ONE of the first couples in Carmarthenshire to be married after lockdown restrictions were lifted said it was ‘all smiles and laughter’ despite the extra measures in place because of Covid-19.

Welsh Government has permitted marriage ceremonies in register offices and places of worship to resume, and having had their nuptials postponed because of the lockdown, Sascha and Alex Docwra of Drefach Felindre were one of the first to re-book their ceremony.

They were married at Carmarthen Registry Office with just two witnesses and said that Carmarthenshire County Council’s registration services team helped make their day relaxed and memorable despite the circumstances.

The couple, who have been together for seven years, had to sanitise their hands before walking down the aisle and had to wear gloves to sign the register.

“By the end of the service the strange and unfamiliar environment of Covid-19 measures had gone from our minds and we’d enjoyed the ceremony – it was all smiles and laughter at the end,” said Sascha.

“It was a strange feeling walking into the registry office in my wedding dress and being asked to use the hand sanitiser and take a pair of gloves.

“Because of coronavirus, we were only allowed two witnesses, and no gathering outside, so it became a small ceremony with one of my two daughters, who live locally, and her fiancé.

“These measures are here for now to protect all of us and we were extremely grateful that we were at last able to be married.”

Alex, a chef at a residential care home, and Sascha, a market researcher, have thanked the registration services team for helping put them at ease, allowing them to enjoy their ceremony.

“We want to thank the registration services team – they were extremely reassuring and happy. They quickly set me at ease and made us feel welcome and relaxed despite the restrictions they were working under.

“It was their first day conducting civil ceremonies again and I totally understood us all feeling anxious at the start, but by the end of the service we were all more relaxed.”

Carmarthenshire’s registration services team are working with over 300 couples who had to postpone and rearrange marriages and civil partnerships because of lockdown.

They are also advising couples due to hold ceremonies at registered venues, such as hotels, which are still not permitted to resume services.

Cllr David Jenkins, Executive Board Member responsible for registration services, said: “On behalf of Carmarthenshire County Council, I’d like to congratulate Mr and Mrs Docwra and wish them every happiness together.

“Our registration services team were so touched when they were thanked by the couple for everything they did to support them on their special day – sentiments which I’m sure are echoed by other couples they have supported.

“With some restrictions still in place, and a backlog of registrations because of Covid-19, the team is working exceptionally hard to help hundreds of families and I thank them also for everything they do.”

The team is contacting those who have had ceremonies postponed, or have ceremonies booked over the next couple of months, to discuss arrangements.

Updates will be made available on the council’s website at www.carmarthenshire.gov.wales, alternatively, enquiries can be made over the phone during office hours on 01267 228210.

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