A COUPLE will be the first to hold their wedding post-lockdown at an historic church.

Chantelle Haygreen and Matthew Green first met at the Orchard House care home in Weeley seven years ago.

Matthew, 26, who works for the Army at Colchester Garrison, had a year-long break from his job and started working as a carer at the same care home when he was 19.

Chantelle, 25, said they started dating soon after meeting and the rest is history.

The couple, who live in Abbott Road, Dovercourt, will get married at St Nicholas Church, in Church Street, Harwich, tomorrow.

This will be the first wedding in the parish since the lockdown began.

Chantelle, who works at BC Designs in Elmstead Market, said they started planning the wedding at the beginning of last year and planned to have 200 guests.

However, the outbreak of the coronavirus and the lockdown have drastically changed the couple’s plans.

Chantelle said: “Through the whole lockdown it was an emotional rollercoaster because we didn’t know what was going to happen, but we’re very happy it can still go ahead.

“It’s going to be a small ceremony with about 25 people, which includes only our parents and siblings. We’ll be celebrating with some food in the garden at a social distance.

“It’s a relief we can get married on the date we wanted as I know a lot of people who had to postpone their wedding. We are very lucky.”

She added they will hold a second wedding next year at which they will be able to celebrate with all of their friends and family.

According to new Government guidance only 30 people are allowed to attend weddings, including the couple and staff.

Restrictions will be in place including ruling out the tradition of a father walking his daughter down the aisle, unless they live in the same household.

Chantelle said: “Having my father not walk me down the aisle was probably the hardest part but he has been understanding and just wants to see us get married.”

The guidance also sets out no food and drink should be consumed as part of the event and small celebrations should only take place if they follow social distancing guidelines.