Pregnant couple ‘gutted’ they may not be able to marry until after their first child is born


A pregnant couple who were desperate to get married before welcoming their first child fear they will be forced to cancel their big day next month due to coronavirus.

Last night Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed that the UK is under lockdown, with marriage ceremonies among the gatherings now banned. He made the dramatic announcement during his daily address to the nation on the Covid-19 outbreak.

Francesca Page, 26, was due to marry IT lecturer Adam Nicholls, 32, in an intimate ceremony with 12 of their closest family and friends at the registry office in Poole on April 18, followed by a meal out with 40 guests at a restaurant. 

The couple, who live in Dorset and have been together a year-and-a-half, had already changed their big white wedding plans after discovering they were expecting.

Francesca Page, 26, was due to marry IT lecturer Adam Nicholls, 32, in an intimate ceremony with 12 of their closest family and friends at the registry office in Poole on April 18

They are hoping the government rules will be relaxed in three weeks’ time – which takes them to four days before their big day. 

Francesca, a flood defense officer, told FEMAIL the most important thing to them was to be married when their child arrives in July. 

‘We never wanted to wait until next year because it wasn’t important to us to have everything perfectly done by the book, plus we were so excited for me, my fiancé, my step-son and the new baby to all share the same name when baby is born in early July,’ she said. 

‘So we threw this together and it felt perfect for us!’

Francesca and Adam got engaged in early September last year and began planning straight away. 

Francesca and Adam got engaged in early September last year and began planning straight away

Francesca and Adam got engaged in early September last year and began planning straight away

They discovered they were expecting in November, and decided to push on with the wedding regardless.

‘We didn’t officially plan and pay for anything until January,’ Francesca explained. ‘I have a maternity style tea length wedding dress.

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‘We couldn’t afford much but my cousin gifted us a wedding cake that she ordered to be made to feed 40. The restaurant were giving us for free hire of most of their upstairs, letting us decorate it the night before – this was supposed to be at The Stable in Bournemouth.

‘We chose to do it this way because all that has always been really important to us is that we marry – we just really want to be married!’ 

Before last night’s announcement, the couple had received an email from the registry office letting them know only five people could attend the ceremony – made up of them, the registrar and their witnesses.

They were offered to opportunity to cancel or postpone until the end of May, which was cutting it close to their due date. 

Francesca, a flood defense officer, told FEMAIL the most important thing to them was to be married when their child arrives in July

Francesca, a flood defense officer, told FEMAIL the most important thing to them was to be married when their child arrives in July

Francesca said: ‘We chatted about it and with our families, and since we have always said the important thing to us is to be married, we decided to go ahead on the condition my step-son could be present. 

‘The registry office confirmed they would make an allowance for him to be present – he is five and has been so excited about the day and looking after the special rings for us, it wouldn’t feel right to do it without him there. So we agreed to continue as planned.’ 

If their wedding ceremony is able to go ahead with the five-person limit, Francesca said she’s sad that both their parents won’t be able to be present.

‘They fully understand and have been amazingly supportive, but I still wish they could be there,’ she added.

‘We’re both gutted; we had done it low-key to enable us to do it despite other factors like being pregnant and finances, so we’re devastated that it’s looking more and more likely it’ll be moved even later now. 

‘If we weren’t pregnant, postponing would be less of an issue. But we are of course limited in when we can move it to. However, we fully understand and agree the right steps are being taken by the government given the situation.’ 

Primary school teacher Lauren Butterworth, 33, from Altrincham, was due to marry fiancé Richard Biddulph, 31, a software engineer from the Wirral on May 20 at Dunham Forest Golf Course.

The couple, who have been together nearly six years, had carefully picked their date to line-up with school holidays, after getting engaged on July 30, 2018 when Rich proposed in Central Park, New York.

