According to a survey done by Samantha Bridal’s in 2018, the average cost of doing a wedding in Kenya is about Sh3.4 million.
However, most couples try to work with a budget of Sh1,400,900.
Yet the salary of Kenyans averages around Sh53,733, according to an Economic Survey done by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics in 2016.
This, therefore, means that most weddings are way above Kenyans’ income.
Hence, it is not new to see a couple taking loans or holding fundraisers to bridge the financial gap.
The burden is heavier on the men since they are expected to pay dowry and they still have to carry the burden of the wedding. Therefore, most end up taking loans.
According to a resident of Taita Taveta, Anne Chao, most people take loans because of the pressure to do a big wedding.
“Pressure from either their partner, parents or friends makes people go and take loans. Afterwards, it becomes problematic for the couple yet that’s when they are supposed to pay that loan,” Ms Chao told Citizen TV.
Others push the burden to family and friends, who finance their high wedding budget through committees and pre-weddings.
That is why churches have resorted to doing mass weddings so as to cut the high budgets. The move has also helped many couples who would have otherwise shied away from getting married in church.
Jonnathan Malusi and Mercy Ngugi are one such couple. The two decided to formalize their union in a mass wedding after staying together for many years (come-we-stay). The mass wedding, which consisted of 13 couples, was way cheaper as each couple paid a minimum of Sh5,000.
All couples had one wedding ceremony and reception thus reducing the cost. However, those who wanted a separate reception made arrangements at their own cost.
“For our friends, it was an issue but at the end of the day, what is important is going to church and being prayed for by your pastor for your union to be blessed,” Mr Malusi, who was a beneficiary of the mass wedding, told Citizen TV.