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Coronavirus: Wedding plans are now up in the air, say NI brides-to-be


Tim Atkinson and Becca Harper

Tim Atkinson and Becca Harper

Tim Atkinson and Becca Harper

Two brides-to-be say their dream weddings have been left in limbo due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Many couples across Northern Ireland are facing the stark reality of having their big days cancelled or postponed due to the threat of venues closing and travel bans being imposed to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic.

Among those facing uncertainty over their upcoming nuptials are Becca Harper (29) and Tim Atkinson (37), from Dundonald, who are due to get married on March 28 in Belfast's Titanic Hotel after two years of planning.

"Our wedding is booked for 125 people and around 50 of those are coming from England, Scotland and Wales including the groom's whole family as he is originally from Yorkshire," Becca explained to the Belfast Telegraph.

"We're hopeful that the ferry will still be operating so at least they could get over to Northern Ireland that way.

"We have put aside around £20,000 for the ceremony and then we are planning a two-week honeymoon in Canada on April 1.

"We don't know if that will happen either but if we can still fly we hope to do that - whether we are married or not.

"We both have a month booked off work so it will be pretty devastating if I have to go back not having had my wedding or holiday."

Becca says she and Tim face having to make some difficult decisions over the coming days.

"We have a bridesmaid who is originally from Belfast but now living in New York due home on March 26, which is also my 30th birthday, and another bridesmaid with terminal cancer is travelling over from England.

"I'm in constant contact with the hotel who say that until they are told otherwise about mass gatherings, it's business as usual.

"But we have to be as practical and reasonable as we can in the circumstances.

"It's a really upsetting time as people keep asking us what is happening when we don't have any answers at the moment.

"We are hopeful things will go ahead without a ban on travel or events here at the moment and as long as none of the bridal party get sick," Becca said.


Santino Magno and Catherine McMahon

Santino Magno and Catherine McMahon

Santino Magno and Catherine McMahon

Also, Catherine McMahon (47) and her partner Santino Magno (50) are hoping to tie the knot on April 4 at the Malone Lodge Hotel.

Mother-of-three Catherine said: "We only decided six weeks ago to finally get married after 23 years together.

"We were supposed to do it years ago but instead we spent all our savings on IVF treatment trying to have a family.

"We don't have any wedding insurance and my family have forked out nearly £20,000 to make our wedding a great day.

"I am now terrified we will lose the money as all the people have been fully paid.

"To top things off my partner is Italian and his family couldn't make the wedding so we had planned to go there in June to see them for our honeymoon.

"Now because of the virus it also looks like we won't be going back to Italy either.

"My other half is a chef and the business was struggling before the virus. He is fearful about his job if bars and restaurants are ordered to close."

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Belfast Telegraph