Primary school teacher Lauren Butterworth, 33, from Altrincham, was due to marry fiancé Richard Biddulph, 31, a software engineer from the Wirral on May 20 at Dunham Forest Golf Course

Primary school teacher Lauren Butterworth, 33, from Altrincham, was due to marry fiancé Richard Biddulph, 31, a software engineer from the Wirral on May 20 at Dunham Forest Golf Course

Lauren said the news last night wasn’t unexpected – they’d already cancelled their mini-moon to Italy in May – she said the realisation she wasn’t getting married in two months still hit hard. 

‘I had a big cry last night and let family and friends know,’ she told FEMAIL.

‘I feel absolutely gutted, but then feel guilty because people are losing family members and friends, so I can’t really be complaining about a wedding!

‘What I want more than anything is a big hug from my mum – but I’m not sure when we will see her again for now.’

The couple, who have been together nearly six years, had carefully picked their date to line-up with school holidays, after getting engaged on July 30, 2018 when Rich proposed in Central Park, New York

The couple, who have been together nearly six years, had carefully picked their date to line-up with school holidays, after getting engaged on July 30, 2018 when Rich proposed in Central Park, New York

Lauren and Rich had family coming from France and other relatives which are classed in the vulnerable category, so going ahead was never going to be an option for them.

‘As for having a closed ceremony, which was discussed before the PM’s announcement last night, that wasn’t an option either as I don’t want to get married without my family and my dad giving me away,’ Lauren added. 

‘He has been working on his speech for over 18 months. I dread to think how long it is going to be by 2021!’

She said a couple of their vendors have reached out to them and have been very supportive, and she will contact the rest over the coming week. 

Lauren and Rich had family coming from France and other relatives which are classed in the vulnerable category, so going ahead was never going to be an option for them

Lauren and Rich had family coming from France and other relatives which are classed in the vulnerable category, so going ahead was never going to be an option for them

‘We do have wedding insurance, but it doesn’t cover acts of government, so I’m not really sure what that means,’ Lauren said.

‘Our guest book and signage were delivered recently with the date on, so that is wasted money – not to mention the hundreds of pounds we’ve spent on the invites etc.

‘I’m hoping we will be able to work with all parties to postpone and not be at a huge loss financially, but who knows?’

She added: ‘It was my birthday last week and my fiancé wrote in my card, “Last year as a single lady!” Needless to say I have taken all my cards down already!’ 

Lauren said a couple of their vendors have reached out to them and have been very supportive, and she will contact the rest over the coming week

Lauren said a couple of their vendors have reached out to them and have been very supportive, and she will contact the rest over the coming week

Fellow bride-to-be Rebecca, from South Wales, is also hoping her wedding – booked for April 15 with just two witnesses – can also go ahead if the revised situation in a few weeks’ time gives the go ahead for small nuptials.

‘As of now it’s simply a waiting game but I really can’t see it going ahead as things are,’ she told FEMAIL. 

Meanwhile other heartbroken brides-to-be as well as their family members took to social media last night to share their sorrow at being forced to cancel their special days.

One user with the handle Rosy Welsh Wales wrote: ‘It was inevitable and understandable but still gutted our wedding is now cancelled.’

Another, @intro_suz, tweeted: ‘I was gonna be a bridesmaid at my friend’s wedding in a few weeks and now it’s cancelled.’

Other heartbroken brides-to-be as well as their family members took to social media last night to share their sorrow at being forced to cancel their special days

Other heartbroken brides-to-be as well as their family members took to social media last night to share their sorrow at being forced to cancel their special days

Sayitasitis said that, after her fiance was made redundant due to the pandemic, she had now been forced to axe their ceremony.

And @PaigeeRagee posted: ‘Lock down in the UK, wedding cancelled and I still have to go to work. Kick a woman whilst she’s down!’

Commenting on the impending lockdown, Susan Glover said: ‘It’s the thought of not being able to see the kids. The thought of my son’s wedding being cancelled. It doesn’t matter how right it is, tonight I just feel overwhelmed.’ 

Katie Isk wrote: ‘So gutted my mum’s wedding and my best friend’s wedding will have to be cancelled. F u corona.’

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