After months of waiting to find out the fate of their wedding, Angela Hughes and Andrew Davies were gutted when their planned elopement to Gretna Green was postponed.
The couple, who have been together for 10 years and engaged for six, had been planning the small and intimate ceremony, which was due to take place on July 4, for months before they found out in June it would not be going ahead.
“I had to wait for them to cancel, but there were no weddings going on and with the five-mile rule we couldn’t have gone if there was. I was absolutely devastated, I wept for nearly a fortnight,” said 54-year-old cleaner Angela.
“There were only six of us going, just our close friends as witnesses, then we were coming home and the following weekend we were going to have a big party in the legion with 180 people.
“But it has all been rescheduled now for February.”
With no certainty as to whether the wedding in Scotland would be able to go ahead, the couple from Ystrad, Rhondda, still prepared and planned for the ceremony and sent off their registration in April.
The hall was booked for the week after the ceremony, for a party with 180 people.
Angela’s dress is sat waiting in the wedding shop ready for a final fitting after she spent the two months before lockdown losing two and a half stone with a personal trainer.
Countless other preparations all came to a halt when it was finally decided the ceremony wouldn’t be going ahead right now.
However, thanks to the couple’s neighbours, what would have been their original wedding day didn’t go unmarked.
The residents of Pembroke close and Club Row all pulled together and put their glad rags on to hold a fake ceremony which took place on Saturday.
“My friends in the street when we had VE day, they said we will have a mock wedding and it was absolutely fantastic.”
Angela explained how her neighbour, Alwyn Cockerell, dressed up as a vicar and his wife Lesley was Angela’s bridesmaid. Other neighbours were also roped in and played the roles of best man and father of the bride.
A balloon archway was put up in a neighbour’s front garden where the ceremony was held.
Angela borrowed a bridesmaid dress as her wedding gown and Andrew was suited in a three piece.
“Then we had fish and chips from the local chip shop, she delivered them up to us, we had bingo and we had karaoke.
“They were really excited, every single one of my neighbours had all dressed up, they had all their best on with flower corsages.
“We did our vows, we had pretend wedding rings. The vicar had a bible from Reader’s Digest,” Angela joked.
“It really was emotional. I was shaking. I had a few vodkas before we did it.”
While the couple were gutted that their real wedding had been postponed, they were grateful for the effort their neighbours put in to make it a memorable day.
Angela has worked throughout lockdown as a cleaner, while car MOT inspector Andrew, 57, spent the time at home doing DIY projects.
The couple met around 13 years ago through mutual friends and have been together for the last 10. Andrew popped the question on a day out in Cardiff, where they spent the day celebrating with friends and family around six years ago.
Fortunately, they have been able to reschedule their wedding for next year without losing any money as a result. Angela and Andrew will now get married on February 13 in Gretna Green, the day Wales are due to play Scotland in an away game of rugby.
“The only thing that has changed about it is we are getting married earlier in the day now, which suits us as kick off is at 5.30pm,” Angela joked.