In this beautiful article, we explore the best Ugandan weddings of 2021 in a detailed fashion. And just so we are set the stage right, we are not discussing the best decorators or best wedding vendors but rather the individual couples; couples who put up a show and kept us gape-mouthed.
Obviously, throughout this post, we credit these awesome vendors that gave their clients a run for their money. But that’s not all there is to this article; we also discuss what makes each wedding tick.
So what makes a fancy Ugandan wedding
Uganda is known for everything fancy and over-the-top – and weddings are not an exception. Obviously, we are not at the same level as the Lebanese but you get why; we are just a developing country with a struggling economy. However, as a people, Ugandans are joyful people who enjoy having a good celebration with their families and friends. I guess it’s one of the reasons Uganda was named “The Pearl of Africa” by the earlier explorers.
In fact, a few years ago, the international news broadcaster, BBC, aired a documentary that showcased the extravagance of Ugandan weddings even in the middle of a struggling economic climate. In that documentary, they discuss how couples go to extreme ends to acquire bank loans to have a competitive wedding. We also wrote about the same here.
A few weeks before writing this article, I was having a Twitter discussion with a Kenyan tweep who suggested that the cost of a Ugandan wedding is simply exaggerated. I tried to explain to her that the hefty prices come with deliverables but obviously, she wasn’t having it.
But I should be clear here; just because some people are struggling financially doesn’t mean every Ugandan is. Some have generational wealth and others have well-paying jobs. So we are not in the “same boat.”
So yeah, Ugandans can afford fancy expensive lavish weddings, and when they do them, they go really big.
A fancy Ugandan wedding is a combination of many elements. I won’t go through the details but rather, I’ll give a summary that should be easy to understand. A fancy and lavish wedding should have mouth-gaping decor; be well organized; create a good atmosphere and experience for both the guests and the couple while showcasing the couple’s personality; and other elements like good food, sufficient drinks, music, and other elements.
Now that the intro is out of the way, let’s delve right into it.
Here are the best 15 Ugandan weddings of 2021
Lazy to read the entire post, here is the video;
15. Isaac and Doreen
The grey, white, and greenery-themed wedding of Isaac and Doreen is food for the eyes. Designed by iCandy and captured by Dynamic wedding photography, this elegant wedding reception was held in a skyline tent that created a stunning scene.
What we like;
- The couple looked stunning with the groom in that three-piece black and white tuxedo. The bride also looked flawless in that fitting trumpet gown
- We love the bride’s bouquet. The various roses in various shades of pink make it stand out against all the other colors and draw attention to it. Exactly how the bridal bouquet should look.
- Grey and white is a unique but beautiful palette.
- We adore that grey backdrop and the grey dance floor
- The grey color water paintbrush style applied to the tables in grey color. It’s the same on the backdrop and dancing floor
- Draping the skyline tent makes the greenery pop even much more.
What we dislike
- The chairs. Those chameleon chairs are definitely firm and strong compared to the usual Chiavari types but the wooden cross-back chairs or clear (acrylic) ones could’ve looked much better for this theme.
14. Fabrice and Mary
Thanks to Makula Pictures, we get to have a glimpse of this joyful couple’s love story. And it’s not just the couple that will light up your heart, it’s their guests too. Their love for celebration, music, and dance makes this wedding one of my favorite weddings to watch.
What we like
- The backdrop is wide and fairly good
- Fashion. We love his two-piece tuxedo. That boutonniere was nice and it matched the bridal bouquet.
- The bridal entourage was smartly dressed and they did their job; kept guests on their toes.
- We all know Congelese for being joyful people who love to dress smartly, dance, and have a good time. That and more is what Fabrice and Mary’s wedding was about. Exactly what the celebration of love should feel and look like.
What we dislike
- What’s there to dislike? A good wedding is about creating a good experience for the couple and their guests. Fabrice and Mary danced, smiled, and so did their guests.
13. George and Lilian
George is an example of an alpha male; confident, calm, and collected. I like the fact that he acknowledges that his character is different from that of his wife. But what’s more interesting is that he embraces that and sees it as an advantage rather than a disadvantage.
What we like
- Three-piece black and white tuxedo, black buttons on the shirt and white ones on the jacket, that detailed boutonniere with some greenery and gold accents; definitely, someone did their job when it came to the groom’s fashion. And while we are at it, Lilian’s gown is definitely “goals”.
