COVID-19 put a halt to Rolnecia and Brian’s initial wedding plans, but we all know “You can’t stop love.” Instead of postponing their wedding, they shifted their plans, and their nuptials were just as amazing and even more meaningful.
Rolnecia shares, “We were engaged in December 2019. We discussed eloping to a fun overseas destination. COVID-19 changed our plans. We stayed stateside and had an intimate elopement ceremony At Geneva-on-the-Lake, Ohio Lake Erie Shores. There were just 20 witnesses to the elopement. It was a special day.”
See how the couple pulled off a gorgeous and intimate wedding that reflected their culture, style, and personalities below.
- Couple: Bride- Rolnecia Carolina Albert. Groom- Brian Thomas Nelson.
- Occupations: Rolnecia works in state government for the State of Ohio as an Equal Employment Opportunity Program Manager. Brian works in finance as a Producer for Hummel & Plum Insurance Agency.
- Wedding Date: Saturday, August 29,2020
- Favorite item on menu: We had a champagne brunch. My (Bride) favorite item on the menu was champagne flowered by a cupcake from my cake tower.
- Bridesmaids/groomsmen gifts: I gifted all my “Rose-gold ladies” with personalized flower silk robes with their names engraved in them.
- First dance song: “One Man Band” was our dance song.
- Advice for brides: Elope! If you want to have a peaceful day as much as possible it’s okay to elope. I did it with a few witness and so glad we did!
Tell us how you met and all about the proposal.
Rolnecia: Brian and I met online dating. I (Rolnecia Carolina Albert) was always very skeptical about online dating. I was that friend who said I would never try online dating. Then my friend Erica from Chicago told me how exciting her lunch dates were because of Bumble and I decided to try it.
Brian and I had our first real date at the Ohio State Fair in 2018. He always says he remembers me wearing white jeans on that day. I remember he was a gentleman, very caring, and made sure to hold my hand so we were not separated in the crowds of people that came out to the state fair in 2018.
Brian: I met Rolnecia on the dating site bumble. I’m from a small town, so I decided to use a dating site to meet more people who are not in my area. I’d been out of the dating scene for a while due to my mom’s illness. Bumble provided the best option for me to meet women who were interested in meeting and getting to know me because the women have to let you know if they are interested before I can message them and that helped me a lot! When I first saw Rolnecia’s profile, I was instantly attached and was hoping she was interested enough in me to message me! And she was! So we arranged a quick meet and greet together. In my eyes, everything went great and I definitely wanted to see her again.
Our first official date was a trip to the Ohio State Fair! I was surprised that she wanted to go and thought to myself this will be a great way to see if we fit well together. I can still remember what she had on that day, and I was smitten with her from the start! The date went great and we had tons of laughs. I knew after the first date that she was the one I wanted to pursue and hopefully get her to be my girlfriend and then someday hopefully make her my wife! Two years after that wonderful event took place, she made me the happiest man in the world!
How did you know they were “the one”?
I knew Brian was the one due to his deep love of family. Since his mother’s passing, he has taken great care to pick up many of the holiday traditions use established. He makes a special family recipe noodles at Thanksgiving and he maintains family funeral sites throughout the seasons. His kindness and consistent display of responsibility won my respect.
What were you initially planning for your wedding, and how did COVID-19 affect your wedding plans?
We were engaged in December 2019. We discussed eloping to a fun overseas destination. COVID-19 changed our plans. We stayed stateside and had an intimate elopement ceremony At Geneva-on-the-Lake, Ohio Lake Erie Shores. There were just 20 witnesses to the elopement. It was a special day.
Describe your wedding style.
Our wedding was lakeside (Lake Erie) and we literally took pictures in front of a beach house. The style was fashionista meet Lake life. We had an outdoor ceremony overlooking crashing waves then went inside for a champagne brunch. Peaceful, pleasant, hopeful… was the theme. My colors were Pearl, Rose-gold, and a touch of onyx.
Describe your wedding dress and your favorite wedding accessory.
I wore an elegant soft lace formfitting wrap David’s Bridal Melissa Sweet wedding dress. The bust was boosted to show off my curvy girl figure. There was an ample kiss of rose-gold cinching at the waist by way of a crystal and rose floral belt.
How did you incorporate your culture into your wedding?
We had a beautiful Jumping the Broom African Tradition at our ceremony. Women read the significance and history of jumping the broom, guests counted 1, 2, 3, and then both the bride and groom jumped. Very special interracial marriage symbolic unity moment. The song GLORY was played captured well in photos and videos.
What is your best memory from your wedding?
My happiest memory from my wedding is when Brian and I said our Thank you to the witnesses at our brunch. I realized we pulled off the elopement ceremony in the peaceful quiet way we hoped for.
What is the best wedding advice you can give to engaged couples planning for their wedding during the COVID-19 epidemic?
Pay for a videographer. Including Brian and I, we had only 22 people attending the elopement ceremony. That was ok because we paid for a professional videographer and photographer. It’s an easy way to keep people safe in their homes and share the moment with them later by video or Zoom. Guests were encouraged to wear facial coverings and bring their own hand sanitizer. Outdoor ceremonies are great for social distancing! Encourage anyone who is sick to stay home.
The wedding song for the ceremony was PEACE by Hillsong young and free. It really was such a calm and joyous moment. My guest list was so small which meant a lot of people were excluded. It was great for my peace of mind. Only well-wishers- the very closest- were present. It was a wonderful day. Sun shined, lake waves crashing, love in the air. I prayed for a great day. God answered. Jeremiah 29:11.
- Photography & Videography: Anytime Picture of Cleveland, Ohio
- Bridal Gown and accessories: David’s Bridal
- Bride Reception Dress: Joan’s Bridal Couture
- Brides Shoes: Vera Wang
- Bride’s Hair: Goddes Crochet Lics by Ledejeuner Winters
- Bridal Hair Styling: Sheba Dryer
- Event Day Coordinator and Brunch Reception Decor: Andrea Williams
- Cake: Dulce Colpo
- Flowers: Wagners Flowers of Circleville, Ohio
- MakeUp: Zhane’ Beauty by Tamia Hopson
- Grooms Attire and accessories: K&G Fashion Superstore, Calvin Klein, and Stacy Adams
- Rings: Kays Jewelers, Neil Lane
- Ceremony and Brunch Reception Music: Ben Ricci, DJ Event Entertainment
- Wedding Stationery: Ceremony Programs by Just Write in Granville, Ohio
- Elopement Weekend Itinerary: Erica Williams, Event and Marketing Consulting, Taste Bud Diaries
- Destination Elopement Wedding Planners: Rolnecia Carolina Albert And Brian Thomas Nelson