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 thatnothing is bigger than your faith in Him. Not even a deadly global virus.