'Drive-in wedding' near Witham bypasses Covid restrictions

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Image source, I-maani Photography
Image caption,
The couple's Hindu wedding ceremony was broadcast on big screens outside the venue

A couple got around Covid-19 restrictions by staging a "drive-in wedding" in front of about 250 guests.

Roma Popat and Vinal Patel tied the knot at Braxted Park, near Witham, Essex, as people watched the ceremony from their cars on big screens outside.

The 30-year-old newlyweds then waved at friends and family during a golf buggy tour of the grounds.

Guests were given hampers of snacks and hand gel, and could use a website to order food, delivered by waiters.

Image source, I-maani Photography
Image caption,
About 250 guests took part in the big day from the comfort of their own cars

The couple said it was an amazing day but admitted it was "slightly different" to the one they had originally planned.

Maximum guest numbers at wedding ceremonies and sit-down receptions have been cut from 30 people to 15 in England as coronavirus cases rise.

Celebrations can only take place at "Covid-secure" venues, and are an exception to rules banning groups of more than six in most circumstances.

Image source, I-maani Photography
Image caption,
Roma Popat and Vinal Patel's wedding planner said the couple may have started a trend

Wedding planner Saheli Mirpuri said: "As Asian wedding planners, we're used to large numbers, so it's been extremely difficult. But you've to get creative and think outside of the box.

"The couple initially brought up the idea of a drive-in wedding as a joke. It sounded crazy but the more we talked about it, the more it seemed possible.

"We've had quite a lot of calls from couples keen to replicate the idea, so it could be a new trend."

In a statement, the couple said: "Both of us had the most amazing day and we have since had so many calls and messages from guests saying how much they enjoyed the experience and felt part of it.

"It literally meant everything to us to have everyone there, albeit in a slightly different way to the one we envisaged. It's a day we'll never forget."

Image source, I-maani Photography
Image caption,
Guests were able to order food on a website, which was then delivered to their cars

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