What do you do when you want to tie the knot with the love of your life but there’s a country-wide time crunch? You do everything as quickly as possible, of course.
Bride Aly Harwood, 33, had to plan everything in a day to get hitched to partner Gareth Bateman, 34, before England’s second lockdown, which starts on Thursday.
The proactive bride rearranged the church, reception, flowers, and dress fittings all in a day to arrange for the big day on 3 November.
The couple had originally planned to say their vows on 20 November in front of 200 guests at Christ Church in North Shields, where three generations of Aly’s family previously wed.
And the couple of two years had arranged for a major reception at the stunning Wylam Brewery in Newcastle.
When the Covid-19 pandemic scuppered their plans, they scaled back the celebrations and restricted the number of guests to 30.
In their final, last-minute plan, Aly and Gareth will now tie the knot in front of just 14 close friends and family.
Aly, an underwriter for an insurance firm, said: ‘I was brought up overseas so I have a lot of friends in other countries and around 30 guests were supposed to come from abroad.
‘But on Saturday, I read the news that the government was going to introduce another lockdown, so I thought I’d give everyone a call and see what we can do.
‘I decided that I was going to get married before any lockdown came in.
‘Our vicar was great, she said she’d marry us at midnight if she had to.’
Aly added: ‘It was only ever about the wedding and getting married, we weren’t bothered about the glitz and the glamour that goes with it.
‘Thankfully, because everyone has pulled out all the stops, we will be able to have a celebration on the day as well.’
Aly will become the fourth generation of her family to get married at the church when she walks down the aisle.
The couple will then head back to their local boozer, Cook and Barker, in Northumbria, for a wedding breakfast that includes a cheese and pork pie cake.
Due to travel restrictions and the short notice of the day, only 15 guests were planned for the big day.
And that was reduced to 14 when the best man was told he had to self-isolate because his childminder had displayed Covid symptoms.
Aly’s goddaughter, 21, will also act as the photographer on the day.
The bride-to-be added: ‘We just went for direct family, we both have small families so by the time you add in the bridesmaids and groomsmen, that’s your wedding party complete.