, I discouraged people from pledging because it is not biblical. I asked them to make a contribution within their means.
I asked some to pray about what they wanted to give, so that whatever they brought, I knew it was what God had laid on their hearts to give and I accepted all.
Did you involve a planner?
Peter: No, we had to plan it ourselves. We believe that as a Christian couple planning to wed and live together for the rest of our lives, this was the first project we were planning and executing together as it will be in our marriage.
How did you come up with the guest list?
Peter: I wrote down the categories of people we needed to invite right from childhood friends, schoolmates to university friends and work colleagues. We gave the task of inviting most relatives to our families.
What were you doing on your wedding eve?
Peter: We handed over responsibilities to those we had assigned them to. And so we were left with fine tuning the finer details of the next day.
Fiona: At 7am, I picked up a friend who had arrived from Kenya with some of the roses for decoration. We delivered the roses to the decorator.
Then Peter, his best man, my matron and I were to meet our pastor who would wed us for a brief counselling session.
At 6pm, I went to the salon, and then at 9pm I had to go to Jinja town to meet our discipler for the last counselling session.
What disappointments did you have?
Fiona: The cake service provider, did not only do a substandard job but she made the opposite of the cake we agreed upon with her.
Peter: The extent of the disappointment was known after we came back from our honeymoon. The cake woman did the worst she could ever do. And right up to now we lack words to describe the disappointment we suffered.
What did you enjoy most on that day?
Fiona: I almost screamed when I walked into our honeymoon suite. It was wow! Beautiful and well-presented. It came down from the fantasies of a teenage girl to reality.
Peter: I enjoyed the exchange of vows, that is what I had longed for and it sure brought a lot of joy. That was the wedding for me, other things were not so important because everyone had gathered to witness the joining of two people together in holy matrimony.
What was going through your mind during the ceremony?
Fiona: I was paying attention to the officiant’s message but occasionally worrying whether the day; would be successful or not.
Peter: Occasionally I would check on my wife to know if she was happy.
Did you go for premarital counselling and what did you learn from it?
Fiona: Oh yes! I learned why God instituted marriage, what he intended for a home when he set it up. I learnt that in my role as wife, God is bringing me into my husband’s life to help him fulfill the purpose for which God created him, is to help him accomplish his call or God-given vision and as he grows to the fullness of his God given vision. My call also will find expression in his ministry. My discipler’s wife emphasised submission as the secret into my husband’s heart. Premarital counseling also helped me to know the purpose of our home and what God expects of us.
Peter: Our discipler and his wife engaged us and guided us in several issues that concern marriage. I learnt that a good marriage is the foundation of a good ministry.
What is your advice to those planning on wedding?
Fiona: They should trust and depend on God in all their planning. Everybody, relatives and friends have their own ideas of how wedding should be done but go to God and, do it God’s way. I know the pressure will be much but the Lord Jesus promises us sufficient grace if we obey his word. Marriage is God’s idea and he is very much willing to support it if you let him.
Peter: My advice depends on who I’m talking to because there are many people who would not do what we did and yet it’s a simple method that God prescribed for us so that we don’t struggle.
However, if I’m speaking to a Christian, follow God and not the world in setting your wedding and your marriage and of course don’t wed in the night because you will wake up and find that you married the wrong person as Jacob did.
Do not forget about this important wedding day accessory: your bridal shoes. Fiona chose golden bridal shoes with a floral and sequin detail because she loves vibrant colours. Even then, it matched her off-white gown. The same applies to those who wear silver shoes that blend with pure white gowns.
Being active church members and devout Christians , Peter and Fiona chose to have a church choir lead the service. A familiar church choir make the wedding ceremony colourful. After you have paid the church dues and booked for your day, ensure the melodies befit the day.
This is the day you want to make memorable. When choosing transport means for the day, do not look further than comfort and class. Thus, the Nsikos settled for silver Mercedes Benz decorated with pink polka dot ribbons for their day. This is because the cars are spacious and they looked chic.
The couple chose gold rings which cost them Shs900,000 from Raheel Jewellers in Kampala. This is because they wanted to stay classy and traditional.
To ensure that their families attend, they held their wedding ceremony at Evangel Church World Vision in Jinja. This was closer to home.
Pter and Fiona agreed that their families invite the guests since they were busy taking care of the other day’s demands.