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First couple married in Norwich cathedral since lockdown enjoy ‘beautiful’ ceremony

PUBLISHED: 08:25 12 July 2020 | UPDATED: 17:25 12 July 2020

Newlyweds Joe Howard and Victoria Howard were the first people to get married post lockdown Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Newlyweds Joe Howard and Victoria Howard were the first people to get married post lockdown Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Archant

The first wedding to be held at Norwich St John’s Cathedral since lockdown began was “beautiful and well worth the stress” according to the lucky couple - even if it wasn’t quite so grand as they had imagined.

Victoria Howard arrives for her wedding at St Johns Cathedral in Norwich Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNVictoria Howard arrives for her wedding at St Johns Cathedral in Norwich Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Victoria Knowles and Joe Howard, both in their 30s from Norwich, were thrilled to be able to tie the knot on Saturday after fears their wedding may not go ahead.

And although the invite list was culled to just 30 in line with government restrictions, none of the excitement was lost in the process.

Friends and extended family of the couple gathered outside the cathedral while the ceremony was live-streamed - making the emergence of husband and wife from behind closed doors all the more emotional.

The original plan was for the couple to hold a wedding reception with 150 guests at Hales Hall in Loddon after the ceremony, where Ms Knowles and her fiancee would have spent the whole weekend - from Friday through to Monday.

Groom Joe Howard before his wedding ceremony Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNGroom Joe Howard before his wedding ceremony Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Instead, the reception has been postponed until September, where a “second wedding” will hopefully take place with a much larger capacity.

And rather than going to the Maldives for their honeymoon, they will be glamping in a bell tent in their back garden, set with a hot tub, buffet and king-size bed.

But for Ms Knowles, now Mrs Howard, none of that mattered.

She said: “The most important thing was for us to become husband and wife, so I’m glad we held our nerve and went through with it.

Groom Joe Howard (second from left) before his wedding ceremony Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNGroom Joe Howard (second from left) before his wedding ceremony Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“Having to strip things back was a blessing in disguise.

“The ceremony was beautiful and I’m so happy we’re here today celebrating with the people who’ve came to support us - even if they couldn’t come inside!”

Mr Howard was equally relieved. He said: “I’m glad it’s all over - it was such a mad stress in the run-up to the day and getting everything sorted last minute. But right now I couldn’t be happier.”

Friends and family of the couple said they had been “glued to the screen” waiting for Boris Johnson to drop the word ‘wedding’ into one of his briefings.

Groom Joe Howard (3rd from the left) with his groomsmen Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNGroom Joe Howard (3rd from the left) with his groomsmen Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Mrs Howard’s sister, Becca Knowles, said: “Vicki flirted with the idea of cancelling it so many times, but I’m really happy she didn’t.

“We couldn’t believe it when Boris said ceremonies could resume after July 4. At that point, there was no going back.”

Bridesmaids Becca Knowles and Charlie Oldham Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNBridesmaids Becca Knowles and Charlie Oldham Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Newlyweds Joe Howard and Victoria Howard were the first people to get married post lockdown Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNNewlyweds Joe Howard and Victoria Howard were the first people to get married post lockdown Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Newlyweds Joe Howard and Victoria Howard were the first people to get married post lockdown Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNNewlyweds Joe Howard and Victoria Howard were the first people to get married post lockdown Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The wedding was the first job post lockdown for Kerry and Spencer Hood of Celebration Cars and Events.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNThe wedding was the first job post lockdown for Kerry and Spencer Hood of Celebration Cars and Events. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Guests watch the live stream of the wedding of Joe Howard and Victoria Knowles outside St Johns Cathedral Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNGuests watch the live stream of the wedding of Joe Howard and Victoria Knowles outside St Johns Cathedral Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Victoria Knowles moments before she walked down. the aisle to marry Joe Howard Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNVictoria Knowles moments before she walked down. the aisle to marry Joe Howard Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Victoria Knowles moments before she walked down. the aisle to marry Joe Howard Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNVictoria Knowles moments before she walked down. the aisle to marry Joe Howard Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Victoria Howard moments before she walked down. the aisle to marry Joe Howard Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNVictoria Howard moments before she walked down. the aisle to marry Joe Howard Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN


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