Defiant couples have forged ahead with their plans to tie the knot – but many have had to adjust their dream days amid the coronavirus epidemic.
With new government advice being dished out daily, bride’s-to-be across the nation have had to make the difficult decision to cancel their upcoming nuptials – but others have come up with creative ways to ensure they can still say, ‘I do.’
Melanie Murphy, from Ireland, took to Instagram and shared a snap of herself and her husband Thomas – before explaining she wasn’t wearing her actual wedding dress, nor was it their planned wedding day – in their perfect venue with all of their dear friends and family.
She penned: ‘It’s not the one I’ve lived out in my head a thousand times as we planned away – *but* this man, folks, is now officially my husband!’
Melanie Murphy, from Ireland, took to Twitter and told how she had to adjust her wedding due to updated Irish government advice on coronavirus prevention. Pictured, with her husband, Thomas
Melaniie explained: ‘This isn’t my actual wedding dress and this wasn’t our big, planned wedding day’ (pictured)
It comes as the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby suspended Church of England services amid coronavirus lockdown but weddings and funerals could still go ahead.
Due to updated Irish government advice on coronavirus prevention, Melanie and Thomas had to cancel their wedding ceremony and reception, which was due to happen this week.
‘We couldn’t, in good conscience, go ahead with it when we’d be putting people at risk against government advice and of course we were sad and angry and we’ve lost a considerable amount of money on deposits & non-refundables,’ she said.
The newly wed continued: ‘At 2pm yesterday we said our vows in a registry office. We were going to do this anyway, a few days ahead of a humanist ceremony in Wicklow (was meant to happen Saturday coming).’
Melanie, who also shared this adorable snap on social media, penned: ‘A fancy wedding is a privilege, a bonus, a cherry on top kinda thing. Love is all we need during these difficult times’
‘We did so in the presence of some family members as witnesses and in spite of the simplicity, it was *so* special… dad walked me down the aisle to A Gift Of Thistle from Braveheart and we finally got to exchange our wedding rings. Tears all round.’
Melanie went on to explain that while they still plan on having a big celebration down the line in a couple of years, a strong marriage is what they really care about.
‘A fancy wedding is a privilege, a bonus, a cherry on top kinda thing. Love is all we need during these difficult times. Anyway f***, lads, I’m a WIFE!’ she added.
It wasn’t such a happy ending for Gemma Stubbs, 30, and Derek Nally, 36, who have been engaged for seven years and hoped to tie the knot on their anniversary.
The couple have been forced to cancel their special day due to the coronavirus, and admit the decision has left them ‘broken’.
It wasn’t such a happy ending for Gemma Stubbs, 30, and Derek Nally, 36, who had to cancel their wedding. They have been engaged for seven years and hoped to tie the knot on their anniversary
They were due to marry this Saturday – to coincide with the date they first went out together – and the ceremony would have come seven years after Derek’s proposal all the way in August 2012.
Despite their enormous disappointment, the pair said they believe it was the right thing to do.
Brentford-based couple Salman Shaheen and Anna Ward, who got engaged in Spain in September last year, were meant to be celebrating their special day at the end of May, but have taken the difficult decision to reschedule.
They spent last weekend on the phone frantically re-organising their nuptials, due to be held at Strawberry Hill House in Richmond, south west London, because they were concerned about the risk it could pose to their parents and elderly relatives who are in the high risk category for catching coronavirus.
Brentford-based couple Salman Shaheen and Anna Ward were meant to be celebrating their special day at the end of May, but have taken the difficult decision to reschedule
Salman, 35, told MyLondon: ‘We were really excited about it…We were preparing for the wedding, we had just booked the cake, Anna had got her dress. We booked the string quartet and a DJ.
‘Slowly this coronavirus was creeping and creeping up and at first we had a discussion, should we postpone the wedding? At that moment it was a month ago, only a small handful of cases here in the UK. But in the last week everything kicked off.
‘Unfortunately the peak is slap bang when we’d have our wedding. We have got family, relatives who are in the higher risk category… It would be such a shame if they couldn’t come.’
He added that ‘a cloud of fear’ was gathering over what was supposed to be the happiest time of their lives.
It’s likely the couple, both former journalists, will also have to abandon their planned hen and stag dos. Anna was due to be heading to Spain while Salman was looking forward to a London pub crawl.
The couple got engaged in Spain in September last year but were worried about the health of their older relatives if they went ahead with their May wedding. Pictured: Anna after the surprise proposal
Luckily Salman and Anna have managed to reschedule their big day for September, by which point they hope the UK will be over the worst.
The venue has been very accommodating and allowed them to move the dates, as has the registrar and suit hire company.
‘Fingers crossed we don’t have to postpone it again,’ Salman told FEMAIL.
He also expressed his wish to thank Strawberry Hill House and Madeleine’s cakes, as well as Richmond Council for their help and support.
Meanwhile Lauren and Tom, from London, booked a barn-style venue back in April 2019 – near to where the bride-to-be grew up – and are still unsure whether their dream day will go ahead.
Lauren and Tom, from London, are still unsure whether their dream wedding in a barn-style venue will go ahead on May 2
‘The process of planning the wedding has been loads of fun – family and friends have been really involved in the process, invites have gone out, dresses and suits bought, a ridiculous amount of decorations made – many personalised with the May 2020 date. To be honest, everything has gone without a hitch… until now,’ explained Lauren.
