Coronavirus cancels couple's wedding so they plan new one in 24 hours

Claire and Matt Zinsner were worried their big wedding in April would be cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic – so they ditched that plan and organised a new ceremony in 24 hours – to take place at St Pancras train station.

The couple had a ‘simple perfect’ wedding at the station with just two close friends as witnesses along with station staff.

And as well as a kiss, they made things official with an elbow-tap greeting.

The pair’s big day was due to take place in 11 April with a long list of family and friends.

But as coronavirus pushes more of us into self-isolation and social distancing, Claire and Matt worried their dream wedding wouldn’t be able to go ahead, so decided to bring it forward and change up the plan.

Some last-minute arranging allowed teacher and headmistress Claire to get her lesson covered and Matt to take the afternoon off from his hospitality job, so they were able to tie the knot at Searcy’s restaurant at St Pancras.

Claire said: ‘It was not the wedding either of us imagined; it turned out to be far better than that.

‘I was keeping a very good eye on the situation, and I thought we weren’t going to make it to April 11.

‘Last weekend, we had already downsized it considerably, deciding that it was too much of a risk to our families to ask them attend, especially our parents.

‘We cancelled the reception and decided that we would only have us and two witnesses, and try and stagger through to the 11th. None of [Matt’s] family would have be able to travel because of the lockdown.

‘Then, things really started to kick off, so I thought “I wonder if we could bring it forward instead?”

‘So on Tuesday I rang the council, who were amazing, and I rang Searcy’s, who were amazing, and within two hours the wedding was organised for the next day at 2pm.’

Claire managed to sort out proceedings without Matt, who didn’t know of the plan until 6pm when he was finally out of meetings and his wife-to-be could tell him what was going on.

She said: ‘Neither of us was fussed about having a large wedding – it was just important to us that we got married.

‘We’ll have a blessing and a shindig after all this has blown over.

‘It was a slightly strange experience as the tube, train and station were all so quiet, but there was a real sense of happiness and goodwill from everyone we met; the registrars, the small group in an empty pub who cheered as we exchanged vows, and the wonderful staff of Searcy’s.

‘We chose St Pancras because it is where the Eurostar starts and terminates, and we thought it symbolised our British-French union.’

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