When a Pandemic Pivots your Wedding Plans
Lizzie Gilbert and Tyler Kube have a Grace College love story for the books. From their first date in Westminster Hall to their jaw-dropping engagement — the pair had something special. And what better way to conclude the GC romance than a graduation day wedding right here in Winona Lake with all of their closest friends and family? Or at least that was the plan.
The morning after Indiana declared a state lockdown, Lizzie set out on a run to clear her head and talk to God. The long-awaited May 9 was approaching, but because of the global pandemic, everything that was once certain and sure felt like it was spinning out of control.
Fitness, Faith, and First Dates
Lizzie and Tyler met in their freshman biology class, but it wasn’t until fall of their sophomore year that they began dating. The couple shared a love of fitness, and they both ran with the same friend group. MacKenzie Moeller, a close friend and bridesmaid of Lizzie, said, “Everyone could tell they were going to date. They were basically the scene from Frozen when Hans and Anna sing ‘finish each other’s sandwiches’ except for them it was ‘finish each other’s pre-workout drink.’”
On their first date, they held hands in the Westminster game room as they watched a movie together. “Ever since then, we’ve been together and more in love than ever,” Tyler said.
The chemistry was instant — but it wasn’t just fitness that brought them together. Lizzie and Tyler share an unwavering faith in God. Before they started dating, every night they would write down their prayer requests, pray together, and record the prayers that God had answered for them. They continue to do so to this day. “It has really increased my faith,” Lizzie said, “No matter what happens, at the end of the day, our lives are in God’s hands.”
It didn’t take long for Lizzie and Tyler to know that they wanted to be together forever. Before they were even engaged they would spend time planning their dream wedding and talking about their hopes and dreams for the future.
Popping the Big Question
One day, Tyler took Lizzie out onto a boardwalk on Treasure Island for a photo shoot with his aunt. As they began to pose for the first photo, Lizzie noticed a huge boat passing by behind them. The boat was flashing advertisements and completely interfering with their photoshoot.
“All of a sudden, as the boat got closer, the screen displayed an image of our bitmojis that read, ‘Lizzie, will you marry me?’” Lizzie said. “It totally took me by surprise. I still get so excited thinking about it! It was the best ‘yes’ I have ever said and ever will say.”
The couple was thrilled to start a new stage of their love story and plunged head-first into making decorations, booking venues, and planning the wedding they had both dreamed of for most of their lives. Over a year later, everything was set. They would wake up on May 9, graduate with the rest of their senior class, go to their wedding rehearsal, and then get ready for the ceremony that evening to be held at the Winona Heritage Room.
Anticipation built as they counted down the days to May 9.
Pivoting their Plans
And then the news came. “When we found out that we would probably have to postpone the wedding, it was so hard. Just thinking about it brought Tyler and I to tears,” Lizzie said. “We thought everything was perfect. To have something shatter your plans is heartbreaking. You feel like your world is upside down.”
The couple described the choice they were faced with when they heard that their state was going on lockdown. They could either be shaken by the disaster — or they could move forward with gratitude and a greater love for God and for each other.
Once Lizzie and Tyler adjusted to the reality of the pandemic, they decided it would be best to postpone their wedding celebration. Through the phone calls and tears of the coming days, their friends and family surrounded them with encouragement and love. Although the celebration is delayed, the May 9 wedding is still on! The two will become one surrounded by their close family and a few friends. “Nothing is stopping us from getting married,” Lizzie shared. “We’re so excited to be able to commit to each other before the Lord.”
“I know that they are far too stubborn to allow a virus to get in the way of their big day,” Zach Harley, Tyler’s best man said. “These two have an undying love for each other that is a great example of how others should love.”
On October 24, the couple is planning to have a special celebration to renew their vows with all of their family and friends and finally have the dance party they’ve been planning for so long. Through every bump in the road, Lizzie and Tyler supported and comforted each other. Their family and friends have often reminded them that if they can get through this, they can get through anything to come.
“We don’t know what the future will hold, but you do, Lord,” is what Lizzie said on her morning run when everything felt like it was crashing down. By the end of her run, God had given her peace about the situation, despite the chaos in the world.
“With our wedding being taken away and jobs being postponed, everything that we leaned on before has been taken away,” Tyler said, “Except for God and our love for each other.”