When and how did you meet?
Coopy Bly: We met early in 2013. Anne Marie was working with a youth programme in Wairaka community in Jinja and I was doing my university internship at the same organisation.
Anne, what was your first impression of Coopy?
Anne Marie: I thought he was handsome, and way too cool for me. But, after we started speaking I found him very intelligent, well-spoken and easy to get along with. It was a good first impression.
What eventually attracted you to each other to decide to enter a committed relationship?
Coopy Bly: First of all she is very beautiful - the physical attraction was steady, and the more I got to know her, her personality was even better. She had Christian and family values similar to mine which attracted her to me even more.
Anne Marie: We had many similar interests. We had similar big dreams for the future of what we wanted to achieve, in particular working with youth and under privileged communities in Uganda. The attraction was also strong on an intellectual level and also we had a strong physician attraction to each other. I guess we ticked all the boxes for each other.
What memories do you have of your dating phase?
Coopy Bly: When we first met, she knew the community in Jinja more than I- you would think I was the foreigner not her. I also tried to hide the Coopy Bly side of me from her for a while, I wanted her to get to know Emma but with videos playing on TV, it was hard to hide for so long.
Anne-Marie: I think a lot of my memories relate to the first few years of our relationship, while I was still studying at university in Australia and we had a long distance set up. I remember many late night phone calls, all-day WhatsApp messaging and exchanging pictures and videos of life, just to keep each other updated. It was always special when we met in Australia, Uganda or any other country. The long distance made us appreciate each other more and not take any time together for granted.
When did you take a decision to get married?
Anne-Marie: We had been dating for around two and a half years by the time Emma proposed to me. We had become such an important part of each other’s lives and I could not imagine doing life without him.
Coopy Bly: After dating for a while, I realised she had all the qualities I had always wanted in a wife. And for the short time we dated, I already felt like I had become a better version of myself with Anne-Marie in my life. So, I had to ‘lock’ her in.
When was your wedding?
Coopy Bly: On November 26, 2016 at Watoto Church and our reception at Nican Resort on Entebbe Road.
What informed your decision to host your guests at Nican Resort?
Coopy Bly: We had visited the place before and liked the ambience. By the time of our wedding it had only recently opened, so it was a new and fresh venue. We wanted a marquee reception with good gardens and we were really happy with the services they were offering.
How many guests did you invite?
Coopy Bly: We invited about 400 people but as you know with Uganda weddings. It is always hard to tell the exact number.
How much where you charged for the venue?
Coopy Bly: Off head, I remember we paid about Shs15m for both food and venue.
Did you get value for your money?
Coopy Bly: Yes, we were satisfied.
What does each of you remember about the wedding day?
Coopy Bly: My most memorable part was the reception. We had lots of fun with artistes performing and lots of dancing. It was more like a party than a wedding. I cannot forget the wedding night.
Anne Marie: My favourite part was the ceremony. It was such a special moment shared with our closest loved ones. It was so sweet to see my husband shed some tears.
How did you choose the decoration service provider?
Anne Marie: Diana Habasa of Dream House Events because we had seen her classy and elegant work before.
What was your theme colour?
Coopy Bly: Gold and blush because my wife likes it.
What rings did you exchange?
Coopy Bly: Mine is silver and Anne Marie has white gold.
Why different colours?
Coopy Bly: White gold looks the same as silver, so they both resemble.
Coopy, what did you wear on your wedding day?
Coopy Bly: I wore a navy blue suit and maroon bow tie.
Who was your best man and how easy or hard was it for you choosing him?
Coopy Bly: Shadrack Kuteesa, I love the way he handles his married life and he has been a great support to me.
How did you raise funds for your wedding?
Coopy Bly: We had personal savings, but also friends and family contributed.
Did you call for wedding meetings?
Coopy Bly: We had a wedding launch, but wedding meetings were mainly held by family.
Did you face any challenges during your wedding preparations?
Coopy Bly: Nothing major, just the usual last minute rush to ensure everything was ready on time.
Where did you go for honeymoon?
Coopy Bly: We spent a few nights at Serena Kigo, but did not leave for honeymoon right away because we were hosting many visitors. We later went to South Africa for a belated honeymoon.
What was honeymoon like?
Coopy Bly: It was a lovely and exciting. We had always wanted to go to a place that neither of us had been to before.
Anne Marie: I loved exploring a new city with Emma and spending time away together.
What things do you enjoy doing together as a couple?
Coopy Bly: We love travelling, camping, relaxing and watching movies together
What would you say has made your marriage work?
Coopy Bly: Love is important, but I also thank God that we have a great support system, both of our families, friends and church community. We also had valuable premarital counselling which prepared us for what was to come.
Anne Marie: It is amazing being married to your best friend. I think the strong friendship before marriage was important. We both respect each other, are always there to support one another, and I think we make a good team.
How relevant was premarital counselling?
Coopy Bly: It gave us a realistic picture of what marriage was like, rather than going by its face value.
Anne Marie: It covered a wide range of different topics on many different issues. It also pointed out different challenges that might occur in marriage and highlighted ways to overcome them.
What items took the bigger chunk of your budget?
Coopy Bly: The venue, food and decorations.
Who handled your transport?
Coopy Bly: One of my fans who runs Adonai Group Uganda provided us with Range Rovers and Mercedes Benz for my bridal party at affordable prices.
How much did you spend on the suits, accessories and shoes?
Coopy Bly: The suit cost me Shs1.2m, Shs300,000 on accessories and Shs350, 000 on shoes.
What is your advice on wedding preparation?
Coopy Bly: Plan within your means, and think outside the box and be creative. Plan the wedding that will be memorable for you and your wife, not for your guests.
What advice would you share on handling wedding budgets?
Coopy Bly: A couple saves at least three quarters of their wedding budget before they start planning to invite in contributions, if they want to have a stress free wedding.
What plans do you have as a couple?
Coopy Bly: Plans for future by continuing to grow and expand on the projects that we run through the organisation that we founded together (Yimba Uganda)
Anne Marie: We plan to continue to grow our family and simply just enjoy life with one another, creating special memories.