Wedding bells to ring early as Jenny and Nick race against time to beat wedding rules blues

It's been a whirlwind romance for Jenny Nelson and Nick Barratt – a whirlwind that will continue this Saturday, when the couple tie the knot a fortnight sooner than planned - all to beat new coronavirus restrictions.

Jenny Nelson and Nick Barratt
Jenny Nelson and Nick Barratt

The Valley Hotel, in Ironbridge, pulled out all the stops to ensure Jenny and Nick could still have their dream day despite new regulations announced on Tuesday cutting the number at weddings from 30 to just 15.

But it meant rescheduling everything for Saturday, before changes come into force on Monday.

Jenny's dress was still with the seamstress today but everything else changed in a few frantic hours – and Jenny said she was delighted the wedding could still go ahead.

The couple have seven children between them, aged seven to 25. Jenny has two girls and a boy, and Nick three girls and a boy, so they already had nine attending before anyone else could be invited.

Tuesday's ruling was a complete shock. Jenny said: "We were so disappointed. With all of us, the registrars and a photographer it would have left us with three guests.

"But then the hotel rang us and said they had had a cancellation for Saturday, the registrars were free and would we be interested in bringing the wedding forward?

"We made a few phone calls and when we agreed, the hotel was absolutely brilliant organising everything.

"My dress is still being altered but I will be walking down the aisle in it."

The couple first met online in June, and then got engaged in July.

"To meet, date and marry in 15-16 weeks is crazy but we are living in crazy and uncertain times at the moment and who knows what will happen in future," Jenny said.

"The children all get on well together and are looking forward to this new chapter.

"We are going to live in Oakengates, although at the moment I am still back and forward to Stoke where I was living."

Jenny will be given away by her nine-year-old son, while the five girls are bridesmaids.

Lisa Snape, from The Valley Hotel, said that when the announcement about weddings came in on Tuesday she thought immediately of Nick and Jenny.

"They were the first ones that were getting married here and we thought, if they can move the date, then they can still have the wedding they want," she said.

"I feel so very sorry for all our couples. We have been on the phone to them constantly this week and have had to move back about 20 weddings.

"For some of them this will be the third time they have had to postpone their wedding.

"I do understand why, and this is no-one's fault, but it is so hard on the couples."

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