Bride reveals how she planned coronavirus wedding in just FOUR weeks

How a pandemic wedding can save you THOUSANDS! Bride reveals she planned her intimate day in just four weeks for £2,000 – including a pub reception, a black cab for transport and an £800 online dress

  • EXCLUSIVE: Lauren Naylor, 39, is a beauty brand consultant from Leigh-on-Sea
  • Had May wedding cancelled but was determined to have her nuptials this month
  • At the end of July, she received word of a cancellation at Chelsea Town Hall
  • Deciding to go for it, the eager bride book the ceremony for August 20th
  • It gave her just four weeks to get ready after groom recovered from Covid-19

A bride has revealed how she planned her intimate wedding in just four weeks for £2,166 after her first venue cancelled on her due to Covid-19 – resulting in a pub reception, a night out in Soho and a £800 dress. 

Lauren Naylor, 39, a beauty brand consultant, from Leigh-on-Sea in Essex, had her dream May wedding cancelled – but after her and her groom suffered from coronavirus, she was determined to have her nuptials this month.

At the end of July, she received word of a cancellation at Chelsea Town Hall and decided to ditch her plan for a grand ceremony and rush into an intimate occasion instead.

Having neither her dress, transport or flowers prepared, the bride was left securing most the details for her big day in less than a month before saying ‘I do’ – ending up with a reception in a pub, a wedding dress bought online and a black taxi as her wedding car.  

But despite a scaled-back ceremony – which saw the guest wearing masks, her parents on Zoom and the registrar wearing full PPE – Lauren insisted ‘it was the most incredible experience and will definitely be memorable’.

Lauren Naylor (pictured as the bride) has revealed how she planned her intimate wedding in just four weeks for £2,166 after her first venue cancelled on her due to Covid-19 – resulting in a pub reception, a night out in Soho and a £800 dress

Lauren (pictured with her wedding guests and family), 39, a beauty brand consultant, from Leigh-on-Sea in Essex, had her dream May wedding cancelled – but after her and her groom suffered from coronavirus, she was determined to have her nuptials this month

At the end of July, Lauren (pictured with her husband) received word of a cancellation at Chelsea Town Hall and decided to ditch her plan for a grand ceremony and rush into an intimate occasion instead

Lauren had originally planned for a wedding of 30 people in May, explaining exclusively to FEMAIL: ‘In my head, I was 40 this year and didn’t want a huge, elaborate day.

‘It all started with us booking a lovely little registry venue near my parents on May 10 – just for a small wedding, ironically with 30 people. 

Breakdown of the bride’s budget for her big day 

Flowers – £100 from Penny Jane Flowers in Leigh-on-Sea

Chelsea Town Hall – £300

Dress – £800 on Net-a-Porter

Groom’s outfit – £20 Topman chinos (with the rest of the attire being Reiss Tailoring from the initial wedding preparation) 

Taxi – under £100

Makeup, hair, videographer all did as a favour from friends

Crosstown donuts for favours – £76

Cake – £80 

Cake topper – £10

Veil – £20 off of Etsy

Confetti from Etsy – under £30

Name tags from Leigh Calligraphy – £30

The Phene pub – £600

Total: £2,166

‘But after the uncertainty of lockdown and both myself and my husband having the coronavirus in March, it was very clear this wedding wasn’t going to go ahead.’

Thankfully, the bride and groom recovered and were eager to get hitched – but Lauren feared that a wedding in 2020 ‘was looking highly unlikely’. 

‘My partner’s parents were stranded in Spain (as it turns out until June) and the original venue itself had such a backlog of births and deaths and minimal registrars.

‘My partner, Robert, 41, a director of interior design company Maybank Associates was totally easy and with lots of time on my hands, and no work, I started to plan another, slightly bigger wedding this time at a grandiose venue with double the guests.’

However, at the end of July, Lauren discovered a cancellation Chelsea Town Hall, and decided to ‘elope’ with her groom and her six-year-old son Albie as well as some witnesses.

‘I gave my notice of marriage on the Monday 20 July to wed on August 20, and turned it all around in three to four weeks with limited numbers,’ she explained.

‘I called my parents – who are high risk and have been cooped up at home for the full duration – and asked how they’d feel if we just eloped and did a tiny wedding. They said book it.’

At the time of booking, Lauren thought she would only be allowed seven people including the photographer, until on August 13 – her birthday and just one week before the nuptials – the government allowed weddings with 30 guests to go ahead.

Due to social distancing rules and the size of the room at the wedding venue, Lauren was told she could have 16 guests.

