An open letter to Kenyan brides.

Let me start with a disclaimer. This post is written by a man. A man with a huge amount of experience in fashion, but a man nonetheless.

So I will not pretend to understand what it feels like to be a woman. I won’t try to act like the importance of the big day holds the same weight for men as it does for women. I’m told you ladies have been dreaming about your wedding day since you were teenagers. The only thing I was dreaming about as a teenager was losing my virginity. So we’re obviously different.

However, there are a few friendly suggestions I would like to make. The keyword here is friendly. Suggestions that I feel would improve the wedding experience for both you and everyone involved.

Now, if you agree with some of these suggestions, fantastic. Take them and improve your wedding. If you don’t, please go back to my first statement and re-read my disclaimer. I have to put a link to my website at the end of this post, and the last thing I need is a bunch of angry Godzilla brides hunting me down at my shop. We don’t do that here. Kenyans lost all flimsy reasons to hate each other after the handshake.

Let us proceed.

Please learn a little colour theory before picking your wedding colours.

Basic colour theory knowledge really helps. It helps you determine which colours will go together nicely. So what that does is, a group photo ends up looking very nice because of the way the colours rhyme. Let me show you with the aid of an example.

There are three neutral colours. Grey, white and black. Because they are neutral colours, every other colour matches well with those colours. Also, if you have a colour in mind, a good look more often than not is to simply to go with a different shade of the same colour for colour number 2.

Those picturesque looks have been created with very basic knowledge of colour theory. Very basic.

The problem is when y’all pick out your colours, you think, “What’s my favourite colour? Pink. What’s my second favourite colour? Green. Let’s go with pink and green!” Then you end up with the type of disasters I can’t showcase here for fear of being sued. And while we’re on the topic of colour.

Why so complicated?

Picture this. You come up with a fancy colour and let the committee and bridal party know. Ballet slipper pink with a hint of Shamrock green. Yes, those are real colours. I did not come up with any of them out of thin air. It sounded like I did though, right? I had you looking at your screen all puzzled for a few seconds there. Welcome to our world.

Anyway, some poor soul is tasked with shopping around for the colour scheme. She finds it. Then takes a picture and sends it on WhatsApp. It looks different. Of course, it does. There’s a reason why online selling of clothing has never taken off. Things look different in a picture than they do in real life. Ask the millions of men and women who have attempted dating through Tinder.

But we can’t go back and use your description to clarify the actual colour because, in an attempt to sound and look sophisticated, you ended up not being clear. I’m not saying you shouldn’t use complicated-sounding colours. All I’m saying is that you should try to keep it as simple as humanly possible. Chocolate brown is fancy-sounding yet still simple. We’ve all eaten chocolate and can therefore picture it. Tawny brown with a hint of cedar is just you looking for a fight somewhere down the road. And speaking of looking for a fight.

Why do that to them?

Your bridesmaids love you. They’re there for you. Your ride or die sisters. So why reciprocate that by forcing them to wear those cheap shiny things that they will throw away 5 seconds after the wedding? Again for fear of my safety I would never showcase examples here. But you all know exactly what I’m referring to. I get it. It’s the tradition. It’s the way things have always been done. However, this is 2020 for goodness sake. You can have them looking very good in dresses that they can wear long after the wedding. Get creative. It’s your wedding. Your personality. Why limit it to copying what everyone else is doing?

And by the way, a bunch of them are single. Please help them look stunning and beautiful for all the quality single men in attendance. We like it when they look hot and classy. You’re not helping their cause by covering their gorgeous bodies in a horrible cheap fabric and super common style simply because you saw some resembling picture online.

And lastly.

You’re the host, not the guest. Know the difference.

Picture this. It’s a Sunday. You and your man take the kids out to the amusement park as you sit down and whisper romantic things into each other’s ears. You pay for the kids to play with the swings and you keep a close eye on them from afar. What you do not do is force them to sit down with you and talk. Why? Because it’s very apparent that even though you are in charge, what’s important to you is not what is important to them. Even though you are all sharing the same experience, at the same time, within the same venue.

A wedding is exactly like that. It’s a party and you are the organizer and host. What’s important to us as the guests are the food, music and that we dance and have fun. So if you want people reliving that day in their minds, ensure you invest in quality catering, good music (DJ/band) and an MC who will guide us and help us have fun. I always find it funny when a bride skips the MC and overspends on the décor. We don’t remember the décor in that instance. We just sit around bored waiting for that wedding to end so that we can go home and watch Netflix.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t spend money on décor. Please always ensure the place looks as grand and as pretty as possible. The beauty of the event will put everyone in a positive state and help them enjoy themselves more. What I am saying is that you shouldn’t skimp on what’s important to your guests and expect positive reviews. I’ll reiterate. It’s a party. You’re the host. If you truly didn’t care about the enjoyment of your guests, you’d be getting married at the AG’s office.

Article by Peter Okatch. King Maker at King Sidney.