Nairobi News

LifeWhat's Hot

Love has a hefty price tag

Weddings. They are no longer the simple ceremonies that served stale rice we used to know.

They have become a show of status quo and statement makers. They are the epitome of extravagance, sophistication and class. They are now themed, controlled and personalised.

Couples not only want to get hitched, but also want to outdo their friends when it comes to weddings. It gets classier, more sophisticated and more complicated with every wedding you attend these days.


Some like it African, others vintage, others want it Victorian, and others want it hip and urban.

Weddings are no longer done in churches today; they are done in gardens, in some out-of-town hideout where only a few people are invited. Some are held in exclusive golf and country clubs, and others on beaches.

The wedding dresses are no longer ‘inherited’ from older sisters or made by the local tailor or bought from the boutique.

They are searched online, and the bride-to-be accompanied by her best maid, hop onto a plane to Paris or London to fit and buy the dress.

We no longer borrow friends’ cars for the day to ferry the bride and the bridal party. Not anymore. Horses and carriages are there for that. Limousines that serve champagne and vintage cars are at our beck and call.

Some go as far as hiring choppers, and one audacious groom hired an entire train to ferry his bride and her maids. It’s that competitive.

Most importantly, weddings are no longer done on a shoe-string budget from the little money friends and family collected. They are now costing as much as a quarter-acre piece of land in Kitengela.

Some wedding budgets can buy you a two bedroom house in the city.

In turn, what was once a small favour in helping out a friend plan a wedding has become a business venture.

Enter the service providers to tap into this market. Florists, wedding planners, caterers, car owners, the list is endless. But exactly how did we get here?

Susan Maina, a wedding planner with Infinite Planners says that today more than ever people are incorporating their coordination of colours and themes using high end décor items and lighting and are very particular about the details.

“It is not about just attending an event; couples want to create an experience. The media has also played a significant role in opening couples minds as to what they can have that is out there,” says Susan.

As a result, service providers have upped their game and taken their services a notch higher to meet these global standards that couples are exposed to.

Understandably, the prices of these services have gone up, and the beauty of this, is that couples actually don’t mind writing huge cheques for these services.

“We have experienced weddings where we have supplied figurine fountains and champagne fountains to meet their unique needs,” she says.

Couples today have their finger on the pulse as far as what’s trending in weddings worldwide and know exactly what they want and where to get it. For instance, lilacs, lavender, purple, tangerine, fuchsia and silver are in season.

High end wedding accessories are also on great demand, to the pleasure of service providers.  From bird cages, chandeliers, candelabras, high couture linen, unique vases, lanterns, figurine fountains, champagne fountains, and crystal décor pieces, you can find just about anything that tickles your fancy.

Even chairs today play an integral role in adding oomph … and don’t even get us started on the cost of hiring limousines.