Real Weddings #1 – The Lockdown Wedding
Lauren & David
Reader’s note: The wedding took place on 9th July 2020, whilst under strict government social distancing guidelines.
It wasn’t quite the Manor-Hall extravaganza that they had planned, however after weeks of nervous anticipation and a few false-starts, Lauren & David finally became wife and husband on 9th July, less than a week after the government relaxed the coronavirus restrictions and allowed wedding ceremonies to recommence.
New Normal is Socially Distant Weddings
To reuse a phrase that is become increasingly common, the ‘new normal’ felt remarkably – well – normal. Despite being a traditional wedding at Lauren & David’s home church, it felt comparable to a stripped back acoustic gig. There was no singing, no sermon, and a maximum of 30 guests allowed. Whilst there were just 18 attendee at this particular gathering, all family groups had to sit in their own social bubbles, meaning that despite the low numbers everyone was fairly spread out in the cavernous church nave.
Kenilworth, preparing for Socially Distant Wedding
I turned up to St Johns Church in Kenilworth typically early, in order to introduce myself to the vicar Andrew. I always make a point of this, both out of courtesy but also because some clergy are stricter than others regarding my movements during the service. He outlined the social distancing, and where I could go in order to remain distant from everyone else.
The ceremony itself was short and sweet. Lauren arrived in an unusual mist of July drizzle, and even more unusually the wedding party, groom included, met the bridal party at the church doors for the ‘health and safety’ briefing.
Once inside, No singing. No sermon. But nevertheless still heartwarming and God-centred for this young Christian couple.
Location Scouting for the happy couple
No sooner had we begun, less than 30 minutes Mr & Mrs Steele were walking out hand in hand. The grounds at the church are limited. I had beforehand scouted out the location to find somewhere; a) not too far from a pavement for the bride’s dress and heels to not get dirty, b) a good all-weather backdrop, c) within a short drive of the church.
We took a quick trip up the road to Kenilworth Castle for some group photos – now the real fun began!
It felt odd going against my usual ethos of being candid & discreet to start carefully manoeuvring family members about. However with no ability for me to follow the family to any sort of reception or gathering afterwards meant we were confined to outdoor group photos. Still – I worked my usual tricks and managed to arrange the individual bubbles to be 2m apart, whilst not looking apart.
Small Legal Socially Distant Wedding
And so until their main wedding celebration party in October (hopefully!), that was the end of my time with them. It has been common for couples to have a small legal wedding ceremony and a bigger party at a later date. Whilst it is extra work for me, I have endeavoured to keep prices as fair as possible. I don’t want to take advantage of the situation with couples obliged to book me twice.
Planning a lockdown wedding? Keen to find out how I can help? Please send me a message now.