- We also love the entire concept; the long well placed green carpets, the chair back details, the lilac in the florals, the draped skyline tent. It’s a beautiful concept for an outdoor event. In a skyline tent. At a venue like Serena Kigo.
- The seats and tables were spaciously placed giving guests, the service teams, and everyone else enough room to comfortably move about. This is always a bonus.
What we dislike
- Maybe it’s just me but, that checkered floor design doesn’t cut it. Especially when you combine it with green.
12. Benjamin and Julia
This wedding stands out basically because of two things – well, more but from a design perspective; the depth illusion of the backdrop and the ceiling installation. It also how beautifully, the colors blended.
What we liked;
- The adorable and untidy ceiling decor. I know for a fact that a lot of event designers would have clattered that ceiling but iCandy just left it at that. Kudos guys!
- The way the backdrop behind patterns created that depth illusion. It is obvious they used a 3D printed design but it wouldn’t have looked that amazing without the foreground acrylic glass attached to the metallic gateways. Additionally, the backdrop covers the entire width of the hall which is a bonus. Plus, hanging that custom ceiling requires expertise, extra effort, and a lot of money.
- This theme is right for an indoor reception.
- The photo and video editor, Timeless weddingz, does a fine job polishing the video with that golden effect that makes this theme have some sort of a golden sunset feel.
- Proper spacing
- We love the furniture; those boxed-bottom glass tables combined with gold chrome chairs give this function an elegant, edgy, and lavish look and feel. Even the table linen is not the usual cheap-looking linen.
What we dislike
- The tablescape could’ve been improved but may that’s what the budget could afford.
- This is obviously not the decorators doing since hotels do not allow lit candles indoors. In fact, those rooms are fitted with fire detectors. So the moment you light a single candle and they detect fire or smoke, it’s shower time. But this would’ve looked much cuter if those candles were actually lighting inside those candelabras. And please don’t dare think of those Chinese plastic candles; they are ugly and would ruin such a function by making it look cheap. On a side note though, Ugandan hotels need to figure out a way to let decorators use real candles. Revise your insurance contracts to let them understand that candles have to part of wedding decor.
11. Nadim and Hala
Nadim and Hala’s wedding gets me gasping for breath every time because it is simply breathtaking. It might be the 11th best Ugandan wedding but personally, it is my favorite on this list. iCandy definitely had me locked when they executed this concept. Nudes and greenery had never looked this dazzling until we saw Nadim and Hala’s wedding. But I know I’m not the only one feeling this way. If you don’t believe me, see my reasons below;
What we love;
- Where in the world have you seen a combination of green and nude shades? Ok, maybe you have, but was it this well-executed? I bet, no!
- Running that greenery along the tent’s ceiling rails was such a perfect idea. It’s like a meticulously grown landscape was cut from the ground and hung up. I doubt what I’m writing paints the actual picture but…yeah.
- I’d be a traitor to myself if I left this article without talking about that center mirror chandelier. And how they surrounded it with a ring of flowers and greenery at the base and nude endings at the end.
- That backdrop looks like a tropical paradise; so green, deep, and wide enough to cover the entire width of the tent.
- The tablescape is well executed with long flower arches and shorter flower centerpieces that seem to bear fresh roses.
- I like how every detail here has a touch of the entire concept; the chairs are oval and so is the dance floor; most tables are also oval and so are the ceiling installations.
- I’m not certain if the choice to not board the entire flow was intentional or budget influenced. Whatever it was, it was such an amazing choice. That green ground corresponded beautifully with the greenery in the ceiling.
- Lastly, I like the bride’s elegant gown. It’s actually interesting to see a bride who ditches the old age tradition of bulky dresses and chooses an elegant dress that flatters her body. Kudos Hala. You’d do well as a bridal wear consultant. That said, the groom’s choice for a suit instead of a tuxedo is questionable but again, I get a feeling that it was an informed decision, and he has a right to it. It could be that the couple wanted a minimalistic style.
What we don’t like;
- If they had added a lot more natural candles, they would’ve created a heavenly feeling when the sun went down, especially considering this was more of an intimate wedding with a small number. Natural candlelight is also such a great idea if you are outdoor in a skyline tent. Not only do they give a great finishing touch but also create a romantic ambiance and a warm glow in the late evening hours.
