What you need to know:
On Saturday January 21, 2023, The Uganda Police band stood outside St Francis Chapel Makerere by 10 am. At the signal of the Parade commander, band sound filled the place, a cue for their comrade, 32-year-old Allan Atwiine to start his slow descent to the aisle.
Allan was nervous as he entered the Chapel where he would exchange wows with his bride Patricia Katamba, 27 from Kazo.
“As a trained officer, I kept matching gently and smiling at my people despite the nerves,” he reveals citing other anxious moments ahead, especially when it came to taking the oath of marriage, “because of the strong words Bishop Onesmus Asiimwe was using and his emphasis.”
Allan prefers to be described as a Christian police officer. He hails from Rukungiri District and had always desired to have a hardworking, loving and beautiful Christian wife, qualities he found in his bride, Patricia.
“On top of that, she is social and friendly to all people regardless of status. I love her dark skin colour too,” he reveals.
After taking their oaths, the Bishop preached, blessed the couple and handed them their marriage certificate.
“People stood up waving at us. I had attended many weddings before, but I had never seen such a big congregation witnessing a couple walking down the aisle. My heart was so grateful and thankful to the Almighty."
The couple had their photography inside Makerere University before heading for their reception at Akamwesi Mall gardens in a convoy that many only get to watch on the television.
“It was a convoy of more than a hundred cars and upon reaching at the venue, we were greeted by large numbers of people.
The parade commander organised sword bearers for the match, the command was sent and the police band started playing. We began matching from the garden entrance passing through the swords (guard of honor) amidst the jolly noise of guests in the distant tent,” describes the groom.
The Asiimwe’s had planned for over 800 guests, and the usual “Ugandan Time” problem was not witnessed at their function. By 2:30 pm, the tent of 800 people was almost full to capacity.
The reception program started immediately with a prayer from Rev Moses Agaba, a close and long-time friend of the groom since Primary school. Later on, people were served with lots of dishes.
“Because I have friends from different regions, our food catered for many cultures; we had Ishabwe from Western Uganda, Amalewa from Eastern Uganda, the usual food from Buganda and even seafood including shrimps.”
The food budget for the ceremony was Shs18m.
All guests were served including all service providers. “We prepared food in excess; including cocktail juice, beers and assorted drinks of all kinds,” he narrates.
The drinks at the function were budgeted for at Shs5m.
One of the highlights of any great function is the music, and the Asiimwe’s had that in check,
“The sounds from live band, jazz music and police band spiced up the sweetness of the party. People danced til late. In my life, I had never seen a party in Kampala where people are asked to go home by the service providers because it is getting too late until mine.”
Live band cost the couple Shs2m. It came as a package with the Public Address System service provider. The saxophonist cost Shs500,000 and the police band, Shs1m.
Planning for the wedding
All this success required a lot of planning, and Allan shares his process,
“After fulfilling my traditional obligations, the next step was to sit and think about a group of brilliant young friends who could run the party and make it successful. I looked for the first core five people to form the top organising committee including the chairman, treasurer, secretary, publicity, and chief advisor. Then I had to sit with the committee to draft the budget while prioritising the vital services like food.”
“Afterwards, we had to start resource mobilisation from my friends and family which started with a mega wedding meeting launch at Kati Kati Restaurant Lugogo. We collected 90% of our set goal of covering food at a cost of Shs18m and that was the only meeting we conducted physically. We kept reaching out to people online and they responded positively by hugely supporting the cause. We then started identifying service providers and making bookings and we successfully got the perfect ones and through negotiations, we got cheaper services. In total, we spent about Shs60m on the wedding and it all came from my friends and a few relatives,” he adds.
About the groom and his entourage’s police outfits, Allan shares,
“Since it was a police function, I contacted police garment factory through the Director of Logistics. I was provided everything concerning wedding suits and parade accessories including swords.”
The main challenge Allan faced during the organizing of the function was getting time for mobilization, since he was balancing his Master’s degree studies and hectic work since he works with a very busy unit in the Uganda Police Force; with having to do the wedding planning tasks. He is glad that it all worked out well.
After the wedding day, the couple rested, and on January 23 2023 set off for their honey-moon in Fort portal and Kasese. They spent five days at Lake Munyanyange Lodges doing road trips, game drives, boat cruises, mountain climbing, and many other activities.
Allan is enjoying marriage and says he even regrets why he delayed. He has some advice for those planning weddings.
“Please make as many friends as you can because friends give genuinely with one heart. Also, involve yourselves in people’s functions to borrow a leaf, for example, mistakes were minimal at my function because of involving myself in different friends’ previous weddings. I knew some service providers who give poor quality services, and those who charge exorbitant prices, so I could not hire them.”