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The couple have a drive-in wedding with 250 guests to avoid coronavirus restrictions

Roma Popat and Vinal Patel held the quirky Essex wedding on Friday (Image: Tim Stewart News Limited)

A bride and groom managed to get married in front of 250 guests in Essex this weekend – and are still having a wedding that complies with the Covid.

The creative couple held a full-service drive-in at a Chelmsford country house after proposing the idea as a joke amid the coronavirus crackdown on marriages.

Roma Popat and Vinal Patel from London bypassed the wedding rules after their original plan to get married on April 20th was put on hold.

Guests were given welcome baskets of hand sanitizer and garbage bags when they arrived at the driv-in event and were told to stay in their vehicles at all times. They could also order online for groceries to be delivered directly to them via the “car service” – and if they needed help, they would be asked to blink their lights or turn on their hazards.

Mr. and Mrs. Patel, both 30 years old, suggested the ironic idea to their wedding coordinator – and admitted that the ceremony on Friday October 2nd in Braxted Park was “a little different” than originally planned.

They married in front of a small gathering of their immediate family, but more than 100 cars with friends and family watched the ceremony on a big screen in a nearby field.

Another 300 guests from all over the world, from India, the USA and Canada, also watched live recordings of the event on Zoom.

Current government wedding regulations in England limit couples to 15 guests – from 30 at the end of September.

Couple stage drive-in wedding with 250 guests to bypass Covid restrictions

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Though slightly different from a traditional Hindu wedding, the groom entered the time-honored fashion, but this time he wriggled through parked guests in a decorated golf buggy while friends and family honk their horns.

After the intimate ceremony inside was completed, the couple drove around the field in the same vehicle, driven by a member of staff in a face mask, and waved to their guests.

Marketing director Roma said: “It literally meant everything to us to have everyone there, albeit in a slightly different way than what we had envisioned.

“We both had the best day and since then we have received so many calls and messages from guests saying how much they enjoyed the experience and felt part of it.”

The couple were also able to watch a specially filmed tribute to them on the guest-created drive-in theater.

A creative couple hosted the UK's first Covid Compliant
Two large screens showed the event for guests (Image: Tim Stewart News Limited)

A creative couple hosted the UK's first Covid Compliant
The golf buggy was specially decorated for the event (Image: Tim Stewart News Limited)

A creative couple hosted the UK's first Covid Compliant
They initially planned to get married in April (Image: Tim Stewart News Limited)

She explained that many family members and friends wanted to see the coverage of the ceremony in small groups in their gardens, but after visiting an outdoor cinema, the two hit upon the idea of ​​a mass screening.

Roma explained: “We both come from large families. It meant that we all only had our parents, siblings, and a group of grandparents to attend the ceremony in person.

“Our guests are all still dressed, even though they were only in their cars.”

She continued, “We had two large screens showing the ceremony and it was surreal when we then drove through the middle of the field on the back of a golf buggy to give our guests a wave.

‘You went crazy. Everyone honked and cheered us. It was amazing.’

A creative couple hosted the UK's first Covid Compliant
The patels were processed in a golf buggy (Image: Tim Stewart News Limited)

A creative couple hosted the UK's first Covid Compliant
Guests honked as the couple waved (Image: Tim Stewart News Limited)

IT consultant Vinal added: “We didn’t want Covid to stop us from getting married.

‘We were determined to get on with our lives and soldiers and do that
The best of our wedding and the Roma did an incredible job rearranging it
the last weeks. ‘

Saheli Mirpuri of wedding planning organizer Saheli Events said she was “excited” about the event, adding, “This year has been so difficult, especially for luxury Asian weddings and celebrations, but this was a creative way to ensure that the guests were still feeling good they were with the couple that day and we are delighted to have worked with so many fantastic suppliers to bring it all together. ‘

Government rules for weddings in England state: “As of September 28, no more than 15 people can legally enter into a marriage or partnership, even if it can be safely housed in a safe place in Covid-19 with social distancing.

“Receptions and other celebrations for weddings and civil partnerships can still take place, but only in the form of a seated meal in a safe place in Covid-19.”

Contact our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

For more stories like this Check our news page.

MORE: What are the new coronavirus restrictions on weddings and funerals and when do they go into effect?


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