Freedom Day celebrations for couple whose wedding was delayed by a year by Covid

"Today is wonderful because we've been able to share it with so many and it couldn't have come at a better time."

Alan Whitehouse and Victoria Weston at Pendrell Hall, one of the first weddings with no restrictions
Alan Whitehouse and Victoria Weston at Pendrell Hall, one of the first weddings with no restrictions

The sun was shining and the smiles were beaming as Alan Whitehouse and Victoria Weston finally said their vows and became Mr and Mrs Whitehouse.

The couple from Kidderminster had waited nearly a year to get married after their original wedding date of August 11, 2020, had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Alan, 38, and 29-year-old Victoria were finally able to say "I do" at Pendrell Hall in Codsall Wood in front of 100 guests, after their wedding fell on "Freedom Day", which saw all restrictions lifted for their big day.

The happy couple share a kiss after becoming Mr and Mrs Whitehouse

Those attending the wedding were able to enjoy the wide and beautiful surroundings of the hall, with a string quartet playing songs and ice-creams on offer on what was a warm day.

For Alan and Victoria, to be having the wedding at all was a relief and it had been even better to know it was on the first day after restrictions were lifted.

Alan said: "Today is absolutely amazing as we've been waiting for it to happen for nearly a year and we did check the calendar to see if we'd be under restrictions after it got put back.

Alan and Victoria Whitehouse celebrate their wedding with 100 friends and family

"When we heard that the date was being put back, we did wonder if we'd end up being on the last day of the restrictions, but it's landed on the right day for us."

Victoria said: "Today has been really good, but also a bit nerve-racking as we were waiting to see if we'd have to put things back or not, so it's good it's happened.

"We'd always planned for the big wedding and we wanted to make sure we could have as many people as possible, and while some haven't come due to positive tests, we've got everyone here and we're delighted to be getting married."

For guests attending the wedding, the occasion was a special one due to being able to attend such an event after a year and a half of restrictions.

Nikki Davies from Bewdley said that it was nice to be at the wedding and the 55-year-old said it was down to everyone to do what they felt was right around Covid and mask wearing.

She said: "It's time for everyone to do what they feel is right and I've got my mask with me for the people who still feel a bit uncomfortable, so it's all about personal responsibility.

"It's great to be here today as it's predominantly outside and we know the people we're on the table with and I feel safe as I've been double-jabbed and I'm glad to be here for the wedding."

Michelle and Alan Weaver had had their wedding with restrictions back in June and were delighted to be part of a wedding with no restrictions

Michelle and Alan Weaver had been married on June 19, so had been limited to 30 people at their wedding, and 39-year-old Michelle and 46-year-old Alan said they were pleased for their friends to be able to have their big day.

Michelle said: "We've all been restricted for so long and while we need to be careful, I feel happy and safe here and it's nice to be out enjoying the warm weather at a wedding."

Alan said: "We've got our party this weekend for those who couldn't make the wedding, so we're only a little apprehensive as we don't want to spoil this weekend.

"However, it's brilliant to be here and we've seen a lot of people keeping their social distancing, so it feels safe here."

Eden Crane was one of many staff members helping out on the day

It was a nice occasion for the parents of Alan as John and Elsie Whitehouse said they were delighted to be there and happy to see everyone enjoying themselves.

John, 70, said: "To be honest, the fact it's Freedom Day has made this for me, as without that we wouldn't have been able to do this.

"I feel quite comfortable about being here today and it's wonderful to see everyone enjoying a warm summer's day in a lovely location."

Elsie, 67, said: "I'm really pleased to see today go ahead and go as well as it has, as it's been such a long time in lockdown not being able to see family.

"There's a few people who couldn't make it today and we're missing them, but it's nice to get everyone back together and this is a wonderful venue to do so."

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