'Stressed' bride forced to cut guest list just over a week before wedding

Katie Hazell is due to marry her partner of 10 years, John, in nine days.

Katie Hazell is due to marry her partner of 10 years, John, in nine days. - Credit: Katie Hazell

A bride-to-be has been forced to slash her wedding guest list with just over a week to go before her big day.

Katie Hazell is due to marry her partner of 10 years, John, on June 26  — but instead of feeling excited she feels "stressed and anxious" about the momentous event.

They had hoped social distancing rules would be relaxed and they would be able to have 40 guests at their ceremony, which had been rescheduled from last summer.

On Monday, when Boris Johnson announced he was delaying the lifting of the remaining rules he did reveal that from June 21 there will no longer be a cap on numbers attending a wedding.

Instead, the number of attendees will be determined by how many people the venue or space can safely accommodate with social distancing measures in place.

Katie and John are due to marry in nine days at Wantisden Hall in Woodbridge.

Katie and John are due to marry in nine days at Wantisden Hall in Woodbridge. - Credit: Katie Hazell

The Ipswich couple, who have three boys together, are getting married in a stunning cottage at Wantisden Valley in Woodbridge on June 26.

The venue's latest risk assessment says they can only safely accommodate 15 people inside the cottage venue. This number includes the bride and groom, two registrars, photographer and venue owner, meaning just nine others will be allowed to witness Katie and John get married. 

"Under the new guidelines we are worse off," said Katie. 

Katie, John and their three children.

Katie, John and their three children. - Credit: Katie Hazell

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"It has made it so difficult to decide who can come in and watch us get married. So we have decided to pay for a big projector outside the venue for the rest of our friends and family.

"My partner is one of eight, so it's really hard to choose who is allowed inside.

Katie said their DJ has even cancelled, as it is too much of a risk with the ban on dancing and singing still in place. 

"I feel sick constantly, anxious and stressed," explained Katie.

"This is supposed to be the best day of my life, but it's been so stressful. I should be getting pampered and feeling excited, but I am just heartbroken."

Under step three of the roadmap out of lockdown, face masks must be worn in all indoor settings and this is again the case with weddings — however, the bride and groom are exempt. 

Katie said this restriction is "upsetting", explaining the photographer will be unable to "capture the emotion on camera".

Katie and John, who have been together for 10 years, are due to get married on June 26 at Wantisden Hall in Woodbridge.

Katie and John, who have been together for 10 years, are due to get married on June 26 at Wantisden Hall in Woodbridge. - Credit: Kate Hazell

"I will want to see people's emotions and their smiles, but this won't be possible. It's just not the same."

Luckily, as the wedding party will be held in a marquee outside, Katie and John's 70-person guest list will be able to attend. 

No masks will be needed as it is classed as outside, however dancing and singing are not permitted and people will need to practice social distancing.

It is expected that England will move to step four on July 19 — a four-week delay — though the data will be reviewed after two weeks in case the risks have reduced.

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