We have become sadly familiar with the disruption that Covid has caused to weddings, and some couples are delaying planning weddings because stressful last-minute changes always remain a possibility. Matt Gardner and Bryony Palmer originally planned to get married at St Giles Packwood (Glasshouse Lane) on 18th July 2020. This was rescheduled to 12th June 2021, and then when the government’s Covid easing roadmap was published it was changed to 30th July 2021, which looked a safer date. It was also necessary to change minister because the Revd Marc Catley, Vicar of Packwood, was on Sabbatical June/July/August 2021. In the spring I agreed to take the wedding at Packwood.
The good news was that step 4 of the easing roadmap was implemented on 19th July so legal limits on the number of attendees ended, as did the requirements for face marks and social distancing. The bad news was that rising levels of Covid nationally meant that Covid risks still had to be taken very seriously. By Wednesday 21st July it was clear that the biggest risks would come from getting a congregation of 110 and a choir of 12 into St Giles, which would be completely full. The bride took decisive action to see if the wedding could be moved to St Mary’s Lapworth which is a bigger building. I advised that moving a wedding can be legally difficult, but the couple got an appointment with the Diocesan Registry in Birmingham on Tuesday 27th July and came away with a Common Licence authorising the marriage at St Mary’s Lapworth. The bride’s mum, Pauline, did the flowers with a friend. We did the rehearsal on the Thursday and the wedding on the Friday! Even the order of service had been updated to say St Mary’s Lapworth.