- More elegant glassware would have made the tablescape more eye inviting. However, I see only water glasses.
10. John and Rose
John and Rose’s decorator did such a great job with the lilac and gold theme.
What we like;
- The proper use of color. Shades of lilac were properly used throughout the reception design.
- The ceiling was beautifully decorated. Those are thousands of flowers handing off the ceiling.
- Beautifully designed backdrop.
What we do not like;
The groom’s blue tuxedo. I’ll reserve my reasons because John looked confident and handsome.
9. Steve and Lynn
This wedding, designed by 1608 Niche Designs, should’ve been among the top 5 Ugandan weddings of 2021 but it ended up here because of certain reasons. But first,
Here’s what we like
- This young couple was smartly dressed. Especially the groom but that doesn’t mean the bride was any less. The bridal party was also dressed for the occasion.
- The concept was a good idea. But as I’ll mention in the other section, it was overly done. Too busy.
- This reception was designed indoors in a hall. It is easier to hang ceiling installations like chandeliers and floral placements in a tent because, by its nature, it provides support for them. However, it is the opposite when working in hotel halls or ballrooms as many Ugandan ballrooms are not built with such concepts in mind. So it’s commendable the decorator was able to pull off such ceiling decor.
- We love the white floor, the chrome chairs, and the glass tables. This is obviously an expensive setup as that furniture is highly-priced.
- We love tree-arch standing centerpieces and the level of detail on them.
- Good use of space. The tables are well placed a good distance from each other. This gives guests, waiters or waitresses, performers, and even the couple comfortable space to move around when they need to. Forget those cases where over ten people have to stand and move chairs for one person to excuse themselves.
What we dislike
- Like I said above, this was an expensive and elegant wedding but it looks so busy in there. It could be due to the fact that most hotel conference rooms have a low-lying ceiling and when you add trussing to hang the ceiling installations, the height gets much more reduced.
- I am not feeling the butterfly theme. That could be reserved for a baby or bridal shower but not the wedding. I like to think of a wedding as a much more formal event. That’s why men wear tuxedos (not even suits).
- A greenery theme is hard to pull off indoors. The decorator would have to do a lot of space transformation to pull it off. This also requires the client to pay a lot more. So I’m not feeling most of the greenery here. Especially the huge loud installations.
- That disco light was not a necessity. Those were for the 70s weddings. They can still work now but only in specific cases. For example; it could’ve been placed in a different hall for the Afterparty session. Or installed in the same hall for the Afterparty. But at a wedding, those bu disco lights are not cool. Especially considering Steve and Lynn are a young couple.
8. Mammun and Mellisa
This is the most stylish couple on the list of Uganda’s best weddings 2021; velvet tuxedos, Pinterest-ic gowns, fashion-forward guests. This wedding was literally dripping elegance.
What we like;
- Fashion, fashion, fashion
- Minimalistic but elegant decor
- The bride was walked to the aisle by both her parents. Isn’t that a lovely blessing!
- The skyline was a good idea that beautifully engulfs every other component. The heat issue could have been solved by hiring airconditioners.
- But are you guys equally crushing on the matron (maid) of honor? It’s her hairstyle and the general style for me. Watch the video and let me know.
What we dislike;
- I’m not feeling that backdrop.
- That’s a low-height skyline tent. The guests must have faced it rough. But hey, smartness has no weather.
7. Sulaiman and Warlda
Here is the thing, if you want a beautiful outdoor event, get a skyline tent (a taller one if it’s a hot season), book a beautifully landscaped garden with plenty of trees and green, and most importantly, give iCandy your decor money. But above all, hire yourself a wedding planner that can understand who you are, and what makes you tick.
What we adore about Sulaiman and Warlda’s wedding
- Scenery. This reception is engulfed by a variety of green tall old trees and a meticulously landscaped garden that’s surrounded by blooming flowers. Kampala Serena calls this small area “Mystic garden” and I’m guessing you are now getting a glimpse into this visionary’s mind.
- Now, the above mentioned attributes could easily work against your decor if you are not a strategic experienced event designer. However, with iCandy, we see the exact opposite. They did such an amazing job with the concept that it makes you wish this decor would reside there for good.
