Put A Ring On It is back, and we’re bringing you more stories of Black love. This week, we caught up with a couple that has social media feeling the love.
While scrolling down your news feed on Facebook, you might have come across video of a groom welcoming his wife down the aisle with a poem about his love for her. Words flowed through the chapel about their beginning and his belief that she is the woman God meant just for him. The bride was so overcome with emotion she began crying as she made her way to the altar to marry him.
Hearing the poem, we definitely understand why she got so emotional. It was hands-down, one of the sweetest things we’ve seen at a wedding.
That groom is Spoken Word Poet Lo Alaman (you can find his work here), and the teary-eyed bride is his lovely wife Erika Alaman. We caught up with them the other night, and they were truly a joy to speak with. She was in and out of the kitchen testing out a new recipe for dinner (it turned out great according to Lo), and he kept the chat flowing when she had to step away. Between the two of them, a clear picture of their relationship began to develop, and God was center-frame.
Lo and Erika’s love story is a long one. The happy couple met in the 7th grade, but they didn’t get together until years later. Erika’s family had moved away not long after Lo and Erika met in school; they returned to town around the time she was in 10th grade. Even then, it wasn’t exactly rekindled love at first sight.
“I wouldn’t talk to him at first because I didn’t like him. He was full of himself,” said Erika. However, it was a football accident that eventually changed everything.
“He was in a football game, and he broke his hip,” she explained. “The day he got home from the hospital. I called him, and we’ve been talking ever since.”
Loren needed a lot help from everyone during his recovery, and that allowed her to see a different side of him other than the tough football player she’d seen at school.
“I was very arrogant. I was very full of myself back then. This was all before and me maturing in my relationship with Christ,” Lo added. “I got hurt and that kind of humbled me a little bit.”
After a little while, their friendship became something more and they went on a date. One of the things that immediately stood out about Erika to Lo is her genuineness. An early indicator of that quality came during their first date, when she wasn’t shy about chowing down. A lot of girls would have been cautious about eating too much in front of a guy they like, but not Erika.
“I’m pretty small, and I pigged out on the first date,” she recalled.
Truthfully, Lo was impressed.
“The cool thing about it…she never was–and has never been–the type of person to hide who she is,” he said. “She ordered as much if not more than I did.”
From then on they were nearly inseparable, but their relationship took a wrong turn when they lost sight of their priorities.
“We went through a phase where we kind of put each other at the head as opposed to putting God at the head, and it just went so wrong,” said Erika, “We actually separated. We broke up for a time.”
Eventually, they got everything back on track by putting God back at the center. It made their love stronger than ever.
Lo said in getting to know the Lord that his view of women changed. Instead of seeing them as possible mates, he saw them as sisters. The only girl that he saw differently was Erika.
“That happened through seeing how genuine she was in her faith,” Lo shared. “She was the only I saw and there was a different kind of love.”
He continued, “From that, God was just like, ‘This is the life I have for you.’ And she was part of that.”
Despite their breakup, Lo couldn’t see tomorrow without her, and Erika couldn’t see another day without him either. When trying to figure out what was next for her, Lo was always part of the vision for Erika.
“All the days included him. It wasn’t me by myself. It wasn’t me with somebody else. It really included him. I just felt like God was saying, ‘The plans that I have for you are this, this, and this–but it also includes him.'”
Even during their time apart, their connection never really faltered. They still spent time together and celebrated all of each other’s achievements. It was while Erika, a gospel singer, was overseas performing during their time apart that Lo knew he had to get his lady back.
He proposed not long after that. As Erika told us, he was picking her up from work one night during a trip home to see his family. Although he was running a little late, he greeted her with a proposal and she said yes!
The couple gives all honor to God when talking about their relationship, Watching the video of their wedding pretty much gives everyone the warm fuzzies, and viewers have shown Lo lots of love the poem. You might be surprised to know, though, that the whole thing was Erika’s idea! Lo didn’t want to do it.
It’s not that he doesn’t love to share his gift; he was concerned about whether or not he’d be able to hold it together.
“I do spoken word poetry, but I like to do it on my own terms. Doing the poem at the wedding was not what I wanted to do,” Lo said.
“I figured I would be too emotional.” He explained, “I thought it would be a bad idea. I thought it would be a horrible idea, but she wanted it so…”
Erika chimed in, “Before we started wedding planning that was like the first thing that I knew I wanted.”
Like any good husband, Lo listened to his wife! The result was a beautiful, heartfelt verbal love letter to Erika, thanking God for their connection. It obviously turned out way better than expected, and now they have a fantastic story to tell their family for years to come.
We know that there are tons more great love stories out there just waiting to be told, and HelloBeautiful.com would love to share them. If you (or anyone you know) would be a good fit for Put A Ring On It, hit us up at firstname.lastname@example.org.