Nup­tials just in the nick of time

Manawatu Standard - - Front Page - Ge­orge Heagney

Amanawatu¯ cou­ple have ex­changed wedding vows in the nick of time – the night be­fore New Zealand went into lock­down.

Feild­ing’s Toni, 31, and Scott Ni­cholls, 33, were sup­posed to get mar­ried on Satur­day, but brought their wedding for­ward to Wed­nes­day night and cut the guest list from 120 to 6 due to the coro­n­avirus cri­sis.

They shared a small but mean­ing­ful cer­e­mony at Legacy Church in Palmer­ston North, presided over by pas­tor John Faiz. In at­ten­dance were Toni’s father and step­mother, Scott’smother and step­mother, and Scott’s two daugh­ters, aged 9 and 7.

They prac­ticed so­cial dis­tanc­ing dur­ing the cer­e­mony, ex­cept for the bride and groom, who shared a kiss.

The cou­ple had din­ner af­ter the cer­e­mony, then pre­pared to spend their hon­ey­moon in iso­la­tion to­gether.

Toni (nee Roberts) said she was happy they made it af­ter mul­ti­ple changes.

‘‘It’s nice to have it over with so much un­cer­tainty lead­ing up to the day.’’

Scott said they started with a guest list of 120, but re­duced it to 90 when the re­stric­tions came in pre­vent­ing gath­er­ings of­more than 100 peo­ple.

He said the church had been fan­tas­tic in help­ing them, as had fam­ily mem­bers, who had or­gan­ised the wedding in 11⁄ days.

‘‘It still means we get to have our spe­cial day.’’

He said it had been an emo­tional roller­coaster lead­ing up to the wedding, with it be­ing can­celled and then back on. They de­cided against post­pon­ing the event and in­stead in­vited peo­ple to watch online.

They plan to have a cel­e­bra­tion later in the year.

‘‘For us, we’re Chris­tians, it’s not about the glam­our of the day, it’s about the com­mit­ment. We’re committed to this for the rest of our lives.

‘‘It’s about God and our com­mit­ment to him and one an­other.’’

They can­celled their hon­ey­moon to Sri Lanka and then three weeks ago can­celled their re­jigged hon­ey­moon to Aus­tralia.

Scott said the wedding helped them for­get about what was hap­pen­ing in the world with the virus.

WAR­WICK SMITH/STUFF

Toni and Scott Ni­cholls brought their wedding for­ward to Wed­nes­day night be­fore the lock­down be­gan.

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