Lockdown Wedding in Devon

Bethany & Jonathan

Over the years I’ve written many a blog post, this one will be a little bit different. Different because this wedding nearly didn’t happen. Like many couples across the UK, and the world really, they planned a big wedding with family and friends, well in advance, all to be told that it might not go ahead. For a little over three months it wasn’t possible to hold a legal ceremony in England.

Since March I’ve been speaking with couples, almost daily, about how the Coronavirus lockdown will affect their wedding plans. Bethany and Jonathan played the long game, they held out, and about ten days before their original wedding date, July 4th, they were advised that it could go ahead!

Of course, they knew it wouldn’t be possible to hold their big wedding day at their original venue, but they could get married in their church like planned and hold a small reception at their garden. They were on a rollercoaster of planning, thinking they could invite 5, 10 or maybe 20 people. They were so pleased that the guidelines allowed 30 people to attend the ceremony inside the church, with social distancing.

A Devon Wedding Day Like No Other

Looking at the news there were some weddings being held a little after midnight on the 4th, but it’s fair to say that with a 11.30 ceremony Bethany and Jonathan were one of the first to get married in Devon after lockdown was eased. I was chatting with Bethany regularly throughout lockdown, but I wasn’t 100% sure what to expect on the day with all the amendments made. It was so nice to see friends watching the ceremony via a live stream, meaning they could also provide the singing of the hymns which couldn’t take place inside the church. Other than the spacing in seating, and the anti-bac gel before the signing, it was a familiar feeling during the ceremony.

I’m lucky to often photograph elopements and smaller weddings, and it’s always special to see a wedding day with just the bare essentials. From my perspective, I was so excited to get back to work. I was happier still to see Bethany and Jonathan leave the church as husband and wife after all the uncertainty they had to deal with. They did so well to re-organise the day and I was the lucky one who got to document it all. Here’s a selection from their lockdown wedding in Devon…

For the foreseeable future, this is what weddings will look like. As the summer season starts to slowly pick up again I’ll be photographing smaller weddings with government guidelines to follow. As I’ve said with many couples over the phone, there is no right answer. Each wedding is unique, some will delay until everyone can attend, whilst others will adjust and have whatever wedding they can. Either way, I’m game to document it all!

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