How did you meet?
Emmanuel: I was 28 when Pastor Elia Kintu and Pastor Mugerwa linked us up after telling us that it was the right age and time to get a companion.
Regina: I was 26, we met in 1986 at Kabowa Redeemed Church. He used to sit at the back and I used to sit in front. We were not in touch until our pastors connected me to him.
Did she pass the test?
Emmanuel: Not at first sight, it took me a while to rethink prospective wife qualities. I had wanted to marry someone from a medical background. Little did I know that although Regina was not a nurse, she was the woman of my life.
What attracted you to each other?
Emmanuel: Regina is beautiful and God-fearing.
Regina: Emmanuel looked mature, handsome and hardworking.
What other criteria did you follow before committing?
Emmanuel: I was advised by my pastor to visit Regina’s aunt. I did so and when her aunt consented, I had to prepare for the introduction on September 30, 1987. We then wedded on December 19.
Today, many couples live together before wedding. What was your case like?
Emmanuel: That was not allowed. Regina stayed at her parents’ home until our wedding. We unveiled each other on our wedding night. This is unlike today where boys and girls have sex even before knowing each other’s background.
Where did the wedding take place?
Emmanuel: St Paul’s Cathedral, Namirembe by late Bishop Bujjimbi. We later hosted our guests at Pope Paul Memorial Centre in Ndeeba.
What was organising your wedding like?
Emmanuel: I think we were lucky because most of things were done by the church, friends and family. I only injected Shs10,000. It was a sole responsibility of the venue owner to decorate it for a given reception. We hired Pope Paul Memorial Hall at Shs120,000 and the management had to decorate and provide furniture.
Brides tend to fuss over colours, was it like that on your day?
Reginah: Yes, I cared and ensured that they put a feminine touch to it. I asked for light pink
And your attire?
Emmanuel: The best man and I used dark blue suits that cost Sh30,000 each. We ordered them from UK.
How did you choose your gown ?
Regina: I looked for a simple white gown with long lacy sleeves but without a trail. Also, my father’s friend offered to buy my pink changing dress, the pair of shoes and the hat from Susie Fashions.
What were your salon choices?
Regina: I had wet-look which was a trending style then. I applied such light make-up that one could hardly notice. I never wanted to lose my naturalness.
How much did the wedding cost?
Emmanuel: About Shs200,000. I only injected Shs10,000. The rest was catered for by our families, friends and the church.
What was the most exciting moment on your day?
Emmanuel: The time I took the vows. They were 20 couples on that day but Regina and I were chosen to lead, the rest were repeating after us.
Regina: We were smart. I was contented when we finished taking the vows, I knew the day had been crowned. I did not care whether people took soda, for I had achieved it all. Also, seeing almost all my relatives around.
What was unusual about that day?
Emmanuel: Unlike grooms today who take a week off to the D-day, to prepare themselves, mine was different. I first went to work then proceeded to the salon. I was driving with the bestman so I had no worries.
Did you have any fears?
Emmanuel: I was worried that my ex-girlfriend who had planned to disorganise the function would turn up. I was unsettled because I did not know at what stage she would appear. Thank God everything went well.
Regina: I was uncertain of what was going to happen after the wedding since it was my first time to closely be with this person and the other people I was set to meet.
Any disappointment on the D-day?
Emmanuel: Power went off just when we about to cut cake. There was a generator but the management had not bought fuel. So, they provided candles and its under candle light that we cut our cake.
Regina: No sooner had I changed into another dress than the power went off. It felt like I had wasted my effort in choosing the changing dress.
What scared you during the preparations ?
Emmanuel: A rumour spread a week to the wedding that someone very close was planning to kidnap me so as to stop me from getting married to Regina. This was because they wanted me to wed somebody else. So, this “good person” only warned me to be careful and mindful of my movements.
How long did it take you to prepare for the wedding?
Emmanuel: Three months but the person who was responsible for the suits bought a different type. But we were able to send for others from the UK. I realised in the same week that the cars were not also cleared. This disorganised me a bit.
What was the most challenging during the preparations?
Regina: Moving from one home to the another as I had to bid elders farewell. Parents said it was a source of blessings and I asked my sister to accompany me.
Did you go for premarital counselling?
Emmanuel: Yes, there are about four things. My father cautioned me to marry or have one woman that I love and trust. The Bishop also advised me to celebrate my wedding anniversary annually because it is a very important day in our lives. He also cautioned me to always move with my wife.
Also, to love and trust God to help us overcome tough times.
Regina: The bishop emphasised the issue of introducing Jesus Christ in our marriage. This has helped me overcome the hard times in the 30 years.
I was also told that the marriage has ups and downs and it all calls for patience and strength. No marriage can fail in the presence of our Lord.
Among the other things, I was told; to love him in all conditions, respect and forgive.
We need to balance everything. And as a woman, I need to be bright and creative.
Where did you go for honeymoon?
Regina: Lweza conference Centre for two weeks because it is a beautiful place. I got time to relax and enjoyed the meals.
Emmanuel: That was the night we first became intimate, it was so nice. I got time to relax and know my wife more.
How have you managed to keep the holy matrimony for 30 years?
Emmanuel: There has been a lot of forgiveness, openness, teamwork, and understanding each other’s weakness and strong points.
Apologising whenever we go wrong. It is not good to get angry because it can lead to separation. In case of anything, we have always found time to talk about issues and find solutions. We stick together in all situations. Once you get married, everything turns to be for both of you not for an individual and that is what happened in our marriage.
Regina: We have had trials in business and maybe sickness. But with God and togetherness, we have managed to overcome. Together, we agreed never to make problems or challenges ruin us. We keep the faith and still make ourselves happy amidst the hard times. We normally travel to different regions just to relax.
How different was your wedding from today’s?
Emmanuel: Things have changed, there are poppers, wine and champagne, and people change different gowns so many times, among others things.
Today, people serve buffets and cakes on each guest table. During our time, it was queen cakes, fried beef and soda. Others would even serve popcorns. With photos, it takes just a few hours for guests at the wedding to get the wedding pictures but then, would take about four months for a couple to get their wedding pictures.
Regina: Weddings are fancy time in memorial but the only difference has come with the hairstyles, fashions (gowns), suits and may be the artificial nails women wear nowadays.
How would you advise a person that is getting married soon?
Emmanuel: We always have a budget but always focus on the main items such as church because the wedding is about church. Take time to know your partner before committing.
Be clean, build a strong foundation for the relationship and open a joint account for saving.
Regina: Be unique, life is what you make it and you should know that marriage is a sacrifice. Be purposeful and love wholeheartedly, avoid rumours and be focused. Love your in-laws because they are part of your family.
What has been the leading destroyer of marriages today?
Emmanuel: Most men have not been faithful yet women put in a lot. This has left most women heartbroken. And still, men are so property-minded that they come to steal not to love.
Regina: The foundations on which marriages are laid are very weak. Many look at what the other party has not what they have to offer.
Given chance to re-wed, what would you change?
Emmanuel: I could focus on getting her a beautiful gown and having a buffet since we served little things last time.
Regina: I think I would make sure I have a video person because we missed that bit and also having a fuelled standby generator.
Groom: Emmanuel Nsubuga Musoke
Bride: Regina Nabawanuka
Church: St Paul’s Cathedral, Namirembe
Reception: Pope Paul Memorial Centre, Ndeeba
Honeymoon: Lweza Conference Centre
Cars: Mercedes Benzes
The Nsubagas were given an offer by friend to pick the best and expensive gold rings that they used on the wedding.