Couple get hitched two days before another national lockdown is due to start

Adorable photos show one of the last couples able to get married before the UK locks down again on Thursday. 

The couple, known only as Meg and Matt, were photographed as they tied the knot during a socially distanced ceremony in Endon, near Stoke-on-Trent today. 

The loved up pair got married in front of a selected number of loved ones at The Ashes Barns Country House. 

Many couples had to change their plans for their nuptials this year after the coronavirus pandemic hit the UK in March, with many more are rushing to finally get hitched before the new lockdown starts on at 00.001 on Thursday. 

Ready to say 'I do!' Couple from Stoke-on-Trent, Meg and Matt beamed on their wedding day today, which they planned ahead of the new national lockdown starting Thursday, which will see many weddings cancelled throughout November

Ready to say ‘I do!’ Couple from Stoke-on-Trent, Meg and Matt beamed on their wedding day today, which they planned ahead of the new national lockdown starting Thursday, which will see many weddings cancelled throughout November 

Blushing bride Meg happily walked to the venue with her father, following by her sister, who was holding her daughter

Blushing bride Meg happily walked to the venue with her father, following by her sister, who was holding her daughter

The happy couple celebrated with a small number of guests at the The Ashes Barns Country House, in Endon, near Stoke on Trent

The happy couple celebrated with a small number of guests at the The Ashes Barns Country House, in Endon, near Stoke on Trent 

NEW RULES ON WEDDINGS, FUNERALS AND WORSHIP 

  •  Places of worship will be closed unless it is for a funeral, individual prayer, broadcasted acts of worship, formal childcare, blood donation, food banks or support groups. 
  • Churches, mosques and synagogues can open their doors for individual worship but communal services are banned. 
  • As is currently the case, funerals may be attended by a maximum of 30 people. 
  • Weddings and civil partnerships will not be allowed to go ahead unless there are exceptional circumstances. 
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Meg and Matt chose to wed in a small ceremony with their immediate family rather than wait until the end of the second lockdown, with it unclear when restrictions will be lifted about weddings. 

Meg beamed as she walked to the venue accompanied by her father and her sister, who was her bridesmaid and was also holding Meg’s daughter. 

Meanwhile, handsome groom Matt was waiting for his bride at the alter.

The couple did not wear face coverings, but guests in attendance did. 

Matt and Meg also made sure that guests were sitting at a reasonable distance from one another, on compliance with social distancing guidelines. 

Their union comes as the new lockdown looms and couples across the country  have made the most of the few last days without restrictions to take the leap.

A moving video released on Sunday shone a light on the importance of weddings as ceremonies across England.

The four-minute compilation showed couples exchanging vows, walking down the aisle, sharing their first dance and celebrating with loved ones at weddings that took place before the Covid-19 pandemic took hold.

It was released by #WhatAboutWeddings, a campaign group set up to raise awareness of the devastating impact of Covid-19 restrictions on couples and businesses that depend on weddings. 

Meg looked beautiful in her white wedding gown. Pictured with her mother and her sister as they were getting ready

Meg looked beautiful in her white wedding gown. Pictured with her mother and her sister as they were getting ready 

The few guests in attendance were sat on chairs respective social distances measures in the church

The few guests in attendance were sat on chairs respective social distances measures in the church 

The bridal party quietly waiting in a street before the celebrations were due to start this morning

The bridal party quietly waiting in a street before the celebrations were due to start this morning 

The couple exchanged a tender kiss during the ceremony as mask-clad guests applauded them

The couple exchanged a tender kiss during the ceremony as mask-clad guests applauded them 

 

An estimated 400,000 workers rely on the wedding sector. The vast majority of these haven’t worked since March. 

Under the government’s latest lockdown restrictions, no civil ceremonies or marriages will be allowed to take place in England until 2 December.

Some couples due to wed over the next four weeks are now rushing to tie the knot before the new restrictions are introduced on Thursday.

Others who have had their wedding plans dashed have taken to social media to share their disappointment.

The couple had a fun and joyful wedding in spite of the looming lockdown starting on Thursday at midnight

The couple had a fun and joyful wedding in spite of the looming lockdown starting on Thursday at midnight 

All attendees were wearing masks and sitting at a safe distance from one another during the ceremony

All attendees were wearing masks and sitting at a safe distance from one another during the ceremony 

Cutest bridesmaid ever! Meg is pictured with her daughter on her wedding day in Stoke-on-Tent today

Cutest bridesmaid ever! Meg is pictured with her daughter on her wedding day in Stoke-on-Tent today 

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT CORONAVIRUS RESTRICTIONS ACROSS THE UK?

New lockdown restrictions announced for England on Saturday October 30 are the latest measures brought in for the UK.

Different rules are now in place in each of the four nations.

This is the picture in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

 

England

On Saturday, October 30 Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced new measures for the whole of England which are to come into force from Thursday.

Pubs, bars, restaurants and non-essential retail will close until December 2 and people will be told to stay at home unless they have a specific reason to leave, but schools, colleges and nurseries will remain open.

People will be allowed outside to exercise and socialise in public spaces outside with their household or one other person, but not indoors or in private gardens, and will be able to travel to work if they cannot work from home.

 

Wales

The whole of Wales is currently under a 17-day ‘firebreak’ lockdown which started on October 23 and will last until November 9.

People can only leave their homes for limited reasons and must work from home where possible. 

Leisure, hospitality and tourism businesses are closed, along with community centres, libraries and recycling centres. Places of worship are shut other than for funerals or wedding ceremonies.

 

Scotland

The majority of Scots will be placed into Level 3 of a new five-tier system from Monday, with the rest of the country in either Levels 1 or 2.

The central belt – including Edinburgh, Glasgow, Stirling and Falkirk – will be joined by Dundee and Ayrshire in Level 3.

Aberdeenshire, Aberdeen, Fife, the Borders, Dumfries and Galloway, Argyll and Bute, Perth and Kinross and Angus will be in Level 2.

Highland, Moray, Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland have been assessed as Level 1.

Levels 1, 2 and 3 are broadly comparable to tier system currently in place in England.

Despite ministers considering putting North and South Lanarkshire into Level 4 – equivalent to a full lockdown – First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Thursday, 29 October that no area will be placed into that highest tier at the moment.

She has told Scots not to travel to England unless it is for ‘essential purposes’.

 

Northern Ireland

Pubs and restaurants were closed for four weeks starting on October 16 with the exception of takeaways and deliveries. Schools were closed for two weeks.

Retail outlets remain open, along with gyms for individual training.

People have been told they should work from home unless unable to do so, and have been urged not to take unnecessary journeys.  

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Speaking to MailOnline, Annabel Beeforth of #WhatAboutWeddings and founder of the Little Book Wedding Directory, explained the video had originally been planned to coincide with the end to the traditional wedding season but is even more poignant in light of Boris Johnson’s announcement.

The group said: ‘There are so many small moments at milestone events by which we measure the passing of time. The memories created stay with us through the years that follow.

‘This year, due to the impact of Covid19, we’ve all lost so many moments and those longed-for wedding days that so many couples have had to postpone or cancel.

‘However we need to hold on and look forward to celebrating love, family, celebration, hope and joy more than ever.’ 

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