A BRIDE who's £30,000 dream wedding was cancelled just 18 hours before the big day because of coronavirus has revealed how they exchanged rings in Burger King instead.
Mum-of-two Laura Acton, 25, and Adam Woods, 32, from Oldbury, West Mids, saved for nearly four years and have been planning their big day since late 2017.
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Adam proposed in New York in September 2017 and, within a week of returning to the UK, they "instantly fell in love" with a £6,000 venue in Shropshire – so set a date and started planning.
But the pair’s dream day was shattered when it was cancelled on Friday night – just hours before the event.
Devastated Laura said: “It was one hell of a 24 hours. I am beyond heartbroken. I was supposed to be marrying my best friend but our venue cancelled on us.
“Seeing as we couldn't exchange wedding rings, we exchanged onion rings.”
The couple decided to still go on their 'honeymoon' to Liverpool last weekend, staying at the city's Signature Living Hotel, and stopped off at a service station on the way.
Laura said: “We hadn’t eaten anything since Friday night because we felt so sick, so we stopped off at Burger King on the way to Liverpool.
“Adam ordered some onion rings and when he came back to the car, he told me to put them on – and said we can still exchange rings. You just had to laugh.
“We can still laugh through this as we have each other. If you sit and cry the whole time, you’re only going to make yourself feel worse.”
The bride and groom, who put their plans to buy a house on hold to get married, were at home when Adam's best mate rang last Friday – urging them to tune into the news as the government ramped up Britain's social distancing measures.
Laura, who is now home-schooling her daughters, said: “I was trying for an hour to get through to the venue and nobody answered.
“Somebody then phoned me back at about 6.30pm and told me they were closing on Friday. I received an email stating that they were absolutely delighted by the government’s stance and decided to close.
We hadn’t eaten anything since Friday night because we felt so sick, so we stopped off at Burger King. Adam ordered onion rings and said 'we can still exchange rings'
“I do understand why places need to close and how they need to hear from the government first.
“But I think their manner was quite insensitive to brides who have been planning their weddings for years and are due to be getting married in 18 hours’ time.
“I know my partner’s finding it hard behind closed doors, especially seeing the kids crying and saying it’s not fair.”
Laura was so upset she asked her parents to collect everything from the venue the next day – including their table plan, decorations and thousands of pounds worth of alcohol.
She gave her wedding cake to her nan's nursing home, to stop it going to waste, and dished out 'Mr and Mrs' cookies to friends and family.
Her £2,000 dress is hanging in her wardrobe untouched.
It was one hell of a 24 hours. I am beyond heartbroken. The venue cancelled on us with 24 hours' notice
Laura says the venue wouldn't refund her but offered to postpone their date or give her a gift card for another venue.
She says she was also told she could claim through insurance, but the couple never took any out.
She now says their house is "covered in memories" because of all the decorations and she has "no idea" what she'll be able to claim refunds on.
“We obviously didn’t take insurance out thinking our wedding is going to be cancelled, maybe just our photographer or videographer,” she said.
The pair had already received around 30 cancellations from friends and family who were forced to self-isolate, including one of Adam’s groomsmen who’s stuck in Las Vegas and a godmother in Switzerland.
Despite still taking their trip to Liverpool, the couple were stuck in their room because of social distancing.
Determined to make the most of it, Laura and Adam drank Prosecco and ordered a three-course meal on room service.
Despite it not being the trip they had planned, they say they are glad they went away instead of staying in their home surrounded by wedding decorations.
Laura now feels she could be "waiting years" for her next wedding date – despite being told she's a priority.
She said: “As the venue said I’m priority, because my wedding was one of the first cancelled, I have to pick a date when they call – otherwise they’ll go to the next person.
“I could potentially lose the date I wanted, and with Adam back at work, I’m going to potentially be alone having to choose it.”
We previously reported on a couple who feared coronavirus would cancel their wedding, so rearranged in 24 hours to marry at St Pancras.
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