Trusting God When Planning a Wedding Doesn’t Go as PlannedAug 17, 2020
If you are a bride wondering how to plan a wedding during COVID or a pandemic or if you find yourself planning a wedding that is nothing like you had ever planned or dreamed of, then this post is for you.
For all my Christian brides planning a beautiful, Godly wedding in this season, I pray that you surrender any wedding stress and frustrations over to God and let him show you his presence and purpose in this wedding season.
When Wedding Planning Doesn't Go As Planned
He put a ring on it! I’m engaged! I’m getting married! The moment I had been praying and waiting for my entire adult life had finally happened.
As I laid in bed the next day, I just stared at the diamond engagement ring on my left hand. Thank you God for choosing me to be Jeff’s wife. Thank you for bringing me my future husband!
My fiancé proposed at the end of May 2020 and for the first few weeks I was in awe that this was real life. It was like all the engagements I saw in the movies and for my friends except it was finally happening to me.
The first few weeks were a blur of engagement celebrations, texts and imagining our life together as husband and wife.
As the weeks went on as an engaged couple, the engagement bliss turned into some serious wedding planning as people started to bombard me with all the typical wedding questions.
Have you guys set a date? Where are you getting married? Are you going to push your wedding back until next year? Where are you registered?
I was overwhelmed at all the questions and I had to face reality – COVID was still happening and I was planning a wedding during the largest national pandemic in history.
As my fiancé and I started to look at wedding venues and got serious about what we wanted in a wedding, I started to become frustrated in a season that should have been complete joy.
How could COVID still be happening? How could these gathering restrictions still be in place?
I had already started to dream of my perfect wedding in San Diego. Getting married on the beach surrounded by all my loved ones as we praised and celebrated God for bringing me and my fiancé together.
This dream quickly got shattered as the COVID restrictions got worse. God, why aren’t things getting better? Why are you letting things get worse?
We had been praying for months for God to restore the nation yet it seemed like we were moving backwards when businesses and restaurants shut down again.
At this point, we had set a date to get married in September because my fiancé and I are ready to start our lives together.
As Christians, my fiancé and I are honoring God’s word and are waiting to have sex and move in together until we are married. You can read more about how we set physical boundaries in my blog post, How to Set Boundaries in Dating.
Pushing back the wedding when we are ready to start our lives together wasn't an option.
All the possible beach venues that we were looking at told us they were not booking any weddings until the restrictions were lifted. Our loved ones from other states started to tell us that they would not be able to fly out to see our wedding. Any venues that were still booking told us that we would not be able to have more than 10 guests at our wedding.
And just like that, my dream of a beach wedding surrounded by all my loved ones was shattered. I had been holding onto faith in the beginning but I started to face reality as we were approaching our ideal wedding date with no venue in sight.
While it seemed like the majority of couples across the country were pushing their wedding back until next year or getting married in a smaller ceremony, my fiancé and I knew getting married next year wasn’t an option. And we also felt that doing a small ceremony with a large reception later on wouldn’t be the same.
As we started researching all possible private venues, I got more and more upset. Several mornings over the past few weeks, I found myself crying out to God.
God, why? Why is all this happening? This is my once in a lifetime wedding – a time that is supposed to be full of joy. Everyone says this is supposed to be the happiest day of my life yet it’s been weeks of stress and frustration. Why are you letting COVID happen during my wedding? Why are you letting this happen God?
As I cried out to God and turned to his word, he spoke to my Spirit and showed me his glory in all of this. He showed me key revelations that brought me peace and hope in the middle of my tears.
If you are planning a wedding right now that isn’t going quite like you expected, I pray that God speaks to you and shows you his purpose and glory in your wedding season.
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One of the Godliest Couples of All Time Didn’t Have Their Dream Wedding
One morning I woke up with a heavy heart with all the wedding planning so I decided to go back to the gospels to read more about Jesus. Whenever I don’t know what to read or if I feel out of sorts, reading the gospels always helps me feel closer to Jesus.
I started with Luke 1:26-56 and read about how an angel visited Mary and told her she would give birth to Jesus. Now, we’ve all probably read and heard this story before but God highlighted something new to me that I had never thought too much about before.
Mary and Joseph were engaged when the angel appeared and told Mary she would be pregnant. They were ENGAGED, meaning they were most likely planning a wedding.
