On a grey Sunday morning, the last one before lockdown 2.0, I was stood by the rugby pitch cheering on my boys, when I got a message from one of our gorgeous brides! It was marked urgent so I immediately opened it and realised the day was about to take an unexpected turn.
Ali & Kevin, who both work for the NHS, were due to be married in the summer of 2020, but Covid ruined those plans! Then they decided to go ahead with a small and intimate micro wedding in November this year, but as Boris announced Lockdown 2.0 on Halloween, Ali & Kevin realised their wedding was not going to happen – again! Or was it? As Ali is such an eloquent story teller I will let her tell you her beautiful tale in her own words. Enjoy!
“Can we really get married – today?” I asked, with everything spinning in my mind. “But I have no wedding dress!”Ali Tait Sass & Grace Bride
“Can we really do this?” I asked Kevin, needing reassurance, a hug and a dress to wear.
We sat together the Sunday morning after Boris had announced, not only a second lockdown in three days’ time, but devastatingly a cancellation of all forthcoming weddings which was to be us in four weeks’ time. I had cried so much the night before hearing this news and felt so sad and despondent, wondering when on earth we would be able to marry.
“Can we really get married – today?” I asked, with everything spinning in my mind. “But I have no wedding dress” I replied, and “oh my goodness! Shall we?” I said.
We instantly knew I had to dash across the road to see Gordon our village vicar to see if this was actually possible. I ran over, daring to be excited but also still so sad our wedding was gone, again.
Gordon saw my face and the tears, and then heard my hopeful question “Can we get married this afternoon?” I asked, nervous for the answer. Gordon did not hesitate and replied with so much enthusiasm “Yes! Yes! On my! Wow!”. We settled on 3.30pm and as I ran home to tell Kevin the fantastic news that we can get married and it’s happening, I glanced up to the church clock tower and saw the church clock saying 10.30am.
We had precisely five hours to pull it all together before I was back in church for our wedding.
Then began the most amazing story of love, overwhelming kindness, village spirit and romance.
We hugged with so much excitement and Kevin set off to M&S to buy all three teenage boys white shirts, and matching ties. He added lunch for us all, champagne and nibbles, and even remembered I would need a bouquet of flowers so bought three bunches hoping a bouquet could be created. The checkout lady couldn’t quite understand the three bunches of flowers, lasagne for 12, and a lot of fizz, plus white shirts. Kevin explained excitedly, “I’m actually getting married in a four hours’ time! We decided this morning!”. The person behind him in the queue whooped for joy, cried, then spontaneously gave Kevin her M&S voucher, everyone was so happy to hear our decision and feel the enthusiasm and love for the moment.
Kevin called his super friend, Simon, to see if he was free to take some photos for us, and yes, he was! Amazing!
Back at home, I was so happy and bursting with excitement whilst trying to pull together an organist, bouquets of flowers, what on earth to wear, decorate the house, and get hold of my parents in Brockenhurst, an hour away.
Sam said “Your dresses are ready! They are ready for you!” I cried all over again with sheer amazement and thrill! They had been finished the night before. How incredible I thought!Ali Tait, Sass & Grace Bride
Still I thought about what to wear. I wished I could wear my wedding dress, and the girls in their bridesmaids’ dresses, but they were being altered to fit and would not be ready until the 11th November.
I messaged lovely Sam at Sass & Grace, just on the off chance that my dress might be ready, and could I drive and collect it?
My phone rang, it was Sam, she said “Your dresses are ready! They are ready for you!” I cried all over again with sheer amazement and thrill! They had been finished the night before. How incredible I thought.
Sam then went on to say “I’ll go and collect them and drive them to you. You must enjoy your wedding day! I am on my way!” how wonderful was this! I felt so truly blessed and utterly thrilled that we could wear our dresses. I would be in my wedding dress on my wedding day after all!
The house was being transformed by my lovely friend Jordon, it was looking so beautiful with candles, lanterns and fairy lights. With music on in the kitchen bunting went up saying ‘Mr and Mrs’ as croissants arrived and fizz started to flow.
“We really are getting married in two hours!” I said as Vicky my lovely neighbour appeared, and began to turn the bunches of flowers into a beautiful bouquet for me and two sweet posies for the girls.
Kevin was back home and we sneaked a few kisses and exchanges of excitement as we updated one another. “We can wear our dresses!! “Simon can take the photos!”
“Is there a wedding here today?” came the excited call from the front door, as my lovely parents appeared and came in to join the fun and laughter and cherish the excitement.
“How do I do the cufflinks?” said the boys, who looked so smart in their white shirts, suits and matching ties.
“It’s all set to live stream mum!” says George my 16 year old son. This is amazing! My brother can now be part of the day up in Edinburgh.
Kevin and my father assisted with cufflinks and jackets whilst I take a call from a very special friend Zoe to say they are on their way, and Richard will play the trumpet and sing in the service. He usually does this professionally in Winchester Cathedral! I cried again, bowled over by all the excitement and love.
Sam arrives, and our dresses are here. Oh amazing! The girls put their dresses on and they look so beautiful! I am so happy to see their smiles of delight.
The boys need to leave to go to the pub so I can get ready! Come on boys! It’s 2.30pm! Go go go! A quick kiss for my husband-to-be and it’s time for me to put on my beautiful dress!
Vicky is armed with a crochet hook to do up the delicate buttons on the back of my dress. It’s on, and I feel such a bride and so ready to be married, in my heart and now in my dress.
Our home is glowing with love and the shine of candles, lanterns and lights as I set off from our home to walk to church. It is lightly raining and I am as delighted as I would be on a summer’s day.
“Vicky is armed with a crochet hook to do up the delicate buttons on the back of my dress. It’s on, and I feel such a bride and so ready to be married, in my heart and now in my dress.”Ali Tait, Sass & Grace Bride
As my father and I walk to church past the duck pond with the girls carrying my train, we are cheered on by village friends, and I spot the bunting put up for us in the churchyard. I am smiling so much with all the love and kindness around me.
The church door opens, and George walks me down the aisle accompanied by the most beautiful trumpet playing. I am met with a wave of love, warmth and complete togetherness as I glance at my future husband, and see the joy in our family’s smiles, and the glow of the lovely church candles all arranged for us. The service takes such a unique form of solemnity and informality as we say our vows so sincerely, and then stand in the wrong place a few times. Our super vicar even managed to print a personal order of service for us. This is the only thing we have with the date of our wedding on, and is now so precious.
We are married and we are so deeply happy as we hold tight to one another leaving our church and out to the friends waiting with fizz and party poppers.
We welcome in friends and neighbours for fizz and laughter as we share our wedding day with our wonderful combined family, and each other. Our first dance is in our kitchen – so perfect, so informal and so wonderful.
There was no honeymoon, as were back to work for the NHS the next day as Doctor and nurse. As I drove to work the next morning I thought of our wonderfully special day, and how, as we approach Remembrance Sunday, there must have been many weddings arranged with this haste before going to war. As we head into Advent, we think of Christmas and the sense of family and love. Our wedding day perhaps drew these together in perfect combination knowing we are facing another wave of the pandemic in our hospital, yet have each other as husband and wife now, and our amazing family and friends supporting us.
We will forever remember our amazing lockdown wonderful wedding day.
|Dress||Ellis Bridals at Sass & Grace|