The best wedding big money can buy
Posted Thursday, August 16 2012 at 12:12
- The demand for breathtaking wedding experiences has transformed what has traditionally been a solemn moment of exchanging vows into a big services industry where the outer expenditure limits run into millions of shillings.
- Helicopters, chariots and stretch limousines have become favourite wedding tools for the deep-pocketed.
- Booking of vehicles is done months in advance during peak wedding season between mid-November and December.
- A limousine stretch-Cadillac, Range Rover, Chrysler, Mercedes will cost between Sh15,000 and Sh50,000 per hour.
- To hire a luxury vehicle –BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Prado, Range Rover costs between Sh20,000 and Sh50,000 for a day.
- To hire a vintage or old-school car costs between Sh40,000 and Sh50,000 for five hours.
- A horse and carriage cost between Sh130,000 and Sh150,000 for five hour.
- A helicopter costs between Sh150,000 and Sh200,000 per hour.
Edwina Ondiko-Misati cut the image of the perfect bride when the big day arrived. She stepped down at the doorsteps of the church to tie the nuptial knots in a style that still feels like a dream years after it happened.
Edwina had shocked and awed relatives and friends when she stepped out of a stretch Chrysler limousine to meet her groom.
Save for the actual exchange of vows, arriving at the church in style marked the high point for Edwina in a day she describes as most memorable in her life.
“I could not believe it when I saw the limo and the red carpet with the chauffeur in a hat holding out his gloved hand saying ‘this way my lady’, I thought I was dreaming” Edwina says of the moment she left her parent’s home as a maiden for the last time. “I started screaming when I got inside.”
The bride arrived fashionably late for her wedding as friends and family spent nearly an hour fussing over the unique car that had been hired to ferry her to church.
Edwina’s experience was just but an example of the extent Kenyan men with deep pockets are ready to go to please their brides and make their weddings memorable.
More recently, this segment of the Kenyan society has not shied away from making statements of wealth, status and style at their weddings.
A number have landed from the skies having picked the helicopter as their favourite mode of transport while others have picked the fairy tale option of arriving in a horse-drawn carriage.
Men who have used these services on their wedding day confess that it does not come cheap, but the one thing it does is tell the bride’s family and relatives that their daughter is getting married to a man of means.
And that is not all. The machines have proved to have the ability to instantly take the brides to blissful moments that some only recover from days after the wedding.
“I was the envy of my friends and the experience of just being in the limo cannot be described. I screamed loudly the moment I stepped inside,” says Edwina.
This demand for breathtaking wedding experiences has transformed what has traditionally been a solemn moment of exchanging vows into a big services industry where the outer expenditure limits run into millions of shillings.
“Ten years ago, people simply got cars from friends and family for their weddings. If you managed to get a Mercedes in the mix then yours was a high-end wedding,” says Hope Mwinzi of Raspberry Haven, a publisher.
But time has passed and now a Mercedes Benz pales in comparison to the helicopters, chariots and stretch limousines that have become favourite wedding tools for the deep-pocketed.
People still borrow top of the range cars such as Mercedes E–class, Range Rovers and Toyota Land Cruiser for weddings but the really liquid crowd have moved on to occupy an exclusive space, says Ms Mwinzi.