Our court wedding

Reading our vows in the Bolgatanga Magistrate court

When my boyfriend came to visit for the third, I had resigned from my work place and I was free and had enough time for him. I travelled to meet him in Accra and we stayed at the Sheridan hotel for about five days. Within those days, we bought a car and he drove us from Accra to Tamale. In Tamale we stayed at my apartment. And since I was free, we decided I join a driving school to learn. I enquired about driving schools and registered with one called Johnson driving school. It was a good one.Though we were only two women in a class of about twenty five, it wasn’t intimidating. They taught the theory and practical really well. Thanks to them I know how to change a tire and this came in handy twice when we were stranded on the Zebilla road with a punctured tire.

Anyway, we decided once more to visit my family in Zebilla from Tamale. When we did this time, we stayed in a better hotel. Remember our stay at the social centre? After we signed in and rested a bit, we met and had dinner with my family. We spent the rest of the days sight-seeing . We visited the dams, the mountains and the galamsey (a slang used to refer to illegal gold mining in Ghana) sites. My boyfriend fell in love with the beautiful scenery and we started discussing moving from Tamale to there.

Zebilla in the rainy season

After a couple of days in Zebilla, we drove back to Tamale. We stayed in Tamale for some weeks and it was time for him to go back home. This time he spent close to two months in Ghana. When he left, I continued with my driving lessons and after three months, I passed my driving tests and got my licence. When he got back home, we kept communicating everyday and started planning for his fourth visit. Crazy us right?

On top of one of the Zebilla mountains 2012.

Anyway,In July, he again flew over again and we moved from Tamale to Zebilla. We rented a one-bedroom apartment self contain. It was one of our best times together. We took walks everyday and spent so much time by the Zebilla dams. We had so much fun, even sometimes playing like kids, chasing each other and tickling each other till we started crying. That bad.

When it was almost two months( Ghana’s tourist visa duration was sixty days), we went to the Immigration office in Bolgatanga and renewed his visa so he could stay for another sixty days. This however was still not enough time for us to be together and his flying over every couple of months was getting too expensive so we started discussing what to do to be able to be together longer.

At this point, we had dated for close to eleven months so we decided to get married. I don’t even remember how exactly it went but I do remember it wasn’t like one of those romantic scenes in movies where the man goes down on one knee and pops a ring with a big diamond on it. It was more like since we are in love and cannot be together for more than two months at a time, why don’t we get married? So we decided to do just that.

I called my mom first to tell her the good news. And then my sisters and friends. They were all so happy for us and congratulated us. We then went to my father so my boyfriend could properly ask for my hand in marriage. He was also very happy and congratulated us.

Now comes the preparation. My boyfriend was going back to his country in a couple of weeks so we did not have so much time to prepare. I decided to sew a simple dress for the wedding. Women and clothes ,right? Such a great risk, trying to sew a dress in a short time. Tailors and seamstresses in Ghana have a reputation of never finishing clothes  on time. With this in mind, I explained the urgency to the seamstress, amid begging and praises. Thankfully she did not disappoint.

Just us with my mom and dad.

A couple of days after the decision, we went to the Bolgatanga (The municipal capital of the Upper East Region) magistrate court to make enquiries about the process and set the ball rolling. We were given pieces of paper to write our data on so they can fill the notice of marriage form and asked to pay an amount which we did. We were then told to go and come after twenty one days. This was to allow them time to publish our intended marriage so if people had any objections, they could do so before the wedding day. After this we invited friends and family to come on the Nineteenth of October, a friday we chose as our wedding day, to witness and celebrate our wedding.

The judge handing over our marriage certificate.

A night before the day we planned to get married, we drove from Zebilla to Bolgatanga and stayed in a hotel so we wouldn’t rush the next morning. Some of our guests also stayed in the hotel with us . The next morning, we woke up early and got ready for the wedding which was to take place at nine in the morning. We drove to the court earlier than nine and waited for the judge to come and officiate the wedding. A few minutes after nine, a female judge came, and we were the first couple to get married. We read our vows, after which, my parents signed as witnesses for me and our friends signed as witnesses for my boyfriend, now husband. We were then given the marriage certificate and in not more than thirty minutes, it was over.

During the wedding, one of my friends whom we had asked to, took pictures of us during the wedding and afterward outside the courthouse as well. After taking pictures, we treated our guests to drinks and food (some sort of reception) at one of the restaurants in Bolgatanga.

Over all, it wasn’t expensive. For those who do not want to spend too much on their wedding or those who do not have enough time to plan an elaborate wedding, I would recommend a court wedding . No stress, no over-spending and absolutely fabulous.

If you have questions about court marriage in Ghana or if you would love to share your experience with us, please write in the comment section.

Thank you .

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