Couple spend £2000 on cardboard cutouts of their friends so they can ‘attend’ wedding


A bride and groom left their wedding planner in stitches after revealing their idea for getting around the coronavirus restrictions to have 50 guests ‘attend’ their big day

The coronavirus pandemic put many events on hold, with concerts, shows and weddings cancelled.

As lockdown has eased, things have been gradually returning to some kind of normal, but there are still a number of restrictions in place.

Currently in England, only 30 people are permitted to attend a wedding or civil partnership ceremony.

This rule caused a bit of an issue for Romanee and Sam Rondeau-Smith, from Bramley, Guildford, who at the time of planning their wedding, had about 100 people on the guestlist.

The couple were initially due to get married in July, but pushed the date back to August 14.

Because of social distancing rules, they were unable to have a full wedding reception, but the pair did come up with a unique way to ensure all of their family and friends were able to make the occasion.

Romanee and Sam ended up having 50 guests ‘attend’ their big day – without breaking the law.

Instead of having all their loved ones gather in person, the pair spent more than £2,000 on cardboard cutouts of their guests and only had 14 actual people at the wedding.

They tied the knot at The Bell in Ticehurst, East Sussex, after getting engaged in December and looking back on their special day, say they wouldn’t change a thing, despite restrictions.

Romanee said: “We had about 100 people on our guest list but when coronavirus hit, we had to rework our plans and the venue were really flexible.

“At the end of the day, we just want to get married so let’s just go ahead – it helps that we’re not high maintenance.

“One of my bridesmaids lives in Nashville and she wouldn’t be able to attend so we joked about having her as a cardboard cut-out, so we thought why we don’t do that with our guests.

“We got all of our guests to send us a picture of them and it went from there – the wedding planner loved it, she found it hilarious.

“It worked out at the same price as what it would have cost to have them all here but we saved on the booze!”