A BRIDE-TO-BE has spoken of her dismay when her wedding was cancelled due to coronavirus.

Lucy Tinker, 34, was due to marry James Clare, 47, in June.

The couple, from Lodsworth, near Petworth, were engaged last Christmas and had been planning their big day for more than a year.

Lucy, who has a PR business, said: “We were devastated. Fifteen months spent fine-tuning every single detail of our wedding, while saving every penny we could, to make sure we have the best day celebrating with friends and family went up in smoke.

“However, as hard as it was to accept, we knew it was for the best. It would have been so selfish to keep on going.

“We would have been risking the health of so many loved ones and there would have been so many guests who couldn’t have made it either.”

Lucy has managed to postpone the wedding until January.

She made all the arrangements in seven hours and said she was grateful to the venue, Fitzleroi Barn, near Pulborough, and the companies that allowed her to delay the celebration without paying more.

The transition may have been smooth, but Lucy said it had been “one hell of an emotional rollercoaster”.

She said: “Before this, I don’t think anybody could ever have imagined the Government would have no choice but to cancel all events and gatherings including weddings.

“Two weeks before we postponed our wedding, we honestly believed it would still be able to go ahead.

“Two of my bridesmaids had had their final dress fittings, I had started to pay the final instalments owed to suppliers and our notice of marriage had been accepted by the register office.

“I was getting ready to travel down to Cornwall to see my wedding dress for the first time.

“I’d ordered it six months before and I was going to have my first dress fitting appointment.

“Just after we called it off, I had mixed emotions.

“I panicked when I thought about all the money that we’d ploughed in, and I was worried about people not being able to get there but at the same time I knew it was the right thing.

“We didn’t want to infect anybody or for them to then go home and spread it among their family. We could never have forgiven ourselves.

“We felt relief as well. We would have been worrying up to the day about whether it would go ahead. We’ve embraced it and we’re really looking forward to having a winter wedding.

“I will be Mrs Clare in January 2021 now.”

• The coronavirus Sussex Crisis Fund has been set up to help those affected by the pandemic. The Argus’s charity and American Express have each donated £50,000 to kick-start the appeal. Grants will usually be for up to £5,000. More information is available at www.sussexgiving. org.uk/apply. To donate visit www.totalgiving.co.uk/appeal/sussexcrisisfund