Mary could have been putting together the guest list or figuring out which veil she was going to wear right before the angel appeared and delivered the news that would change not only her wedding plans but her life forever.
Luke also tells us that while she was pregnant, Mary went and visited her cousin Elizabeth for about three months.
Matthew 1:18-23 also talks about the birth of Jesus and tells us that when Joseph found out the news, he was planning to end things before the wedding in private. But God sent an angel in a dream to tell Joseph what was really happening.
Matthew 1:24-25 also tells us that Joseph and Mary did get married but that Joseph was not intimate with Mary until after the birth of Jesus.
Now with everything going on, I’m sure Mary and Joseph’s wedding plans didn’t go as expected. The Bible doesn’t tell us how they got married but I can only imagine it wasn’t as they had initially hoped or dreamed.
A pregnancy during their engagement? Mary leaving for a few months before their wedding to visit her cousin? I have no idea how she was able to plan a wedding with all this going on.
The Bible doesn’t even mention that Joseph went with his pregnant fiancée to visit Elizabeth so I am assuming that Mary went on this visit to see her cousin alone.
Being away from my fiancé for 3 months after finding out I was pregnant while trying to plan a wedding? I can’t imagine how Mary and Joseph felt during this time that was supposed to be a special time for just the two of them together.
And to top it all off, Joseph didn’t sleep with his wife until Jesus was born?! Can you imagine how upset your fiancé would be if he wasn’t able to have sex with you on your wedding night? I would be upset too!
I’m sure Mary and Joseph’s wedding night was not their ideal wedding night for either of them.
Mary and Joseph had every right to be upset. They had every right to ask God why he was ruining their wedding and why all this had to happen during their once in a lifetime wedding celebration. They had every right to cry and mourn the loss over their dream wedding that wasn’t going to happen.
But Mary and Joseph didn’t get upset. They put their trust in God and looked to God’s bigger purpose in all this. God had chosen Mary and Joseph to bring Jesus into the world. We already know that Mary and Joseph were chosen, set apart and favored for this specific assignment that God needed to be fulfilled.
God already knew their hearts and that they deserved their dream wedding. But God gave them something much bigger than their dream wedding. God chose them to bring Jesus into the world and to protect him. God knew he could count on Mary and Joseph to obey the call he had on their life to raise God’s son and our savior.
Instead of getting upset, Mary and Joseph knew that this reward and responsibility was so much bigger than their dream wedding.
Mary’s response to all of this touched my heart. “I am the Lord’s servant…May it be done according to your word.” (Luke 1:38)
When Mary visited Elizabeth, even Elizabeth knew Mary was a blessed woman and was blessed for believing that the Lord would fulfill what had been spoken to her.
Mary then continued to worship God. “My soul praises the greatness of the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my savior, because he has looked with favor on the humble condition of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed, because the Mighty One has done great things for me, and his name is holy.” (Luke 1:46-49)
If your wedding planning isn’t going as planned due to COVID or other unforeseen circumstances, trust that God will bless you with something bigger than you could ever imagine during this time.
Trust that God will reveal his purpose in all of this and that he will restore the joy and happiness that has been lost in this season with something bigger.
Just like Mary, trust that God has chosen you for a bigger purpose in this season and wants to use you as his faithful servant for his glory.
I pray that you feel God’s peace as you put your trust in him and I pray that God shows you his bigger purpose and how he wants to use your wedding to glorify him in this season.
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God’s Plans and Timing Are Perfect
When I was upset that God would allow COVID to happen during my wedding season, God also revealed to me that my wedding in this season is his perfect plan and timing.
I know from God’s word that God’s plans and timing are perfect. While it doesn’t make sense and sounds less than ideal, I know that God had a plan and timing for my wedding in this season.
“God’s way is perfect. All the Lord’s promises prove true…” Psalm 18:30 NLT
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
In Psalm 139, we even know that God already has every day of our lives planned out in his book.
“Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all my days were written in your book and planned before a single one of them began.” – Psalm 139:16 CSB
God had already showed me that his plans and timing for meeting my future husband really were perfect. As I talk about in my blog post, God is Still Writing Love Stories, I liked my fiancé for an entire year before he asked me out and five months later, he proposed.
