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Rush Green couple stage wedding after big day cancelled due to coronavirus

PUBLISHED: 17:00 05 May 2020

Jennifer Wheeler and Steven Derosa held a wedding in their flat after their ceremony was cancelled. Picture: Jennifer Wheeler

Jennifer Wheeler and Steven Derosa held a wedding in their flat after their ceremony was cancelled. Picture: Jennifer Wheeler

Jennifer Wheeler

After their wedding was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, a Rush Green couple were determined not to let three years of planning go to waste.

Jennifer Wheeler and Steven Derosa held a wedding in their flat after their ceremony was cancelled. Picture: Jennifer WheelerJennifer Wheeler and Steven Derosa held a wedding in their flat after their ceremony was cancelled. Picture: Jennifer Wheeler

Jennifer Wheeler and Steven Derosa celebrated what should have been their big day by holding a mock ceremony in their flat.

“We decided to do something to mark it,” Jennifer said. “It really was a brilliant day.”

The couple carried out the fake wedding with the help of 14-year-old son Tyler, who was given the day off school work to act as the registrar.

“Originally what was going to happen was that we were going outside, just the three of us,” she said.

Jennifer Wheeler and Steven Derosa held a wedding in their flat after their ceremony was cancelled. Picture: Jennifer WheelerJennifer Wheeler and Steven Derosa held a wedding in their flat after their ceremony was cancelled. Picture: Jennifer Wheeler

“Our neighbours came out to clap us and take some photos. Obviously social distancing was in place.”

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Jennifer said the couple were able to stage all the elements of a wedding day, from pretending to sign a marriage certificate to sharing a toast and first dance.

The cut a cake and were even able to hold an evening reception with guests joining in remotely via video calls.

Jennifer Wheeler and Steven Derosa held a wedding in their flat after their ceremony was cancelled. Picture: Jennifer WheelerJennifer Wheeler and Steven Derosa held a wedding in their flat after their ceremony was cancelled. Picture: Jennifer Wheeler

“Our evening consisted of Zoom calls to all our loved ones and they sent us videos and selfies of them raising a glass for us,” Jennifer, an accountant for Barking and Dagenham Council, said.

She explained that the couple, who have been together for seven years, contacted family and friends a week before, asking them to send videos to cheer them up on what should have been their wedding day.

“They didn’t know that we were recreating our wedding,” she said. “We sent out an email, asking them to be as creative as possible.”

Jennifer has used photos and footage taken on the day, combined with the clips sent over by loved ones, into a video to remember the occasion - adding it took her three days to put the 45 minute montage together.

And she and Steven won’t have to wait too long to be able to get married for real.

They have already managed to set a new date for their wedding, which was due to take place in Rochester, Kent, for April next year.


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