Real Weddings During Coronavirus
Currently, lockdown restrictions due to COVID-19 are easing, meaning weddings have started to go ahead again. However, couples are still facing unprecedented conditions in which to tie the knot. Here we have real stories from couples who have beaten the odds and managed to get married within the coronavirus restrictions. Get ready to have your heart warmed!
Jen and Steven
“I married Steven on Saturday 15th August. Our original guest list had 34 people on it anyway so we knew we wouldn’t need to change much to meet COVID restrictions. However, my family could not make it, along with a couple of elderly friends due to illness. But, they sent a bottle of champagne and a tray of fudge instead!
My parents live abroad in Crete and, due to previous illness, did not want to risk attending. My sister, who is in Ohio, also could not make it. However, we streamed the wedding live via Zoom and got a family member to film with a camcorder. As my parents were unable to attend, we had a cut-out of them made and ensured that they were included throughout the day!
We got married at Grosvenor Pulford Hotel and Spa in Cheshire. When the news came that we could not have a reception from August 1st, we had to come up with Plan B. We asked if we could book tables in their Palm Court restaurant and have our afternoon tea there. Grosvenor said they would be able to squeeze us in. However, we ended up going with Plan A, afternoon tea at the tables in the Grosvenor Suite, as the go-ahead came 2 days before!
We ended up with 20 guests, plus Steven and myself. I managed to get both Plan A and Plan B approved with the venue and all our suppliers. Ian Edgar, our magician and Helena Jayne, our photographer, were both very flexible and did an amazing job working with PPE. My hair and makeup stylist was wonderful even though it was very strange to have someone in front of you wearing a throwaway apron, mask, visors and gloves! It also made me chuckle when our bridesmaids put their masks on and to see all guests wearing masks during the service.
There was a lot of stress and upset along the way, sitting on the fence as we did not know if the wedding was going ahead or not. However, both our photographer and Grosvenor also went above and beyond their duties, ensuring we had an amazing day. Everything ran like clockwork as though nothing was affecting our big day.”
Emily and Tom
The new Mr & Mrs Dobson were originally due to get married in May but had to postpone due to the Covid-19 lockdown. Their August date with the Wellbeing Farm was actually the venue’s first ceremony since March! Local lockdown hit the week before which meant it was all a bit touch and go but after countless Zoom meetings to assess new guidance, the Wellbeing Farm pulled it off – all while following local guidance and government restrictions.
After being informed of the need to wear masks, the Bride’s mum and Aunty handmade all of the masks to match the guest outfits, and Fairytale Brides made a mask for Emily to match her wedding dress just in case she needed to wear one (she didn’t in the end!). While the wedding barn had to comply with government restrictions of social distancing and household bubbles, it still looked so pretty with the blossom tree arch, bunting, fairy lights, and illuminated love letters. The registrar even got teary-eyed while performing the ceremony!
Bride Emily had this to say about her special day:
“Wellbeing Farm was able to make the day as special as possible, despite restrictions! We were still able to have the llamas and donkeys out for photos as these were one of the reasons we chose the venue. So, it was lovely that we were still able to hold them. We also loved that we were still able to have a say in how the barn was decorated such as the arch, the love letters, and bunting. We also loved that we could still use the grounds for photos and sit on the tractor!
Wellbeing Farm were so amazing and flexible with all the arrangements. It made us quite relaxed under the circumstances and a massive plus point, for us, was that we had our minimony free of charge and we are still able to have our full day at a later date! Also, we loved that, even though we couldn’t come to the farm for our meetings, we were still able to have these virtually. This put our minds at ease and we were able to have more meetings than were planned as the guidance kept changing!
The team was very transparent on social media with updates to government guidelines and gave us the opportunity to ask any questions. We also liked how Wellbeing Farm was able to work with us to give us the wedding we wanted and keep our guests safe such as a socially distanced confetti shot and photos with animals.”
Charlotte and Thomas
“We got married on 10th July at Lodore Falls Hotel & Spa – we planned it in less than 24 hours!
On Thursday 9th July, I received an email saying that we couldn’t simply change the location and date of our wedding on our ‘intent to marry’ forms where we registered. The next appointment they had was the end of November. We had already postponed our legal ceremony in July in the UK and cancelled our Italy wedding in August and moved it all to October 2020 in the UK. This meant we couldn’t legally get married on our postponed wedding date. It was a terrible blow after all the moving around and postponing/cancelling already.
I decided to go out on a limb and call the hotel we were staying at the following day to see if they could host our legal wedding. Lodore Falls said none of their wedding coordinators were there that day. However, one of them said she would come in on her day off. It was a whirlwind and went from there. I sent out a message on Facebook in a desperate bid to locate a registrar that could legally marry us the following day, as Cumbria registrars had already said it was too short notice. A lady contacted me saying she was a registrar and she would contact her manager – they agreed to go ahead with it. My next phone call was to my fiancé at work: ‘We’re getting married at 2 pm tomorrow!’
I called my bridal boutique and we stayed there until 8pm choosing a dress. The seamstress began to alter it there and then for me. We picked it up at 10 am the following morning. We called our local florist at 5 pm who created 3 beautiful bouquets for us. My partner wore a suit he had, my brother became best man, my bridesmaid (I had 1 out of my original 7) wore a dress I had previously worn as a bridesmaid and my step-daughter wore her flower girl dress we had already bought for our original wedding plans.
We were allowed 12 guests at our wedding. As we couldn’t go to the bar, we socially distanced in the bright, sunny gardens. We brought our own champagne and each had a glass to celebrate and took some pictures.
