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Nurse and doctor who cancelled wedding due to coronavirus marry at hospital chapel where they both work

The wedding was 'a nice thing to happen in the middle of an anxious time', bride says

Sabrina Barr
Thursday 28 May 2020 11:02 BST
(Rebecca Carpenter Photography)

A nurse and a doctor who had been forced to cancel their wedding due to the coronavirus pandemic have tied the knot at the hospital where they both work.

Jann Tipping, 34, and Annalan Navaratnam, 30, had originally planned for their wedding to take place in August.

However, in light of the Covid-19 outbreak, the south London-based couple cancelled their plans amid fears their families would not be able to travel safely from Northern Ireland and Sri Lanka for the occasion.

Rather than postpone their nuptials, the couple decided to move their wedding forward, holding a private wedding ceremony at the St Thomas’ Hospital's Grade II listed chapel, with special permission from the hospital’s chaplaincy team.

Ms Tipping, an ambulatory emergency nurse, explained that she and her partner wanted to conduct their wedding ceremony “while everyone was still healthy, even if it meant our loved ones having to watch us on a screen”.

(Rebecca Carpenter Photography (Rebecca Carpenter Photography)

“We wanted to make sure we could celebrate while we were all still able to,” Ms Tipping said.

“The chaplaincy team worked hard to get permission for us to be married, which we appreciated greatly at a time when so much was going on.”

Ms Tipping said they had the date for their wedding set within two weeks, during which they needed to rush to complete certain tasks including obtaining her wedding dress and their rings.

The nurse said their wedding was “lovely”, “intimate” and “a nice thing to happen in the middle of an anxious time”.

(Rebecca Carpenter Photography (Rebecca Carpenter Photography)

She added that it felt “surreal” to wed at the hospital where she and her partner both work.

“St Thomas’ is such a special place to us both, and especially to me, having been here for the last six years. Now there is an extra reason why it’s so important to us,” Ms Tipping said.

Mr Navaratnam, an acute medical registrar, said he and his partner wanted to get married “from the moment I proposed”.

“We so happy that we have been able to commit ourselves to one another and that the hospital has been able to support us to do that,” said the doctor, who has been working at the hospital for a year.

The newlyweds hosted a virtual drinks reception for their guests, who had champagne sent to their homes in advance in order to join in the celebrations.​

Reverend Mia Hilborn and two witnesses were present in the chapel for the ceremony on 24 April.

“At such a challenging time for staff, as chaplains we strive to offer as much support as we can. We know how upsetting it is to need to delay big celebratory events such as weddings so we are happy to talk to any staff who need to postpone their wedding to see how we can help,” said Reverend Hilborn.

“I was delighted to be able to get special permission to marry Jann and Annalan in the beautiful chapel at St Thomas’. It was a lovely service and I was thrilled to be part of it.”

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