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You may kiss the bride

by Michael Ford last modified 05 Jun, 2020 04:27 PM

With our church buildings closed, those words have not been uttered for some time and weddings, like so many other events and celebrations, have been put on hold.

But for one Wiltshire couple, postponing their nuptuals just wasn't an option.

And so Debbie and Mike Hobday from Netheravon and their priest, the Revd Gale Hunt were overjoyed when their application for a special licence was granted and were able to marry at home.

The government is permitting special licence weddings to go ahead, but only in extreme circumstances and groom Mike's brain tumour sadly meant the couple qualified.

But concerns about Mike's health were put aside for the special day, and the newly-married Mrs Hobday posted on Facebook:

"Mike and I managed to get married under a special Marriage Licence on Saturday which was very kindly arranged by our fabulous Vicar, Gale Hunt.

"Because of the current circumstances, it meant we married at home.

"What a beautiful, magical and truly emotional day it was. We were supposed to be getting married on 16 May, but because of the lockdown we had to postpone everything.

"As most of you I am sure, are aware, Mike my new husband has a brain tumour, so getting married was extremely important to us both.

"Without Gale’s help, it would not have been possible, so both Mike and I would like to say a huge, huge thank to you, Gale. You made our day a very special day indeed. It was a beautiful ceremony!"

Gale, Team Vicar in the Avon River Team of Churches said:

"It was an incredibly special occasion, with neighbours providing flowers from their gardens for arrangements in the lounge where the ceremony took place, for the table in the conservatory where the registers were signed, and for Debbie’s bouquet.

"The witnesses were their next door neighbours who are active members of Fittleton cum Haxton church, which is where Debbie and Mike were to have been married. 19 households of their friends and family joined us via Zoom.

"It’s a wedding I will never forget and the love the couple have for each other shone out of them and was beautiful to witness."

Rules around weddings during lockdown are that there can be no weddings in church buildings until further notice.

It is not currently possible under English law for a wedding to take place using video conferencing technology without the couple, priest and witnesses being physically present.

In the government’s latest FAQs, the advice reads:

“There’s no change at this time. We understand the frustration couples planning a wedding must be feeling, so we have set out our intention to enable small wedding ceremonies from 1 June. As with all coronavirus restrictions on places of worship, venues and social distancing, we will look to ease them as soon as it is safe to do so.”

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