ONE lucky couple who postponed their wedding this year, had the chance to celebrate their love in a commitment ceremony in Herefordshire this June, as a result of winning a competition.

With an estimated 64% of weddings directly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, either by postponements or cancellations, it's a tough year for couples and the wedding industry.

This is why new wedding venue The Orchard at Munsley got together with other suppliers to put on a celebratory afternoon for the lucky competition winners, Alex Robinson and Sophie Wilesmith, along with their immediate family, to create an intimate, socially distanced ceremony.

"My friend entered me in the competition on Instagram, and I was shocked to have won, explains Sophie.

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"It was a magical afternoon."

The couple enjoyed a humanist ceremony, with a space designed by a stylist, complete with wedding flowers, a bouquet, a buttonhole, and a photographer to capture the moment.

"I didn't really know much about humanist ceremonies, but once I'd spoken to Jennie Hermolle, the humanist celebrant, over the phone, she explained that it creates a very personal celebration of love and marriage, wherever you like.

"She asked me some questions and from that, created a personalised ceremony with beautiful words which summed up our relationship perfectly," adds Sophie.

Jayne Pritchard runs the wedding venue, and had the idea to pull together wedding stylist – Lauradana Day from Wedding Creations, florist, Alexandra Sylvester, photographer, David Liebst and humanist wedding celebrant, Jennie Hermolle, to create a positive moment in what's been a difficult summer for the wedding industry.

Jayne said: "We thought it would be great to create a special moment for one lucky couple, and it was a fantastic afternoon, which went off without a hitch!"

"The ceremony wasn't legally binding, it was to celebrate the couple's commitment to each other, and it was a fantastic chance for us to get out into the orchard, get creative, and see each other again, as the lockdown begins to ease," says Jayne.

Due to the success of the afternoon, Jayne and the other suppliers have decided to offer this ceremony to other disappointed couples who have cancelled wedding plans, and would like to create a special moment to remember.

"We've put together a package for couples to come and enjoy a commitment ceremony in the orchard, which is a bit like a precursor to the big day," adds Jayne.

Have you married during the lockdown? We'd love to share your pictures. Click on the blue button to submit your photos directly to our website. We'll upload them as soon as possible, and they'll later appear in print.