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Mark left his parents’ home on his wedding day

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Mark and Maureen Kigozi

Mark and Maureen Kigozi take a picture after tying the knot at Watoto Church. Courtesy photo 

By Roland D. Nasasira

Posted  Sunday, July 6  2014 at  01:00

In Summary

TO HAVE AND TO HOLD. At the time of their marriage, Mark Kigozi, 31, and Maureen,27 were both virgins. Renowned Real Life talk show host on NBS every Sunday, Pastor Mark and his wife, commonly known as Aunt Mo, share memories of their wedding day, May 1, 1999 with Roland D. Nasasira.

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When and how did you meet?
Mark: We were both ministers at Watoto Church and at that time, Maureen was in the choir. I joined the choir. I became friends with her.
We dated for a year and eventually got married in 1999. We had, however, been meeting away from church and this made church members and other people to suspect that something had been going on.
That is when they discovered our relationship.
When was the proposal?
Mark: I did not propose to her. I remember asking her when the introduction was and after that, we set the date for the wedding.

What attracted you to each other?
Mark: She is a beautiful woman with whom I had worked in church ministry. She was not jumpy and needy unlike other girls by then who had many demands and wanted me around them.
Maureen: Mark likes people and he is handsome. I was impressed by his love for people and family because all his siblings were so close to one another. He could not only take me to their house to visit his mother but he also went an extra mile and cooked for me food.

Where was the wedding and why?
Mark: It was at Kampala Pentecostal Church, currently Watoto Church. From childhood, it is the church I attended and where I served in the church ministry.

Did you involve any wedding planner?
Mark: At that time, we didn’t engage any wedding planner. It was a group of friends who sourced for items we needed and we did not do much. We sat back and our friends who were on the wedding committee did the rest of the work.

What were the interesting moments?
Mark: I liked the bridal entourage because we chatted about everything unlike my best man who kept some information from me.
It was also interesting in that I was changing my relationship status because all my life, I had been staying at my parents’ home. When I left home that morning, I was a bit anxious and excited at the same time.
Maureen: My most interesting moment was that my dad was walking me down the aisle to my husband as the first daughter in his family to get married.
I was always eager to see my dad at every function of my life; and apart from what I had with Mark, I had good highlights with my dad. Surprisingly, Mark also carried me on his lap.

Which place did you choose for the reception?
Mark: Unfortunately, we went to University hall gardens because we had to settle for a place that was fit enough to accommodate the more than 1,000 guests we had.
Did you face any challenges during preparations?
Mark: Of course yes. There was no money as the day drew closer. People were not attending meetings, there were no financial deposits being made because everything that went on required money which we did not have.
Maureen: I wasn’t thinking about anything because Mark was more worked up than I was. Amidst all this, I had faith that things would turn out well and they did.

Did you go for premarital counselling?
Mark: People feared me because I’m a pastor. When you are a pastor, people sometimes fear to approach you. Though many people were around us, they remained tight-lipped.
It is important that you go for counselling from people who are successful in their marriage. Because with those who broke up, you may not succeed in your marriage as well.
Maureen: Many people shared with us about marriage out of their experience; so all we did was to sit and listen in and pick out good counsel.
But at the same time, I got more counsel from reading than listening to people. I would also recommend people to go around people who have been together for a long time, be with them for some good years and learn from them.

How did you get the funds and how much did you use?
Mark: Well-wishers contributed the money that catered for everything and I do not remember how much it was. All I wanted was the wedding to go on and it did. It was the wedding chairman’s role to make it happen.

What went wrong that day?
Mark: Weddings are usually stressful because you keep wondering if the cake is at the venue or not.
I also realised that the coat I had ordered for was not fitting me because I was so small and the coat was hanging on me.
We had wanted to sing a love song; but the moment we were called to do so, power went off at the reception.
Maureen: My first tailor messed up my changing dress and my dad stopped me from wearing it.
However, the second tailor I got made me another dress in record time and I was good to go.

How was the wedding eve?
Mark: I was at my mother’s place with my brothers and friends at what was called a bachelor’s party, sat there, had meals and it ended as soon as it started.
Maureen: I was at home sleeping

Where did you go for honey moon?
Mark: We went to Rondo Retreat Centre, a missionary established resort in the middle of a rainforest in Kakamega in Kenya.

If you were to redo the wedding, what would you change?
Mark: I wouldn’t have the reception at University Hall Gardens, Makerere, I would have a cocktail instead of a reception, there would be no after- party, we wouldn’t travel the next day, I would catch a plane or helicopter instead of a bus to Kenya for honeymoon, would change the colours of the day and wouldn’t sit at the hi-table because its old fashion.

What do you advise those intending to wed?
Mark: Do not spend all the money you have, people should raise their own money and enjoy themselves. There is no need to invite the whole village.
They should not wait to get married when they are 30 years; they should get used to responsibilities when young.
I encourage young people to marry at a young age because there’s nothing like waiting for the right person and don’t marry someone who is over or under age.
Maureen: You need to be the one in charge of your skin colour by taking charge of your make up because it’s important to consider it. You should also focus on your character and get some people to have an opinion on the wedding dress to wear. Don’t use something simply because you’ve liked it.

How can one cut costs for their wedding?
Mark: The formula is simple. Walk into the pastor’s or reverend’s office with your bestman and matron who will sign on the marriage certificates, say those marriage vows, go back home as husband and wife and eat food and the day ends.
Maureen: It is the people who decide which costs are to be cut.

Peek in
Theme colour
It was blue and white. According to Mark, the colours for the wedding are determined by the women because the wedding is majorly for the woman. “l would not mind black.”

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