We have had the most up & down wedding planning and have lost tens of thousands of pounds. But, in the end, a budget wedding at a beautiful venue with less than 24 hours from the start of planning to walking down the aisle is how we eventually said ‘I do’! We are planning our celebration, which we have postponed again, in March 2021.”
Sandra and Bryan
Sandra and Bryan tied the knot at the beautiful, Stower Grange Hotel in Norfolk. Their day was captured beautifully by wedding photographer, Photographic Memories. Here’s what Sandra and Bryan had to say about their special day:
“Getting married in 2020 has presented several obstacles but we always hoped there would be a window of opportunity to go ahead with our wedding. It was extremely sad to restrict our guest list but as we don’t know if the world will be in a better position next year, we decided it was most important to enjoy our day with our close family. Everyone said it was so lovely to have something to look forward to and were thrilled to be ‘out’.
Stower Grange is a wonderful venue and after discussions with Richard and Jane Fannon we knew they would ensure everyone was safe and enjoyed the day. The beautiful building is a wonderful backdrop to our photos and we wanted the warm weather to be socially distanced outside for drinks and canapes. I have to say the staff were incredibly sensitive to everyone’s needs and The Well Room where we were married looked lovely. It was certainly a memorable day and we had a wonderful time. When it is safe to do so we look forward to a huge party with everyone there.”
Chloe and Nathan
“Like many couples due to be married in 2020, my fiancé and I spent many months in lockdown hoping and praying our big day would still go ahead on August 1st 2020. We kept up to date with our venue, with updates coming from them saying ‘as long as weddings can take place, you’ll still get your big day’. Luckily for us, government guidelines stated you can have up to 30 at a wedding. As our guest list only consisted of close friends and family since day 1 of planning, our hopes were high!
Then came an email from our venue, 5 weeks before our wedding was due to go ahead. ‘Dear Nathan and Chloe, we’re terribly sorry but we will not be able to go ahead with your wedding as we are closing the venue completely’. Safe to say, I was heartbroken. All those months of worrying, to then have a glimmer of hope just disappear in front of me in one email. I drove to work sobbing that morning. I should have been prepared for it, it’s a pandemic. But, even when you tell yourself not to get too excited, when you finally get that email saying your day has been cancelled it is still just as heartbreaking.
I called my mum to tell her the news, still teary after hours had passed. I heard my dad in the background say ‘We’ll get it sorted’. Now, my father is a person I can only describe as incredible. He is a 3-time cancer survivor who has always worked so incredibly hard for his family. So, when my dad gets his heart set on something, he’ll get it. It’s just the type of person he is. He of course went to the social media pages of our town, Wisbech, asking if anyone can help. To my delight, one of our local town councillors got in touch with my dad and said we could get married at the beautiful Wisbech Castle. This was the venue I originally wanted but at the time of booking, was closed for renovation!
There was not a single thing that the team at Wisbech Castle wouldn’t do to help us. They worked so hard with the registrars to make sure everything was COVID secure. They even planted flowers in our colour scheme to match the big day! Although it meant a new notice appointment and a slight date change to a week later, we still had our dream day. A few immediate family members were in the room to watch us get married, whilst other guests watched from the gardens. They even installed microphones and speakers so all our guests could hear us clearly! Once married, we walked out onto the balcony overlooking the gardens where all of our guests cheered and clapped. I really felt like royalty!
Everyone kept saying to us “I know it wasn’t the day you had planned but was it a good day?” And honestly, our day was absolutely perfect. Not even a pandemic could ruin it. Just goes to show what a tiny little town can do when they all pull together, but I sure know it would never have happened without Wisbech Council, the Cambridgeshire registrars, and all the volunteers at the Wisbech Castle working so hard for us. We will be forever grateful. And if that wasn’t enough, as a gift from the Castle, they have offered to have our first anniversary there, in the gardens for a party, absolutely free. So up yours COVID, you can’t stop love!”
Georgie and Oli
Oli and Georgie had an intimate church wedding at St James’ Church, Gerrards Cross back in July. They invited their nearest and dearest to join them for the ceremony. The ceremony was short, sweet and personal. Close friends that they’ve known from the age of four and immediate family were there to celebrate with them. The wonderful images were captured by Jun Tan Weddings.
The local church followed the government guidelines, so guests signed in and used hand sanitiser before getting seated for the ceremony. Households were also slightly distanced from each other to adhere to the guidance which was in place at the time. Not only this, but there was also a one-way system in the church that made the day safe for everyone. Friends and family arrived early and decorated the aisle with little wooden hearts ready for the bride to be walked down the aisle and be met by her loving fiancé at the church alter.
Beautiful homemade touches, such as hand sewn bunting and a cake the bride baked herself, made the day truly special. Even though the wedding was not how they initially planned because of coronavirus, the day turned out beautifully. The couple even ensured that they had a few fun photos with those who attended and wore their 2020 badge with pride in this fabulous group shot with facemasks.
Going ahead with your wedding?
If you are going ahead with your COVID wedding, well done for holding out for this long throughout all the uncertainty. We are sure your day will be incredible. Don’t forget that Guides for Brides have developed a Track and Trace solution which will help your venue keep you and your guests safe and comply with Government regulations.
Needing to downsize your guest list? Don’t forget about our Live Stream Feature. For just £35, we can give you access to a fantastic feature in collaboration with Zoom technology. You can use it to Live Stream your wedding to those who cannot attend, so they can still feel like they are part of your big day. Get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org if this is of interest to you.
Finally, don’t forget to check the latest government guidelines on wedding ceremonies and receptions to ensure your day runs smoothly and is COVID-secure.
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