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Lockdowns force loved-up paramedics to cancel dream wedding four times

Love must wait: Paramedics Rob Stewart and fiancée Bethany Griffin

TWO paramedics have been forced to cancel their dream wedding four times because of coronavirus restrictions.

Rob Stewart, 30, and fiancée Bethany Griffin, 25, got engaged in 2018 and planned to tie the knot this year.

But they were forced to cancel their original wedding date of March 25 as a result of the first lockdown.

They rescheduled their big day for the same date next year but scrapped that because they did not believe restrictions would allow them to have the large party they wanted.

Their third attempted wedding date was pencilled in for November 28 this year and they planned a small ceremony with a handful of guests.

When the second lockdown was announced they hastily brought forward their wedding to November 4 — just hours before the second lockdown.

But the couple’s dreams were dashed again when officials said they had not given the council the 28 days’ legal notice of the marriage.

Dreams dashed: Rob and Bethany hope to marry some time next year PICTURES: SWNS

The couple, who both work for West Midlands Ambulance Service and live in Malvern, Worcestershire, now hope to marry sometime next year.

Bethany said: ‘We initially planned a wedding for March 25, however we went into full lockdown, meaning it all got cancelled with a couple of days’ notice.

‘We then decided to delay the wedding until March 2021 to give a chance for Covid-19 to be managed.

‘When the government then announced that wedding guests had been cut from 30 guests to 15 for the next six months, we quickly realised that there would be no way come March 2021 that we’d be allowed over 100 guests.

‘We decided that getting married and being husband and wife was our priority so organised an intimate wedding for November 28 with the allowed 15 people limit, and delayed our ‘big wedding’ to 2022.

‘Sadly, due to lockdown take two being declared, our intimate wedding got cancelled.

‘So, undeterred, we organised a last-minute intimate wedding for Wednesday, November 4, with the registrar and our small venue, but then got contacted by the council the same day to say we couldn’t legally get married on Wednesday due to not having given notice of marriage more than 28 days ago.

‘So then we had to cancel our last-minute wedding too.

‘All of our suppliers and wedding venues have thankfully been fabulous and very flexible with all that’s going on — as well as our managers who have been great in letting us move our shifts around last minute to try and get us married despite the pressures that are on the trust at the moment.

‘I have admittedly struggled a lot this year but have had great support from work, friends and family who have kept me going.

‘We’re currently in the process of buying a house which we aim to move into come December, and hope to have our first Christmas off together in our new home.

‘We’re focusing on this as a positive and it will hopefully be a great way of ending a rubbish year.’

While juggling their ever-changing wedding plans, the couple have also been working hard during the pandemic.

Rob, who has been a paramedic for six years, said: ‘We both found it very challenging and quite overwhelming.

‘There was suddenly a huge risk about going to work and catching the virus ourselves, and bringing it home to loved ones.

‘We were faced with a lot of new challenges such as having to wear personal protective equipment to every patient, and in life-threatening situations having to don a higher level of PPE which not only restricts movement but also communication to others, and delays getting to the patient.

‘We did find, however, that members of the public were being very supportive and a lot more sensible about ringing for an ambulance.’