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Couple ditch dream wedding for small-scale event - with personalised face masks

PUBLISHED: 18:07 23 September 2020

Caitlin Chrystal, wearing her personalised wedding face mask,  tied the knot at the Thomas Paine Hotel in Thetford followed by a celebration at a private function in a friend's garden. Photo: Caitlin Crystal

Caitlin Chrystal, wearing her personalised wedding face mask, tied the knot at the Thomas Paine Hotel in Thetford followed by a celebration at a private function in a friend's garden. Photo: Caitlin Crystal

Caitlin Crystal

Personalised face masks and guests watching on Zoom were among the far-out features as a couple tied the knot coronavirus style.

Caitlin Chrystal married Ricky Chrystal at a ceremony held at the Thomas Paine Hotel in Thetford. Photo: Caitlin ChrystalCaitlin Chrystal married Ricky Chrystal at a ceremony held at the Thomas Paine Hotel in Thetford. Photo: Caitlin Chrystal

Caitlin and Ricky Chrystal were initially planning a ceremony with 100-plus people, then a 300-strong reception.

But, having called off and rescheduled the event four or five times since lockdown in March, they took the plunge and married on Saturday September 19.

Mrs Chrystal, 27, and her now husband Ricky Chrystal, 33, had originally booked their wedding at Hockwold Hall to celebrate with hundreds of their closest friends and family.

But as the lockdown restrictions were enforced, they spent months trying to rearrange their big day.

Caitlin Chrystal holding son Ralph Chrystal, 2, with daughter Ella-Shai Norman, 9, and husband Ricky Chrystal holding daughter Annalise Chrystal, 4. At their wedding ceremony held at the Thomas Paine Hotel. Photo: Caitlin ChrystalCaitlin Chrystal holding son Ralph Chrystal, 2, with daughter Ella-Shai Norman, 9, and husband Ricky Chrystal holding daughter Annalise Chrystal, 4. At their wedding ceremony held at the Thomas Paine Hotel. Photo: Caitlin Chrystal

Unable to set a date at the same venue until next year, the couple decided to ditch their plans altogether and asked a local hotel owner for his help.

The mother-of-three said: “When lockdown was first announced we held out and we waited. Then we decided to completely cancel, then postpone it, cancel it again and then postponed it again. It was a complete nightmare.

“In the end we thought, ‘let’s just get married in Thetford’.

“I got in contact with Gez Chetal who owns the Thomas Paine Hotel and said ‘please can you help me?’. He bent over backwards for us and made it happen. I can’t praise him enough.”

Caitlin Chrystal married Ricky Chrystal at a ceremony held at the Thomas Paine Hotel in Thetford. Photo: Caitlin ChrystalCaitlin Chrystal married Ricky Chrystal at a ceremony held at the Thomas Paine Hotel in Thetford. Photo: Caitlin Chrystal

The wedding was scaled down to 21 guests and a function at a friend’s garden. With personalised face masks and the ceremony streamed live on Zoom for those who could not attend, Mrs Chrystal said they had their perfect day.

She added: “At first I was quite upset because we had planned a big white wedding at an amazing venue and we ended up with a small ceremony in a hotel. But we had the perfect day and we got married - which was all that mattered.

“As a family we have had a horrendous few years. After a difficult pregnancy my son, who is now two, was born premature and he contracted meningitis - we nearly lost him a few times.

“At the same time, I had a cancer scare and last year my eldest daughter contracted a rare virus. It has been really tough. That is why the wedding was so important to us, to have something for our family to look forward to. I am so happy we were able to do it. The only way is up now.”

Personalised wedding face masks at the wedding of Caitlin and Ricky Chrystal in Thetford. Photo: Caitlin ChrystalPersonalised wedding face masks at the wedding of Caitlin and Ricky Chrystal in Thetford. Photo: Caitlin Chrystal

Caitlin Chrystal married Ricky Chrystal at a ceremony held at the Thomas Paine Hotel in Thetford. Photo: Caitlin ChrystalCaitlin Chrystal married Ricky Chrystal at a ceremony held at the Thomas Paine Hotel in Thetford. Photo: Caitlin Chrystal

Wedding decorations at the Thomas Paine Hotel in Thetford. Photo: Caitlin ChrystalWedding decorations at the Thomas Paine Hotel in Thetford. Photo: Caitlin Chrystal

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