Saturday March 22 2014

We had our honeymoon at friends’ homes

Mr and Mrs Ssebyala pose for the camera.

Mr and Mrs Ssebyala pose for the camera. COURTESY PHOTOS 

By Life Magazine

How did you meet?
Bethuel: In 1997, Olive joined Omega Healing Centre church as choir leader, and used to dance among other things. Since she was a teacher, she would bring children to perform her original compositions at church on Sundays. I treated her as any other woman in church. Unfortunately, I feared approaching her. I could not even say hello.

However, I had for some time thought about marriage and I had asked God to give me a God-fearing, caring, educated and loving person. I wanted a more educated person since I had dropped out of school in Senior Six. Olive qualified.

Bethuel, when did you propose?
It was in June, 2003. I asked God for grace and courage to approach Olive. First, I visited her in the name of eating kalo. During the meal, I asked her to be my friend. Being an adult, I knew she would understand my intentions. I could not open up because I had tried to propose to many before and they turned me down.

How did you react to the proposal?
Olive: Although, I had been praying for marriage for a long time, I didn’t like the way he approached me. Asking me to be his friend was weird but I had already read his intentions.

I expected him to ask me to be his wife. I never said yes immediately. Bethuel was determined because he even went ahead to write the introduction budget proposal a month after and it happened on December 20, 2003.

What attracted you to each other?
Bethuel: Olive is beautiful, intelligent and God-fearing.
Olive: He is focused and a devoted Christian.

When and where was the wedding?
Bethuel: It was February 28, 2004, at Omega Healing Centre. We were wedded by Pastor Jessy Lukayi.

What was your theme colour?
Olive: It was lemon green and gold. I never wanted to have shouting colours. The eight maids looked nice in the two colours.

Where did you buy your gown and how much did it cost you?
Olive: A friend made it for me at Shs300,000 and the changing dress at Shs250,000.

How much was your suit?
Bethuel: My suit cost Shs250,000. My boots from Bata Shoe Company cost Shs50,000.

Where was the reception and why?
Bethuel: It was at Dream Guest House Gardens in Kajjansi and we hosted more than 300 hundred guests. We had initially planned for 300 but the number later rose to 500. We opted for a cheaper place because we were not financially stable.
Olive: I didn’t like the place. It was not that fancy and badly decorated.

Were there any hitches on the D-day?
Bethuel : Everything went well. I enjoyed looking at my beautiful bride.

Olive: Yes, the salonist was moody.

This felt scary and I did not like the hairstyle or anything she did. Everyone kept complaining but nothing changed.

What fleet of cars did you use?
Bethuel: A friend offered a grey Mercedes Benz as the bridal car and other three that the maids, matron and bestman and groomsmen used whose make I cannot recall.

Did you have any cake?
Olive: Oh yes! A friend offered a six-tier cake. We ate to our fill and took the rest home for our visitors.

Any challenges during the preparations?
Bethuel: We come from different regions. So when her father realised that I was from the central, her family was not that happy. Relatives got involved. Around that time Olive’s brother cautioned me never to go back to their home asking for food to feed my family. Life suddenly changed. Funding the wedding was hectic, I started with Shs20,000 but God took us through with the people who came in later to contribute.
Olive: My parents tried to resist our intentions after learning that I was getting married to a full-time servant of the church. He had no paying job. They had it in mind that he would not take good care of me. They had expected me to introduce a well-off man.

My mother had passed on, so I was all alone. Even at our introduction most people had shifted their attention to my two brothers who had had an accident on their way to attend the function.

What is the funniest thing you did during the wedding preparations?
Bethuel: I stood by the church entrance with my budgets well-displayed. No one cared to divert to the room where the meetings were and I even failed to distribute the pledge cards because I had no one to give them to.

Where did you go for honeymoon and how did it go?
Bethuel: We had it at our friends’ homes. Two people offered their homes since we had no money to go for honeymoon. One was in Bbunga and another in Seguku. We spent six days on honeymoon being pampered like babies. I enjoyed unwrapping the gifts, it was fun.

Olive: It was time to adventure. We were amateurs in everything though my maid of honour had given me a hint on wearing very skimpy and sexy clothes to entice my husband.
Also, I enjoyed the leisure walks we took and the care given to us.

What interested you most on your wedding day?
Bethuel: Seeing a big crowd cheering us was amazing.
Olive: I liked the church service and congregation. But the senior pastor Michael Kyazze, didn’t witness our wedding because he had travelled yet he stood by us throughout the preparations.
The so many gifts we received made me realise how much people loved us.

Did you have any fears towards or on the D-day?
Bethuel: It was all fine though at a certain time got stuck because I didn’t know what to do.
I didn’t go for any premarital counselling. I had no idea on how married men are expected to behave while with their wives. The first days of the honeymoon were unpleasant.
Olive: My greatest fear was about what was to happen during the honeymoon.
I went for premarital counselling during which they explained what it meant to get married and what happens, I was scared of whether I would do things right. I got tensed up on the very day of the wedding.
Groom: Bethuel Ssebyala
Bride: Olive Kyomuhendo
Budget: Shs4m
Wedding venue: Omega Healing Centre, Namasuba
Reception: Dream Guest House Gardens,Kajjansi

Photography: Dolico Ltd