Ipswich couple marry on Christmas Day after five cancelled weddings

Emma and Sam Carrington leaving St Andrew's Church, Chelmondiston, to lots of family and friends throwing confetti over them

Emma and Sam Carrington leaving St Andrew's Church, Chelmondiston, to lots of family and friends throwing confetti over them - Credit: Sarah Freeman

School sweethearts from Ipswich have ended the year with a "perfect" Christmas Day wedding after having to cancel their big day five times.

Sam, 25, and Emma Carrington, 24, who met during sixth form at Northgate High School in Ipswich, are overjoyed to now be husband and wife after a stressful year of rearranging their wedding day time and time again due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Their original wedding date was back in April, and they rearranged it a further three times before settling on December 27.

But when the announcement came on December 23 about Suffolk entering Tier 4 on Boxing Day they quickly scrambled to move it to December 25 - making arrangements in just 48 hours.

Emma and Sam finally tied the knot on Christmas Day - their sixth wedding date

Emma and Sam finally tied the knot on Christmas Day - their sixth wedding date - Credit: Sarah Freeman

The determined duo married on Christmas Day at St Andrew's Church in Chelmondiston on the Shotley Peninsula - the village where Emma grew up and her parents still live.

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While their wedding was much scaled-back compared to their original invite list of 90-plus people and booked reception at Hintlesham Golf Club, Emma said it was still "perfect".

"We did the best we could out of a bad situation. It felt so amazing to have all those people outside watching," she said. "We wanted it to be special and it really was still."

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The couple, who got engaged in 2018, could only have 15 people at the wedding, and that included the vicar, but Emma said it wasn't too difficult working on the numbers as their parents, siblings and grandparents fitted into the small party.

"We had a lot of people standing outside and taking pictures, which was really quite nice on Christmas Day," Emma said.

Emma loves water-based activities so Sam hired a rowing boat at Thorpeness where he proposed to her on the boat. They then...

Emma loves water-based activities so Sam hired a rowing boat at Thorpeness where he proposed to her on the boat. They then had a picnic on the beach and their friends took pictures - Credit: Charlotte Handley

Other friends and family watched the wedding on Zoom.

Emma said it was "really important" to the couple to still have their wedding day this year.

She said: "Although we were disappointed at having to move it and move it, it felt nice to be able to finish the year as Mr and Mrs finally."

The pair are really keen to share their story to uplift others during a testing year for many.

Emma said: "We were really excited to get married and we just hope other people might be lifted by it. Entering Tier 4 is quite sad, but I hope people are lifted by our story."

Emma and Sam in Austria (Vienna) in October 2017.

Emma and Sam in Austria (Vienna) in October 2017. Sam had to spend a year abroad as part of his languages degree, which meant going long periods of time without seeing each other, but on this occasion, Emma was able to fly to Austria for his birthday. - Credit: Emma Carrington

The newly-wed, who works at Colchester Hospital in a microbiology lab, said the year had been "very surreal".

She has been pulling in long shifts at times working on Covid-19 testing, analysing samples in the lab.

Emma said: "It's just been a crazy year. And then we managed to arrange the wedding in 48 hours. It's been so fast and just a bit crazy. We have put our honeymoon back to 2022. We are going to Mexico."

Emma and Sam did manage a night at Ufford Park Hotel in Woodbridge to finish off their wedding day - after Christmas dinner and present opening at Emma's parents' house (their Christmas Day bubble).

"My mum managed to get ready for a wedding and cook Christmas dinner," Emma said.

One of the earliest pictures of Emma and Sam together.

One of the earliest pictures of Emma and Sam together. Taken in June 2014 in a friend's garden before travelling to Trinity Park for the evening prom celebration - Credit: Charlotte Handley

Emma and Sam were only 17 when they met and first got chatting as they were sat next to each other in maths.

"We really liked the same things. He was really funny, just a really kind person," said Emma.

They both share a love of sport; Emma is a cricketer playing for Felixstowe & Corinthians Cricket Club and Sam, who works for Suffolk County Council, is a big Ipswich Town fan.

The couple moved into their house - the first home they bought - just days before the first national lockdown in March.

Emma said despite the challenges, "there's been a lot of good things happen this year and having got married we can now look at all the good things that have happened".

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