Coronavirus: Walsall couple live stream wedding on Facebook

Image source, St Matthew's Church
Image caption,
Kirsten and Richard Groom's wedding was watched by more than 100 people on Facebook

A couple whose dream wedding was thrown into doubt by coronavirus restrictions held the service a month early and streamed it to 100 guests on Facebook.

Kirsten and Richard Groom spent 18 months planning their April nuptials.

But instead they married at St Matthew's Church, Walsall, on Saturday, sensing their original date was doomed.

Mrs Groom said they "took the opportunity while we could". The government has since ordered services to be cancelled.

"Richard had seen the situation in the UK was heating up and had floated the idea of bringing the wedding forward," said Mrs Groom, who is the church's administrator.

"When the prime minister started restrictions [last week], another person said 'why not get married now?' but we had put a year and a half into planning our perfect wedding.

"We knew there was no way we would be able to get married in April, so we took the opportunity while we could."

Image source, Kirsten Groom
Image caption,
The couple had just four days to arrange their wedding after deciding to bring it forward

During overhauled preparations, Mrs Groom was living in a shared house with 12 other people, and they all pitched in to help pull together the wedding in four days.

The outfit she planned to wear in April was not ready in time so the housemates sourced another, as well as arranging photographs and flowers.

The housemates were the couple's only attending guests, with others watching the service through the Facebook live stream.

"The people we have talked to so far have said they felt part of it, even from a distance, and we are really happy we were able to have that option available to them," Mrs Groom said.

Rev Jim Trood, who led the service, said: "To be honest, I found it quite emotional when they were making the promises in sickness and in health - it was a powerful thing to be saying."

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