We Were Forced To Reschedule Our Wedding Due To The Coronavirus

I was so wrapped up in my own plans, that having to change them devastated me. But nothing catches God by surprise.

As Told To

As Told To is a recurring segment on xoNecole where real women are given a platform to tell their stories in first-person narrative as told to a writer.

This is Lorelle Oliveria's story, as told to Charmin Michelle.

My wedding date was weeks ago, but we never got married.

We were actually about 35 days out from our ceremony when the pandemic really began to affect us and our loved ones. Our original date was scheduled for April 4, 2020 in the beautiful landscapes of Georgia, with 250 of our closest family and friends.

But we all know what happens next.

Initially, I was so overwhelmed with where to start—and at times I still am, actually. For the amount of planning that goes into a normal wedding, imagine having to battle an entire year's worth of a bridal season, scrambling around, as they are doing exactly what you are trying to do.

Will I be able to reschedule?

How will our guests be able to make alternative arrangements?

I was ruined. Everyday, I'm on the phone calling vendors and the wedding venue like a madman, trying to renegotiate and secure a new date. It was also a priority for us to keep our guests as informed as possible. The communication aspect of a wedding is so draining—especially if you don't have a planner—and since we didn’t have one, most of the tying loose ends has fallen on my plate. I am grateful for my sister Lindsay (who is my maid of honor), my bridesmaids and my mom because they have really been there for me. The support of family and friends is really comforting.

So now, I've finally reached a point where I'm like "Lord, let your will be done" and I've quite literally let go and let God.

My fiance, Greg, and I met when we were kids—I was childhood friends with his sister. His sister and I were in a talent show together, and won second place after dancing to "Survivor" (thanks, Kelly, Michelle, and Bey haha). Although I've known his family for years, Greg and I lost contact until well into adulthood. He went off to University of West Georgia, and me, FAMU. Greg and I connected later through a message on social media (he slid in the DMs). We went out on our first date and had such a beautiful time. I quickly realized that the Greg I thought was quiet and reserved, was actually really funny and silly. And in turn, he said he thought I was sweet and down to earth, so we definitely hit it off. Supposedly, the date ended with me saying "CALL ME!" ...so he says, but I don't remember this happening. *side eye*

Anyway, Greg and I became best friends: talking on the phone, FaceTime-ing every night and meeting up occasionally when I was in town from Tallahassee. We continued to build a friendship over the course of two years through outings and deep conversations. He and I established a mutual love and respect for one another with God at the center of it all.

Eventually, we'd get engaged and the rest is history.

Our engagement has been bliss. Our wedding planning has been stressful, but rewarding. And throughout, I've felt a range of emotions. First, stress and anxiety when the pandemic first began. I was trying to remain positive and I was hopeful that we could still have our wedding on April 4. After watching the news, and seeing all of the gathering restrictions, that hope dwindled. I knew what was coming next. We also had out of town guests and members of the bridal party who were not going to be able to make it anymore, which was devastating.

So, Greg and I made the heartbreaking, but very necessary, decision to postpone.

And ironically, I felt a sense of peace when we did. It was just too much trying to anticipate and prepare for the worst and simultaneously the unknown. I was emotional. But I've welcomed the decision now.

The good news is we haven't lost any money in the process; our vendors have been more than amazing and accommodating.

Today, we have a new date scheduled and everything is falling into place. #thankyoulord

One of my biggest blessings came in seeing how—now more than ever—Greg really will go the extra mile to make sure I am healthy and OK. He really cares about my heart and does everything to make sure no matter what, that we are a team before anything.

I actually believe postponing has brought us closer.

We rarely hear from the fellas in these situations, so I felt it was only fair to share with you guys his true feelings on rescheduling our wedding. So I asked him, and to my surprise, here is what he said:

"I was definitely disappointed but I was more concerned with how Lorelle would feel about postponing. I think for the bride, they invest so much in the planning and details and it hurts deeper for them to have to let go of that day. I just wanted to be there to support her. I prayed that God would help us both with that decision. I think now we are focused more on the silver lining within the situation. God continues to provide the resources we needed to continue planning and also the transition has been smooth. We are both grateful for that and for our health during this incredibly challenging time."

Whatta man, whatta man.

Even on the day of our original wedding date, Greg bought our favorite meal, prepared a special slideshow presentation of us over the years and gifted me red roses. It made us strong and showed us that our love can get us through tough situations. Our bond was built to survive this.

Ladies, basically what I'm saying is nothing catches God by surprise and all things will work together for our good. I think I was wrapped up in my own plans that having to change them devastated me. But, once I relinquished my stress and anxiety to God, I realized that He is still able to make our dream wedding come true in His perfect timing. I just have to trust that and lean on that; not sit in a pile of worry and fear.

So, if your wedding has been impacted by the coronavirus:

  • Pray first. Ask God to give you clarity and revelation about your wedding and the decision to postpone it. Ask Him to give you signs that you are moving in the right direction.
  • Do not stress yourself out. I was worrying myself sick everyday (literally would have a migraine daily) just thinking about all of the things that were going wrong, rescheduling, disappointment and trying to find the strength to still complete my wedding checklist. Take one moment at a time but do not contemplate worst case scenarios and get worked up. It just isn't healthy.
  • Get a wedding planner or delegate to people to help you. When I decided to reschedule, I told Greg directly that I was overwhelmed. After the stress of moving our wedding date, I do not have the energy to complete all those tasks over again by myself. I just can't do it. If you need to contact guests, florists, vendors etc. delegate someone to do that so you can be at peace. You deserve a moment to catch yourself and to wrap your mind around a different vision and reality.
  • Discuss with other brides in the same situation. Talking to other brides going through this pandemic has really helped me. I even found a cool forum on Wedding Wire that allowed me to read other brides' stories. You can find hope in the fact that you are not going through this alone.

Everything will work out for all of us how it is supposed to, we've been through too much this year for it not to. Just know that nothing is bigger than your faith in Him. Not even a deadly global virus.

To keep up with the progress of Greg and Lorelle's wedding, you may follow Lorelle here on Instagram. Also, feel free to send her well wishes on their journey as the rescheduled date approaches!

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.


We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

Featured image by Shutterstock

As Told To is a recurring segment on xoNecole where real women are given a platform to tell their stories in first-person narrative as told to a writer.

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