In just five days, on March 28th, Roleana Horton would have been walking down an aisle lined with flowers to marry the love of her life, William Armstrong, in a ceremony with 250 of their closest family and friends in attendance.
However, all of that changed last Thursday when her worst fear as a bride came through and she had to postpone her big day.
During a live press conference to update the country on the novel coronavirus pandemic, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis implemented an order that made it illegal for a wedding to take place with more than 10 people in attendance, excluding the bride and groom. It was a move to encourage social distancing, which is believed to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
“I got a lot of calls that day,” Horton said.
“So that’s really how I notified my guests. I didn’t have a chance to call them. They called me.”
Holding up her wedding and reception programs, Horton explained that making the decision to postpone her wedding was a nightmare.
“I had everything ready. I had everything purchased. My dress was ready, my girls were ready, the groom, groomsmen, everything was ready to go but had to be put on hold,” she said.
“That was very hurtful. I was really depressed for that part of the week, because I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is really happening to me.’
“It felt like a nightmare.”
The couple had done everything a soon-to-be-wedded pair should do in preparation for their wedding, even down to engagement photos dressed in white with the sea in the background.
Horton and her fiancé, William, have not yet set a new date for the wedding.
The unpredictability of the novel coronavirus and how countries around the world are handling it has made future planning a bit difficult for the couple.
“While we wait, we’re being very cautious,” she said.
“We’re washing our hands, using hand sanitizer, disinfecting everything we touch, basically doing everything we can to remain safe.”
The young bride said she knows, as this is the springtime, there are many other brides who have had to postpone their big day as well out of precaution.
Her advice: Be encouraged.
“It’s not the end of the world. Things will work out. It’s also good to have more than one plan. I’ve learned from this that you should have at least three plans. Things really take you by surprise.
“It can be heartbreaking because you’re so close, but yet so far. But be encouraged.”
Horton said her family and her wedding planner have been strong support systems for her during this time, keeping her together and advising her on the next steps she should be taking.
In the meantime, Horton said her love for her fiancé remains strong and she still can’t wait until the day she gets to meet him at the end of the aisle.