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‘Lockdown ruined our anniversary celebrations’

PUBLISHED: 20:00 13 May 2020 | UPDATED: 10:31 15 May 2020

Scott and Donna Turner; Chris Stephenson; and Jyoti and Rajat Agarwal with their son Vivaan

Scott and Donna Turner; Chris Stephenson; and Jyoti and Rajat Agarwal with their son Vivaan

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Three Suffolk couples share how they’ve had to change their party plans as airports remain closed and social distancing measures persist.

The Agarwal's homemade anniversary lemon and blueberry cake Picture: Jyoti AgarwalThe Agarwal's homemade anniversary lemon and blueberry cake Picture: Jyoti Agarwal

The current lockdown situation that the nation finds itself in has no doubt thwarted a lot of plans that have been in the making for weeks, or in some cases even months.

Whether that’s birthdays, weddings, holidays and everything in between, near-enough everyone has had to cancel or postpone their plans for the foreseeable future.

Three couples who had grand plans to celebrate their anniversaries have since had to come up with new and creative ways to commemorate that important milestone in their relationship – all while adhering to lockdown rules.

From video calls with their nearest and dearest, to recreating the holidays that weren’t meant to be, three couples share their alternative plans, as they look towards the future.

Jyoti Agarwal celebrating her 11th wedding anniversary with her husband Rajat, and their son Vivaan Picture: Jyoti AgarwalJyoti Agarwal celebrating her 11th wedding anniversary with her husband Rajat, and their son Vivaan Picture: Jyoti Agarwal

Jyoti Agarwal and her husband Rajat celebrated their 11th wedding anniversary at their home in Ipswich on Thursday 23 April.

“For our anniversary, we had plans for a day trip to the nearby beach,” Jyoti explained. “Every year, we take time off from work and go to our nearby beach so we can relax and enjoy ourselves.

“Then on the weekend, we’d throw a party for our friends, where we enjoy homecooked Indian food, play some party games, and sit and chat,” she said.

Unfortunately, due to lockdown restrictions, this left Jyoti and Rajat unable to go to the beach or invite their family and friends over. Instead, the two decided to stay in with their son, and enjoy indulge in the wonders of homecooked food.

Jyoti's incredible paneer stuffed naan Picture: Jyoti AgarwalJyoti's incredible paneer stuffed naan Picture: Jyoti Agarwal

“The day started with tea and breakfast made by my husband - he made spicy ginger Indian tea and avocados on toast for us. I then cooked his favourite foods throughout the day. I prepared Indian delicacies such as dal makhni and paneer stuffed naan for the afternoon, and some pakoras and a veggie pizza for the evening.”

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With the help of their six-year-old son Vivaan, the couple enjoyed a celebratory cake as well. “We made a lemon blueberry cake, which was a lemon poke cake, with blueberry compote and vanilla buttercream on top. All of the food was made at home from scratch. It was lush. We then had a video call with our friends and family. We had a lovely time, just the three of us – it was a day well spent,” Jyoti explained.

With everyone uncertain on how long lockdown may last for, Jyoti is keeping her future plans close to home.

Donna Turner and her husband Scott during their wedding in Cuba back in 2018 Picture: Donna TurnerDonna Turner and her husband Scott during their wedding in Cuba back in 2018 Picture: Donna Turner

She said: “Even if the lockdown is lifted, we will still take care not to go out much, so no plans for any celebrations outside. We happily enjoyed our 11th anniversary at home, and we’re now looking forward to my birthday in August.”

Over in Stowmarket, Donna Martin celebrated her second wedding anniversary in lockdown with her husband Scott on Friday 24 April. The two tied the knot in Cuba back in 2018, and had another Caribbean trip-of-a-lifetime planned.

“For the original plans for our second wedding anniversary, we should have been going to Antigua this year as a joint celebration – as it was also my 50th birthday on 2 May,” Donna said.

Not one to let lockdown dampen her spirits, Donna and her husband came up with new ways to celebrate the two milestone events.

Dani Beech's partner Chris Stephenson enjoying their homemade Italian anniversary meal Picture: Dani BeechDani Beech's partner Chris Stephenson enjoying their homemade Italian anniversary meal Picture: Dani Beech

“We still had a special day,” she said. “It was a lovely sunny day, which was nice, and we had a Chinese takeaway delivered later in the evening. We also had family call us, as we share our wedding anniversary with Scott’s mum’s birthday.”

Over in Manningtree are Dani Beech and Chris Stephenson, who have been together for three years and also had a holiday abroad booked.

The couple, who celebrated their three-year anniversary on Wednesday 22 April, had originally planned a break in Italy.

“We had a trip booked to Lake Como in Italy to celebrate, but that was cancelled for obvious reasons. Instead, we decided to have our own Italian night at home,” Dani said.

“We made a spaghetti Bolognese, drank prosecco and played Italian music to replace our trip to Italy.”


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