- Red and black have never looked this good. The pattern matching from the dance floor to the place cards, the rustic golden pedestal flower vases, and all those well-executed details. Red is a tricky color to work with so kudos to iCandy for pulling it off.
- And obviously, the central mirror chandelier seals the deal. They also added more crystal chandeliers and metallic ones systematically throughout the ceiling to create an amazing effect. Rather than adding draping, they left the ceiling just at that. Perfect choice.
- The bride’s gown is gorge!
- The bridal table floating chandelier comes to life with iridescent Edison bulbs hanging from the red florals. This makes the backdrop sexier.
- Most couples opt for the ordinary cutlery that comes with the venue but these guys went with ultra-modern cutlery.
- Gold accents are perfectly coordinated in the decor with table adlibs and golden chrome chairs.
6. Canary and Fiona a.k.a Sasha Furguson
Canary and Fiona a.k.a Sasha’s wedding was an eye-opener for many people: many Ugandans were seeing (some even attending them) these posh functions but very few people actually knew what these glamorous weddings cost until Canary and Sasha’s wedding budget leaked on social media. Most of the people who saw the budget were astonished that wedding decor and production (lighting and PA systems) could cost as much as UGX 100m+. Many definitely took to social media to share their “two cents” about the price of Ugandan weddings and the cost of walking down the aisle as a “big boy.”
However, when the day of the wedding reached, almost everyone seemed to agree that the price was justified.
What we like about Canary and Sasha’s wedding
- You can never go wrong with a combination of iCandy and Fenon events: you’ve just got to have deep pockets.
- Canary’s VVIP guest list comprised mostly the “Big boys.” You’ve got to give it to him for being such a young man whose associates include Uganda’s richest people and top government officials. Canary is definitely your usual 27-year-old man. This explains why he was able to create such an expensive wedding.
- We love the theme. Blue is such an awesome color when you paint it over a white canvas. Ever wonder why the official pen color is blue? Coupled with gold accents, iCandy created a concept we can’t get enough of.
- The ceiling decor was amazing: the crystal chandeliers against the blue patterns created a dazzling view.
- That backdrop was elevating. From a distance, it looked like the mesh was either glass or glass covered with a translucent cover. I like how wide it is and how uncluttered it is – only has a few flower runners and golden diamond aesthetic ornaments.
- I am a perfectionist and so my skin clinches every time I inspect a reception and see uncovered pieces of decor items like PVC or stickers. I like iCandy’s finished work because they ensure every part is neatly tucked and covered exactly as it should be.
- It rained the whole day until the final hour the function ended. However, Speke resort Munyonyo’s cleaning crew ensured the tent floor was always kept dry – maybe not that much but they sure tried and they deserve credit for that.
- The ushering team, Think Events, also did a commendable job; escorting every guest to the reception under umbrellas and ensuring no guest lacked a drink at any particular time.
- Sasha won on the fashion. Canary’s peach suit and entire style was on point but the first white and black tuxedo betrayed his sense of fashion.
- That monogram of the couple’s names on the backdrop was beautifully and elegantly done
What we disliked;
- This event had hired a lot of air conditioners which leads me to assume they anticipated a very hot day. They definitely added to the class and aesthetics of the function but they were an unnecessary cost. It is at this juncture that I advise anyone planning a function to carefully study weather forecasts prior to your function. True, sometimes the forecast can be wrong but that’s like 10% of the time.
5. Manzi and Mildred: The Dynamic Wedding Photography couple
The 5th best Ugandan wedding of 2021 is for the Dynamic photography dual. Set against humongous LED panel screens, Manzis’ event designer, 1608 Niche designs worked with a blue palette to bring this wedding to life.
What we like about the Dynamic wedding photography couple’s wedding
- Wide backdrop. Wide backdrops that complete the entirety of a tent or hall’s width create an illusion of an infinite bridal stage. And considering they used LED panels in the background, this adds to the elegance of this function.
- As much as they did the job, those chameleon chairs could have been exchanged for chrome or clear ones. But again, Canary’s wedding had over 500 guests: multiply that by UGX 25000 for each chrome chair, and the price goes through the roof.
