Norwich couple celebrate ‘unwedding day’ after dream ceremony postponed

Alison Newbery and David Waterhouse celebrated their 'unwedding day' on April 16 - the same day they

Alison Newbery and David Waterhouse celebrated their 'unwedding day' on April 16 - the same day they were due to get married before the ceremony was postponed due to the coronavirus lockdown. Picture: Alison Newbery and David Waterhouse - Credit: Archant

When David Waterhouse and fiancée Alison Newbery were planning their dream wedding, they were going for something a little more organised than steak and chips in their back garden.

Alison and David spend their 'unhoneymoon' in their living room. Picture: Alison Newbery and David W

Alison and David spend their 'unhoneymoon' in their living room. Picture: Alison Newbery and David Waterhouse - Credit: Archant

But, after wedding ceremonies were postponed across the country as the UK went into lockdown, they decided against wallowing in their disappointment and celebrated their ‘unwedding day’ instead.

The couple, who live in Norwich’s Golden Triangle, had put a year’s worth of effort into organising their wedding day, which was planned to take place on April 16, including hand-drawn invitations, unique shoes and traditional morning suits, but realised that their health and that of their guests was more important.

Miss Newbery, who works for Norfolk County Council, said: “The whole wedding was bespoke and we’d hand-made a lot of it ourselves.

“However we both have very high-risk people who are close to us and, even just before lockdown was announced, we knew we’d have to postpone the wedding.

David Waterhouse enjoys a pint from the Fat Cat Brewery Tap on his 'unwedding day'. Picture: Alison

David Waterhouse enjoys a pint from the Fat Cat Brewery Tap on his 'unwedding day'. Picture: Alison Newbery and David Waterhouse - Credit: Archant


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“It was an easier decision than you’d think – no matter how wonderful a wedding is, the people around us are much more important than just one day.”

Inspired by the ‘unbirthday’ song from Alice in Wonderland – Miss Newbery is a huge Disney fan – the couple decided to hold an ‘unwedding day’ on the planned day of their original ceremony.

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They enjoyed breakfast in the garden, spent the day chatting with family and friends who would otherwise have been guests and dressed up to enjoy an evening meal at “the most exclusive restaurant in Norwich – our back garden”.

But they wouldn’t be completely alone, as an unexpected guest showed up – Etta, the cat who lives next door, played the role of ‘unwedding’ crasher.

Alison Newbery and David Waterhouse enjoy a Bloody Mary on their 'unwedding day'. Picture: Alison Ne

Alison Newbery and David Waterhouse enjoy a Bloody Mary on their 'unwedding day'. Picture: Alison Newbery and David Waterhouse - Credit: Archant

“It was nice to have someone to celebrate with,” said Miss Newbery.

After posting their day on social media, they were pleasantly stunned to receive hundreds of messages from well-wishers around the world.

Dr Waterhouse, a senior curator at Norfolk Museums Service, said: “What seemed like the obvious thing to do, in having an ‘unwedding day’ of celebration at home in lockdown, seemed really to hit a note with people.”

Amid the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, the couple remain unsure as to when the actual wedding will finally go ahead, but continue to look on the bright side.

David Waterhouse cooking steak for their 'unwedding day' evening meal. Picture: Alison Newbery and D

David Waterhouse cooking steak for their 'unwedding day' evening meal. Picture: Alison Newbery and David Waterhouse - Credit: Archant

Dr Waterhouse said: “All the suppliers and companies involved have been great in postponing – everyone from DJs, to florists, to photographers.”

Miss Newbery added: “It may be that spring 2021 will have to be the new date, but we really don’t know at present.

“On the bright side, it will give us some more time to hand-make more table decorations and name cards for the actual wedding.”

Alison Newbery and David Waterhouse take an 'unwedding day' stroll in their masks. Picture: Alison N

Alison Newbery and David Waterhouse take an 'unwedding day' stroll in their masks. Picture: Alison Newbery and David Waterhouse - Credit: Archant

Alison Newbery sitting down to an 'unwedding day' evening meal - steak, home-made chips and local as

Alison Newbery sitting down to an 'unwedding day' evening meal - steak, home-made chips and local asparagus. Picture: Alison Newbery and David Waterhouse - Credit: Archant

David Waterhouse sitting down to an 'unwedding day' evening meal - steak, home-made chips and local

David Waterhouse sitting down to an 'unwedding day' evening meal - steak, home-made chips and local asparagus. Picture: Alison Newbery and David Waterhouse - Credit: Archant

Alison Newbery prepared home-made soufflés for their 'unwedding day' dessert. Picture: Alison Newber

Alison Newbery prepared home-made soufflés for their 'unwedding day' dessert. Picture: Alison Newbery and David Waterhouse - Credit: Archant

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