Telford couple tie the knot with five guests in borough's first post-lockdown wedding

By Charlotte Bentley | Ironbridge | Coronavirus | Published:

A happy couple tied the knot at a Telford hotel this weekend in the borough's first civil wedding since lockdown.

Tracie Kenny and Neal Arden celebrate their marriage with Neal's son Callum at their wedding ceremony at The Best Western Valley Hotel, Ironbridge, as weddings are once again permitted to take place in England, with ceremonies capped at a maximum of 30 guests. PA Photo.

Tracie Kenny, 53, and Neal Arden, 49, of Lawley Bank, fulfilled their dream of getting married on the fifth anniversary of the date they got together, thanks to the staff at The Best Western Valley Hotel in Ironbridge which opened for one hour on Saturday for the special ceremony.

Tracie Kenny shows her wedding ring to her parents, who had to watch her marriage to Neal Arden from outside due to social distancing measures, at The Best Western Valley Hotel, Ironbridge. PA Photo

The couple celebrated the momentous day with two witnesses, Tracie’s best friend Samantha Delaney and Neal’s best friend Giles Corbett, as well as Neal's 13 year-old son Callum, the honorary best man.

With social distancing meaning only five people could fit inside, Tracie had tofirst show off her wedding ring to her parents through the window.

Weddings are now permitted to take place in England, with ceremonies capped at a maximum of 30 guests.

Tracie Kenny and Neal Arden from Lawley Bank. PA Photo

Tracie and Neal, who have known each other for 25 years, had Telford and Wrekin's first civil wedding since lockdown in a revised ceremony that was originally meant to have about 100 people invited.

Lisa Snape, sales and marketing manager at the Best Western Valley Hotel in Ironbridge said: "We were honoured to host the ceremony for Tracie and Neal.


"It was a beautiful intimate ceremony for five guests and went without a hitch.

"I’m so glad we made it happen even if it was a little different to normal. Our team provided a first class ceremony once again and ensured our customer was the number one throughout.

Tracie Kenny and Neal Arden at their wedding ceremony. PA Photo

"We are looking forward to welcoming more guests now we have officially reopened today."


The couple met through their mutual interest in rallying as they are both members of Telford Auto Club.

Tracie is a Clinical Trials Data Co-ordinator at the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals Trust and Neal works for Breedon Aggregates.

“We got together on July 4 five years ago and we always said we would get married the next time that date fell on a Saturday. We had been dealing with Lisa at The Valley and were on the phone as soon as Boris made his announcement about hospitality opening up on July 4,” said Tracie.

They are planning to do the whole thing again next July with family and friends, and hope to jet off on their honeymoon soon after.

Charlotte Bentley

By Charlotte Bentley
Community Reporter - @CharlotteB_Star

Community Reporter at the Shropshire Star, helping under-represented communities to find a voice in Shropshire and Mid Wales. Contact me at

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