An African Wedding // Gulu, Uganda
Kacie and Tony met 6 years ago when she went to Uganda on a mission trip. That trip changed her life forever. She already had her dream job at Sea World training Shamu. (Seriously!) She felt God calling her to Uganda but had to get some things in order first. Within a couple years she quit her job at Sea World and began working full-time for Villages of Hope Africa where she served as executive director and led mission teams on trips to Gulu, Uganda.
Tony is the executive director of VOHA in Gulu. He spends his time connecting with the villages and finding water sources where wells can be dug. He also teaches at the pastors’ conferences, mentors village pastors, and plants churches. Because of this, Tony and Kacie worked closely for several years. Kacie’s sister said when people would ask about this Tony guy, Kacie always said, “He’s like my brother.”
After a few years, Kacie and Tony decided to date knowing they better be pretty serious before going public with their relationship. They prayed about it and shared the news with their families. They took things slowly but always had marriage on their minds.
Fast forward to October 7, 2017… the day they finally got hitched!
The wedding was the coolest mix of American and Ugandan traditions. Never having been to Africa, I didn’t know what to expect. The people were so welcoming and the ceremony was a celebration like none I’ve seen before! There was definitely a lot of compromise in the planning of this wedding. Typically, an Acholi bride is walked down the aisle by her matron of honor, but Kacie wanted to keep American tradition and have her dad walk her down the aisle. When Kacie and Tony washed each other’s feet to signify that they would spend their lives serving each other, people flooded the aisle to take photos. It was something new and I could tell the Acholi people loved it!
The reception was the biggest party I’ve ever seen. The emcee sang a song for Kacie that was repeated several times throughout the afternoon. All I understood was her name, but I’ll hear that song in my head for months. After the cake was cut, the groomsmen and bridesmaids were responsible for passing it out to all the guests. Then Kacie and Tony gave cakes to all the people involved in the wedding from the wedding committees to the families and the wedding party.
After giving the cakes away, there were some performances…. dancing and singing and lots of cheering! The Acholi people are definitely fun! Some of them brought their own little horns to play and some made the coolest noises by yelling at the top of their lungs and using their tongues to make a yodeling noise. (It wasn’t really yodeling but I don’t know how else to describe it. LOL.)
My favorite part was the gift line! The guests all came up in groups to give the bride and groom their gifts. Chickens and goats and ducks… the gifts were amazing! (You have to scroll down to see.)
Kacie and Tony, I felt like one of the family from the day I arrived in Gulu. Your families are amazing and full of JESUS! I loved being a part of your day. Your love is evident and it’s obvious that God is the center of your relationship. I wish you many years of happiness serving the Acholi people together. Thank you for allowing me to document your story! -Trisha