Yorkshire couple's wedding celebrations saved as they 'tie the knot' over Zoom

Ann Jones and Mark Matthews, forced to cancel their planned wedding, have celebrated their special day by 'tying the knot' over Zoom with family and friends. Pictures: Darren Sanderson PhotographyAnn Jones and Mark Matthews, forced to cancel their planned wedding, have celebrated their special day by 'tying the knot' over Zoom with family and friends. Pictures: Darren Sanderson Photography
Ann Jones and Mark Matthews, forced to cancel their planned wedding, have celebrated their special day by 'tying the knot' over Zoom with family and friends. Pictures: Darren Sanderson Photography | other
A couple whose wedding was cancelled amid the global pandemic have celebrated their special day by 'tying the knot' over Zoom with family and friends.

Ann Jones and Mark Matthews, forced to cancel their planned wedding last Saturday, had been feeling low as the date of their big day approached.

With the help of a humanist celebrant, and joined online by two dozen of their closest friends and family and friends, they exchanged their vows over Zoom instead.

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And as they celebrated their hand-fasting celebrations with cake, their smiles were captured on camera by a socially-distanced photographer from across the garden.

Ann Jones and Mark Matthews, forced to cancel their planned wedding, have celebrated their special day by 'tying the knot' over Zoom with family and friends. Pictures: Darren Sanderson PhotographyAnn Jones and Mark Matthews, forced to cancel their planned wedding, have celebrated their special day by 'tying the knot' over Zoom with family and friends. Pictures: Darren Sanderson Photography
Ann Jones and Mark Matthews, forced to cancel their planned wedding, have celebrated their special day by 'tying the knot' over Zoom with family and friends. Pictures: Darren Sanderson Photography

"It was just a nice day, full of love," said Ms Jones. "Everybody really embraced it, decked out in their finery.

"I could never have imagined this, it wasn't what we planned, it wasn't what we expected. It was just really positive, and really lovely. I don't think we could ever forget it."

Tying the knot

The couple, who have three children together, Edward, 15, Molly, 13, and Anya, 12, had initially planned to get married at Guiseley Theatre on May 2.

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Zoom wedding - what family and friends saw as Ann Jones and Mark Matthews exchanged their vows. Image submitted by Lisa Bourne.Zoom wedding - what family and friends saw as Ann Jones and Mark Matthews exchanged their vows. Image submitted by Lisa Bourne.
Zoom wedding - what family and friends saw as Ann Jones and Mark Matthews exchanged their vows. Image submitted by Lisa Bourne. | other

Wanting to mark the date somehow, they had approached humanist celebrant Lisa Bourne to see if she could help them exchange their vows in a celebration over Zoom.

With a hand-fasting, they quite literally 'tied the knot', and will add another bond to the rope they used when they formalise the ceremony next year.

"We will go ahead and do what we had planned next year, but it will be our first anniversary really," said Ms Jones, 45.

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Ann Jones and Mark Matthews, forced to cancel their planned wedding, have celebrated their special day by 'tying the knot' over Zoom with family and friends. Pictures: Darren Sanderson PhotographyAnn Jones and Mark Matthews, forced to cancel their planned wedding, have celebrated their special day by 'tying the knot' over Zoom with family and friends. Pictures: Darren Sanderson Photography
Ann Jones and Mark Matthews, forced to cancel their planned wedding, have celebrated their special day by 'tying the knot' over Zoom with family and friends. Pictures: Darren Sanderson Photography | other

Their day, as perfect as it was, says Ms Jones, hadn't gone entirely to plan. Some family and friends were given the wrong time to log on, and there was chaos in the confusion.

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Over on Otley Chevin meanwhile, humanist celebrant Lisa Bourne, preparing for the ceremony, had found her carefully coordinated WiFi plans falling through.

Having managed to set up a WiFi hotspot on her mobile phone so she could lead the couple through their vows, she said: "It was just really nice, and such just a lovely day.

"Their focus was on exchanging vows, come what may, and it was nice to see it didn't matter about anything else. That is what is important, especially at a time like this."

Ann Jones and Mark Matthews, forced to cancel their planned wedding, have celebrated their special day by 'tying the knot' over Zoom with family and friends. Pictures: Darren Sanderson PhotographyAnn Jones and Mark Matthews, forced to cancel their planned wedding, have celebrated their special day by 'tying the knot' over Zoom with family and friends. Pictures: Darren Sanderson Photography
Ann Jones and Mark Matthews, forced to cancel their planned wedding, have celebrated their special day by 'tying the knot' over Zoom with family and friends. Pictures: Darren Sanderson Photography | other

Celebrations

The couple had written their own promises and vows, exchanging rings before celebrating with their first dance to McFly.

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As they headed outside for champagne and to cut the cake, photographer Darren Sanderson was able to capture the moment on camera from across the garden.

Refusing to accept a fee, he considers it a gift before their formal wedding next year, and says it was an honour to try and document an hour of their day.

Ms Jones, who runs board game company Cards or Die, said their special day had exceeded all hopes and expectations.

"We had such a lovely time," she said. "Quite often, on your wedding day, you can spend so much time rushing around, making sure your guests are happy.

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"As it was, the five of us just hung out together. It was just a really nice day."

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