By Esther Namirimu
Traditionally, a groom was expected to fund his wedding budget, in addition to buying a host of gifts and the bride price that he took to his in-laws during the introduction ceremony. But today, the trend seems to be changing.
Lately, however, there are instances where the bride’s family makes significant contribution towards the marriage ceremony.
Sometimes, they do so because they think the groom may have a difficult time organising a ceremony that befits their standard.
Some grooms may accept the offer because they think they will seem disrespectful if they turn it down. Others take it as a blessing to marry from a wealthy family.
Byekwaso (not real name), comes from a humble background. He fell in love with Asiimwe, a daughter of a wealthy man.
Although Byekwaso is a graduate, he did not have enough money to organise an upscale wedding ceremony that would be attended by the cream of society.
His in-laws funded both the traditional marriage and wedding ceremony.
Byekwaso was convinced that his in-laws wanted to give their daughter her dream wedding.
He only bought a few gifts for Asiimwe’s family.
The couple had a colourful wedding and later travelled abroad for their honeymoon.
What experts say
Jean Nuwagaba, a psychologist at Care Counselling Centre, Ntinda
Before the groom accepts full sponsorship from his in-laws, he should discuss the matter with his fiancé to determine what he can afford. People need to be themselves; be open with one another. The bride should give the groom a chance to share his feelings about the issue.
There is need for self-acceptance by the groom. Although you are marrying a woman from a wealthy family, you need to realise that even after the wedding, you will remain ‘you’.
Marriage is a cultural event. Everything that takes place during the preparation and ceremony has a meaning. When you do things in a different way, it means you are tampering with the original concept.
You need to ask yourself the values you are looking for. Is it love or money? If it is money, then you are starting your marriage on a weak foundation.
What if your in-laws think that since you are a poor man, you are not fit to produce their grandchildren? They may encourage their daughter to look for a hardworking man and, then use you as a father figure or a puppet their daughter loves.
Anne Asiimwe, a psychologist at Care Counselling Centre, Ntinda
Do not be surprised if your in-laws start planning your family for you. Your wife may start seeking advice from her parents about your family challenges. Imagine you want to have another child and she consults her parents about it.
By accepting sponsorship from your in-laws, it means there is lack of acceptance. They are just dressing you up for the wedding show. You are avoiding your responsibility and handing it over to your in-laws.
If parents sponsor their children’s ceremony, they should not continue interfering in the marriage.
To some extent, accepting sponsorship from her parents may be a sign of immaturity. It may show that you are ready to marry, but you do not want to be responsible.
On the other hand, accepting sponsorship from the woman’s family also has some advantages, for example, you get a stress-free wedding. You do not have to give your friends and relatives a difficult time making contributions for you.
In case the groom refuses any sponsorship from his in-laws, he should do so carefully, because this decision may affect his relationship with the family.