The coronavirus pandemic meant Natalie and Lewis, who’ve been together for nine years, had to sacrifice their dream wedding in las vegas for a smaller more local affair.

“Lewis and I met as teenagers when I was working at McDonald’s on the Drive Thru,” laughs Natalie, “he kept driving round to see me and we’ve been together ever since! This is why we were so set on having a Vegas drive thru wedding, we thought it would be a fun and unique way to honour how we met.”

But unfortunately, like most things, COVID-19 put a stop to that. “As a nurse, I totally respected and understood the coronavirus restrictions, even though we were naturally disappointed,” she continues.

But it wasn’t all bad. A UK wedding meant that the couple’s older relatives and baby daughter Violet, were now able to attend. Lewis says, “even though we got married closer to home, we still had to watch our numbers. With all the restrictions in place we only were allowed 30 people to our ceremony and 30 guests to the reception – we originally planned to have 120 people at a big party when we got back from Vegas!”

Deciding who to include under the government permitted guest limit wasn’t an easy task though. “We felt like we had to pick and choose from our loved ones which was so hard. We ended up choosing 30 family members for the daytime and 30 friends for the night do. It was a shame but we didn’t want to put it off any longer and thankfully people understood, and the day itself turned out pretty amazing for us,” Natalie said.

The Raistricks wedding proposal

As the wedding happened so fast (as soon as the rules came into place allowing small weddings, the couple rushed to tie the knot), friends rallied round to help everything come together. Nails, flowers and hair were all provided by pals for free, and the bridal party makeup was given by a school friend at a reduced rate. The reception venue even threw in a good deal, and the church was just metres away from the family home – a whopping saving on transport.

“The morning of the wedding was the scariest part for sure,” Natalie says, “the thought of walking down the aisle in front of everyone, even though it was only a small number, made me feel sick. But as soon as I started having my hair and makeup done with all the girls I started to enjoy myself.”

Lewis’ advice for soon to be newlyweds? Don’t sweat the small stuff. “We ended up bickering about little things as the expectation of the day is just so huge, but in reality, nothing actually changes afterwards, so work together and don’t let arguments happen in the lead up.”

“And definitely don’t worry about people getting annoyed if they aren’t invited,” adds Natalie, “we had to be brutal due to the circumstances, but at the end of the day, it’s down to you and is your day.”

The Raistricks have yet to go on honeymoon but since their wedding day back in the summer of 2020, the pair have gone on to have another daughter, Nancy, and have moved into their forever home.

“I’ve always wanted to get married and even though the day didn’t happen how we planned, it was right for us. Most of all though I just love having the same name as my children,” concludes Natalie.


The proposal

Lewis proposed on Natalie’s 22nd birthday, a low-key affair at home. I was livid he’d not made a big fuss all day, but when he popped the question in the evening, it was the best present of all!” – Natalie