‘We first heard about coronavirus at the start of the year, but thought nothing more of it. Then the stories started getting worse and the paranoia set in.’
The couple’s final wedding planning meeting took place a few days after the worst stories about coronavirus came out – and Lauren says the venue have been very reassuring.
‘They’ve said they wanted to go full steam ahead until they heard otherwise,’ said Lauren. ‘We asked about postponing but were told that wasn’t possible for the time-being – they’d only cancel if the government said they had to.
‘A few days on and our stag and hen do have been cancelled (and we assume the same for our honeymoon abroad).
‘We’re also guessing the wedding won’t be going ahead. We intend to speak to the venue again very shortly.’
While the couple fortunately have insurance, they are left unsure as to how much this will cover, or whether suppliers will be available at a later date.
A SPOKESPERSON FOR BINGHMAM RIVERHOUSE WEDDING VENUE COMMENTED:
‘We’ve been contacted by many of our couples who are getting married over the course of the next two-three months.’
‘They’re all extremely worried as news of the coronavirus spreads. They want to understand what their options are and almost express guilt in thinking of themselves and their big day as this news of this epidemic changes.’
‘Some of the couples are adamant that their big day will go ahead as scheduled, but with an anticipation that there may be fewer guests from overseas and the elderly.’
‘Some just want to move the dates to later on in the year with some of the winter month’s now becoming more popular. Some don’t want to act just yet, they just want to know what we’re doing as a business and will see what happens over the next 6-8 weeks before the make/change their plans.’
‘Everyone, without fail, has been completely supportive with the emerging situation, the need to put everyone’s health and safety first and how we’re trying to look after all of our Bingham Riverhouse staff and keep them all employed over the coming weeks/months.’
‘It’s the not knowing that makes it worse,’ said Lauren. ‘When should we even reschedule it for, if we can? We’ll never get this time back and it’s ruined what is meant to be one of the happiest times of our lives.’
Another couple in limbo are Colette, 25, and Jamie, 27, from Belfast, who got engaged in April last year and were due to marry in Marbella, Spain, on June 18.
‘We have been planning this for over a year and have flights, accommodation for five nights and a venue booked – everything is ready to go,’ Colette told FEMAIL.
‘We don’t have many guests – only 10 – but we have all been looking forward to a big family get together.
Another couple in limbo are Colette, 25, and Jamie, 27, from Belfast, who got engaged in April last year and were due to marry in Marbella, Spain, on June 18
‘We have planned a humanist wedding in Spain, so have booked the legal part at a registry office in Belfast City Hall the week before we fly.
‘Now if we can’t fly to Spain, we don’t know if we will postpone the whole marriage and wedding or go ahead with the official registry.
‘We have talked about it and we would rather wait and have our dream wedding – but who knows what the future holds and how long it will be before we can have our day.’
Colette and Jamie (pictured) had a humanist wedding planned in Spain with a registry office ceremony in Belfast before, and are now unsure whether to postpone the whole marriage and wedding or go ahead with the official part
Colette, a mental health blogger, added: ‘The wedding means so much to us! We are still quite young and decided to get engaged and married young because we wanted our whole family to be able to attend.
‘On both sides of our family we have had cancer and really stressful health situations, and so we wanted to celebrate together while we could. We have all planned to stay in the same villa and have a big holiday together.
‘Sadly Jamie’s mum passed away in January of this year very suddenly, and when that happened we felt we needed this time together even more. This has been a very hard year and we are really disappointed about the likelihood of the wedding being cancelled.’
After a difficult start to the year which saw Jamie lose his mother very suddenly, Colette told how the wedding meant everything to them as they’d decided to get married young so their family could all attend
Luckily the couple had only paid their deposits as it isn’s until June, and they are able to get a refund from their Airbnb villa and should be able to claim back their flights if they’re unable to travel to Spain.
‘I’m not sure how much money we will lose, maybe £1,000 to £2,000, but we aren’t even thinking about that. Hopefully if we have to postpone, everyone will maintain good health and we will get our dream wedding.’
Holly Eason and her fiancé, who have been planning their April wedding in their hometown of Tokyo, have had to cancel everything due to risk of guests being exposed to infection.
‘I couldn’t forgive myself if our celebration became the cause of a serious health condition,’ Holly said, speaking to the BBC.
‘I’m also worried that my dad and my brother wouldn’t be allowed to enter Japan. We just don’t know what the situation will be at the time and I wouldn’t want to go ahead without them being here.’
Her father Mike, who lives in Leciestershire, added the family are now struggling to get refunds and are looking to lose around £5,000.
Meanwhile, Saavan Nathwani and Risha Modi, from Harrow in London, told how in just one week, they were due to celebrate their dream wedding in Tuscany, Italy.
‘In a matter of one week, our world was turned upside down, when the outbreak in Italy was announced,’ said Risha, speaking to the publication.
‘We had been planning for this wedding for nearly six months. We both work full-time and even though it has been a stressful and bumpy road, the only thing that kept us going was knowing we would marry one another.’
Saavan Nathwani and Risha Modi (pictured), from Harrow in London, were looking forward to their holiday in Tuscany