Having neither her dress, transport or flowers prepared, the bride was left securing most the details for her big day in less than a month before saying ‘I do’ – ending up with a reception in a pub (pictured), a wedding dress bought online and a black taxi as her wedding car

But despite the oddness of the ceremony – which saw the guest wearing masks, her parents on Zoom and the registrar wearing full PPE – Lauren (pictured is her son) insisted ‘it was the most incredible experience and will definitely be memorable’

Lauren (pictured during her wedding ceremony) had originally planned for a wedding of 30 people in May, explaining exclusively to FEMAIL: ‘In my head, I was 40 this year and didn’t want a huge, elaborate day’

With Lauren’s original wedding dress still in the bridal store, and ‘not appropriate for a small registry’, the mother-of-one bought a little ivory dress online, costing £800 by Alex Perry. 

She purchased an 80s-style veil from Etsy for £20 – which later blew into the Thames – while her groom used half his original suit paired with tailored Top Man chinos for £20. 

With Lauren being a former beauty editor, she had many friends and former colleagues who helped her prepare for her big day for free.  

Her final costs and planning involved getting a local black cab from Leigh-on-Sea to transport the very small wedding part to the venue as well as a videographer and a photographer.

‘We literally floated around Chelsea in the blazing sun as people cheered/beeped their horns and congratulated us,’ Lauren recalled. 

‘But after the uncertainty of lockdown and both myself and my husband having the coronavirus in March, it was very clear this wedding wasn’t going to go ahead,’ Lauren said. Pictured, guests at her wedding on Thursday

Thankfully, the bride and groom (pictured) recovered and were eager to get hitched – but Lauren feared that a wedding in 2020 ‘was looking highly unlikely’

However, at the end of July, Lauren (pictured with her husband) discovered a cancellation Chelsea Town Hall, and decided to ‘elope’ with her groom and her six-year-old son Albie as well as some witnesses

At the time of booking, Lauren thought she would only be allowed seven people including the photographer, until on August 13 – her birthday and just one week before the nuptials – the government allowed weddings with 30 guests to go ahead. Due to social distancing rules and the size of the room at the wedding venue (pictured), Lauren was told she could have 16 guests

She added that the morning didn’t totally run smoothly – with her bouquet breaking and a foundation mark being found on her dress.

Recalling the ceremony, she said: ‘Both my parents were live on Zoom but it transpired that we actually muted us and not them – so they heard nothing. But luckily our videographer captured everything. 

‘Vows are kept to a minimum, which is great if you’re nervous, to be honest,’ she added. ‘Everyone is socially distanced – so despite having a room that holds 38 people – it was laid out to only house 16. 

‘I didn’t book the room for the fact it was large, but more so because it was the only room available! It was actually lovely with 70’s parquet flooring and resplendent in gold and purple.

‘My son walked me down the aisle to give me away. I was so nervous, and I thought I was late – everyone said I sprinted down the aisle!’

 With Lauren being a former beauty editor, she had many friends and former colleagues who helped her prepare for her big day for free. Pictured, guests at Lauren’s wedding

Lauren (seen with her husband) purchased an 80s-style veil from Etsy for £20 – which later blew into the Thames – while her groom used half his original suit paired with tailored Top Man chinos for £20

With Lauren’s original wedding dress still in the bridal store, and ‘not appropriate for a small registry’, the mother-of-one (pictured with her son) bought a little ivory dress online, costing £800 by Alex Perry

She continued: ‘The registrar has full PPE whilst the second registrar is sat behind a Perspex partition to sign the marriage certificate with your witnesses – one who was one of my best friends Sarah Noah and my partner’s dad, Paul Maybank.

‘Both had to sanitise their hand’s pre-signing and were wearing face masks – any guests we had sported face masks throughout. Even on entering the building, there is a bouncer who makes you sanitise your hands.’

Revealing the most memorable part of her ceremony, Lauren said: ‘The most iconic moment for me was the two registrars counting us out to open the famous doors (they have to touch them, not you) and we erupted to cheers, confetti, and a bunch of friends.’

Her final costs and planning involved getting a local black cab from Leigh-on-Sea to transport the very small wedding part to the venue as well as a videographer and a photographer. Pictured, Lauren with her husband after their ceremony

After the ceremony, the small wedding party walked three minutes to a pub called The Phene, where Lauren (pictured front) had booked a private room for her wedding reception

Reflecting on her wedding reception, Lauren (seen walking up the aisle) added: ‘We carried on the party outside in Soho, since most restaurants have moved their distanced seating outside onto the streets

After the ceremony, the small wedding party walked three minutes to a pub called The Phene, where Lauren had booked a private room for her wedding reception.

The table was dressed before their arrival with the couple’s flowers and their wedding favours were boxes of Crosstown Donuts, while their wedding cake was Eton Mess flavoured with a ‘Love’ sign added on top.

Reflecting on her wedding reception, Lauren added: ‘We carried on the party outside in Soho, since most restaurants have moved their distanced seating outside onto the streets. 

‘And despite the strange times we are in, I can honestly say it was the most incredible experience and will definitely be memorable. 

‘Even though we had so many of our friends and family missing, we hope to celebrate at a later date. We’ve seen two other friends do very similar intimate weddings recently and I know I was incredibly happy to see their images, and happiness despite everything going on.’ 

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