Key worker couple celebrate 'fairy tale' day after winning £32,000 wedding

Elysa and Richard Lovett tied the knot at their dream wedding, after winning the Norfolk Key Worker Wedding Giveaway.

Elysa and Richard Lovett tied the knot at their dream wedding, after winning the Norfolk Key Worker Wedding Giveaway. - Credit: Tim Wood

When nurse Elysa Lovett got engaged to fireman Richard Lovett in 2019, the couple started preparing for the wedding of their dreams. 

But before the big day arrived the pandemic struck, forcing them to put all their plans on hold as they both worked on the front line of the battle against the coronavirus.

Now, three years on, they have finally been able to tie the knot in the grandest of styles, after winning a competition for key workers who saw their wedding plans disrupted by Covid.

The couple, from Costessey, were nominated for the Norfolk Key Worker Wedding Giveaway for their hard work during the pandemic.

They were announced as the winners in July 2020, but have only just been able to finally get married.

Elysa and Richard Lovett tied the knot at their dream wedding, after winning the Norfolk Key Worker Wedding Giveaway.

Elysa and Richard Lovett tied the knot at their dream wedding, after winning the Norfolk Key Worker Wedding Giveaway. - Credit: Tim Wood

The competition was set up by Amelia Hacking, who supplies services for weddings, and saw more than 600 couples nominated.

She persuaded contacts in the industry to get involved by offering their help for free for the winning couple.

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And it was Mr and Mrs Lovett’s story which was the one that captured the hearts of the judges. 

Elysa and Richard Lovett tied the knot at their dream wedding, after winning the Norfolk Key Worker Wedding Giveaway.

Elysa and Richard Lovett tied the knot at their dream wedding, after winning the Norfolk Key Worker Wedding Giveaway. - Credit: Tim Wood

During the pandemic, Mrs Lovett, who was pregnant at the time, was working on the acute medical unit at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, where it was all-hands-on-deck as admissions soared. 

At the time, firefighters were needed to assist the ambulance service and Mr Lovett helped to transport critical Covid patients.

This was all while they juggled their parenting duties. At one point the family caught Covid, but it wasn’t long until they were back out on the front line. 

The Lovetts were wed on Thursday, May 19, at Thursford Garden Pavilion, with 35 Norfolk wedding suppliers having pulled together to create a day which exceeded anything the couple could have imagined.

They celebrated with their nearest and dearest including their two sons Cason, who is three, and Kirklen, one. 

Mrs Lovett, 26, said: “The day was incredible. It was like a fairy tale. 

Elysa and Richard Lovett tied the knot at their dream wedding, after winning the Norfolk Key Worker Wedding Giveaway.

Elysa and Richard Lovett tied the knot at their dream wedding, after winning the Norfolk Key Worker Wedding Giveaway. - Credit: Tim Wood

“I feel like we are in a little dream bubble at the moment 

“We are so incredibly grateful and humbled to have been the face of such a beautiful competition organised by Amelia.  

“It was our perfect wedding day.” 

From flower arrangements, to a pianist who played them down the aisle and even a glitter bar, the combined cost of their gifted wedding was around £32,000.  

35 Norfolk wedding suppliers pulled together to create a dream wedding.

35 Norfolk wedding suppliers pulled together to create a dream wedding. - Credit: Tim Wood

And after what was a difficult few years for wedding suppliers, Mr Lovett, a firefighter in Great Yarmouth, said he thought it was those businesses who are the heroes. 

“We were busy during Covid, but we were just doing our jobs,” the 37-year-old added. 

“We didn’t really expect any recognition for doing that.  

Elysa and Richard Lovett tied the knot at their dream wedding, after winning the Norfolk Key Worker Wedding Giveaway.

Elysa and Richard Lovett tied the knot at their dream wedding, after winning the Norfolk Key Worker Wedding Giveaway. - Credit: Tim Wood

“The wedding suppliers were incredibly impacted but they still were so selfless, giving up their time to give us our day. We are very grateful.

“Elysa looked so beautiful coming down the aisle. It just all fitted together like a puzzle.” 

Elysa and Richard Lovett tied the knot at their dream wedding, after winning the Norfolk Key Worker Wedding Giveaway.

Elysa and Richard Lovett tied the knot at their dream wedding, after winning the Norfolk Key Worker Wedding Giveaway. - Credit: Tim Wood