I know God brought me and my fiancé together in his perfect timing. God already knew when we were going to get engaged and God already knew COVID was going to happen. This tells me that God already knew that we were going to get engaged in the middle of COVID.
Since I know that God’s plans and timing are perfect, I have to trust that we are supposed to get married even in this unlikely, less than ideal time.
I have to trust that we are supposed to become husband and wife for such a time as this. I have to trust that God has a plan for us as we start our lives together that cannot wait until next year when it seems more convenient.
For every engagement and marriage that God orchestrates during this season, I pray and believe that God wants to use you and your husband for such a time as this.
In a world of darkness and chaos, I believe God needs Godly, missional marriages now more than ever to make a difference in the world.
You are not foresaken, you and your future husband were chosen for such a time as this to make a difference in this world.
If we really are headed closer to the end times like the Bible talks about in the book of Revelation, it makes sense that God would want his faithful children to come together during this time. We are stronger together. We can fight against the enemy together and support each other.
Perhaps God wants to use your marriage in this season to help bring others to Jesus and to defeat the darkness in this world for such a time as this.
Trust that God’s plans and timing in this season for your marriage are bigger than you can imagine and are right on time in God’s book for your life.
Remember Who God Is and His Character
When I feel myself starting to ask God ‘Why’ again, these truths from the Bible have helped remind me who God is and God’s character through this time.
“This I know: God is for me.” - Psalm 56:9 CSB
I pray and repeat this verse and remind myself that God is for me and that he is on my side.
I remind myself that all this happening during my wedding season isn’t a punishment. I remind myself that God wants me to have a beautiful wedding. I remind myself that God is my wedding planner and he is opening up doors and making a way for us to still get married during this season.
“God, how precious your thoughts are to me; how vast their sum is! If I counted them, they would outnumber the grains of sand…” – Psalm 139:17-18 CSB
“…you are precious in my sight and honored, and I love you,…” – Isaiah 43:4 CSB
I remind myself that I am precious in God’s eyes. I remind myself that God loves me and my fiancé so much and is up there in heaven, celebrating and is so excited for our future together. Afterall, God was our matchmaker - he’s been waiting for this moment longer than we have!
Do you know how many divine encounters and pieces of our lives God had to orchestrate to get me and my fiancé to where we are today as an engaged couple?! God is ready for this wedding just as much as we are!
“If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” – Matthew 7:11 ESV
“…‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” – Matthew 19:4-6 ESV
I remind myself that God loves weddings. He invented weddings to be a celebration and covenant between a husband and wife. I remind myself that God wants to bless his children that love and obey him with a beautiful wedding.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV
I remind myself that God’s ways are higher than my ways. His plans are higher than my plans. Just like God had a bigger plan for Mary and Joseph to bring Jesus into the world, I trust that God’s purpose and plan for my marriage in this season is bigger than I can imagine.
“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” – Colossians 3:2 NIV
I remind myself to fix my eyes and mind on things above and on God’s ways, instead of earthly things around me.
I remind myself that it’s not all about the shoes I will wear, the cake we will cut, or the centerpieces that will be on the tables.
I remind myself what my wedding is all about – becoming husband and wife in the presence of God and our loved ones. Entering into a covenant before God to commit myself to my husband for life.
I remind myself that God has a purpose for our marriage and wants to use my fiancé and I to make a difference in this world to help people know Jesus.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28 NIV
I remind myself that God works all things for good for those who love him. I remind myself that God will redeem and restore all that has been lost in this season.
For more encouraging bible verses to pray during tough times and to believe that God can restore all that has been lost in this season, check out my blog post, God Works All Things for Good in 2020. This blog post includes 15 bible verses to pray and declare over your life to help you believe that God can do the impossible.
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Prayers for You During This Wedding Season
I know so many brides have had their weddings postponed, cancelled or significantly altered during this time. Deposits and dream weddings have been lost. Tears have been shed. Hope has been deferred.
I pray that God brings you peace and joy today and redeems and restores all that has been lost in this season. I pray that he shows you the purpose you and your fiancé or husband have during this time as husband and wife for his Kingdom. I pray that he blesses your marriage exceedingly and abundantly more than you could ever imagine during a time like this.
And I pray that no matter what has happened, that your wedding day is more beautiful than you could ever imagine and that you feel God’s presence and love shining down upon you on your special day.
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