- The ceiling decor is unique and beautiful. The black ceiling draping creates an illusion that makes it look like those ceiling installations are floating in space.
- Niche designs also went the extra mile with this concept by designing the side walls as well.
4. Ivan and Dinah
Prior to Ivan and Dinah’s wedding, I had seen a blueprint of their concept from a Russian event designer while browsing Instagram. All I could do was dream and hope that one day I would get a client who had a crazy vision of bringing it to life just like me. Unfortunately, I did not get to fulfill that dream but I am happy I got to see iCandy execute it with such perfectionism and grace.
What we like
- The concept. This wedding saw the introduction of ceiling decor hangings in Uganda that are made from print works and hung with trussing. Initially, decorators hung chandeliers, greenery, and other elements. This antique clock pattern is well executed and flows throughout the backdrop, floor, ceiling, and place cards.
- Color. When you have a white floor, it’s good to work with bold colors. This combination of a predominant navy blue and subtle peach illustrates just that. If you watch the video, you’ll realize they used much navy blue intentionally. It explains why they used banquetting tables (just to cover them with blue linen) instead of glass tables.
3. Andrew and Maxine
Andrew and Maxine’s wedding was done by iCandy in collaboration with Fenon events – who handled the production. The reception was help in the city center at Mestil hotel’s gardens.
What we like
- The general theme was blue, white and lilac was a good choice for such a huge event.
- That backdrop with the white tree-like structure set against LED panels created a mood of a winter season.
- We love the bridal platform set up with that European living room set up rather than that people are accustomed to.
- We love the ceiling decor
- The entrance decor was something else. All those glass shelves were filled with glass jars, candle vases, and all sorts of ornaments. You would reach the entrance and feel like you are glued there because it felt so nice walking through all those beautiful elements. The event designer definitely nailed the welcome experience: you would walk there and fill like you were entering a multi-million dollar wedding reception.
2. Hakim and Pibah
Set in a huge multiflex tent, Hakim and Pibah’s wedding concept was designed and executed by iCandy, produced by Fenon Events and planned by Biggie events.
What we like about Hakim and Pibah’s wedding
- Boarded white floor, ceiling greenery and floral installation coupled with crystal chandeliers, chrome chairs, wooden tables, and other outstanding elements. We also love the lounge set up for the parents’ sitting area.
- The LED screen panel backdrop
- The bridal sitting area. You have got to love how classy the bridal area looks; unique aesthetics at the bridal platform like the blue bedside table, the blue rugs, long floor lamps, love seat sofa, gold chrome coffee table, and more.
- Huge ceiling installations
- Couple’s style
What we dislike
- The LED screen backdrop was a good concept but it wasn’t properly executed; seeing the black edges of the screens at the top of the backdrop is not a pleasant sight.
1. Derrick and Viva
This wedding concept is a clear example of why Uganda creates the best weddings throughout East and Central Africa. Disagree? watch this video and show me any other wedding designed better than these weddings.
What we like
- 1608 Nichè Designs outdid themselves with this concept. And not on any particular element but in general. This was a stunning concept and it was expertly brought to life.
- The ceiling decor; We love how the ceiling installation concept. It is at Derrick and Viva’s wedding that we first see LED screen panels being used in the ceiling.
- The treillage-style backdrop gateway. Here is the thing, a wedding concept is as good as its bridal stage set up, and definitely, the biggest element there is the backdrop. As much as am a wedding planner, I occasionally design weddings myself. And so that gives me hands-on knowledge and experience in everything to do with events. As an event designer, I can tell you firsthand that this backdrop is not something 90% of our decorators can pull off but Niche Designs did an amazing job with it. And do you see how uncluttered it is?
- We love their choice of furniture. Those acrylic clear chairs look like they were made to naturally fit into this concept. The white floor is definitely a bonus.
- The tablescape; We love those black charger plates, place cards, and short flower arrangements (the longer ones are ugly because of their stands)
- The colors are perfectly matched; subtle greenery, accents of black on the table legs, place cards, etc, all against a white canvas. The lighting vendors, ATS events also did their magic with mood lighting.
What we dislike
- I honesty hate those long table centerpieces. It completely adulterates the entire beauty of this concept’s tablescape. I can’t even see what sort of flower arrangements are on there because my eyes are fixated on that ugly flower stand.