Northumberland couple overcome Covid cancellation and Storm Arwen setback to get married

A Northumberland couple have finally tied the knot, despite the best efforts of the Covid pandemic and Storm Arwen.

Thursday, 9th December 2021, 3:15 pm
Hannah and Scott's wedding.
Hannah and Scott's wedding.

Hannah Armstrong and Scott Cowens, from Morpeth, thought their hopes of getting married on Saturday had been dashed when their wedding reception venue cancelled their booking due to storm damage.

However, a Facebook plea resulted in Doxford Barns, near Ellingham, offering to host the event – which also doubled as a Christening celebration for their 15-month-old daughter, Robyne.

The wedding ceremony was held at St Bartholomew’s Church in Whittingham despite it also having suffered disruption due to the gales.

Hannah, Scott and daughter Robyne after their wedding in Whittingham. Picture: Tyla Fairbairn

Hannah, 36, who grew up in nearby Glanton, said: "It went perfectly – and there were a few surprises which made it even better.

"I’d been told the church organ wouldn’t be working because there was no electrical power but it turns out it could be done with a pedal and a gentleman from the village offered to come along and help. I thought I’d be walking down the aisle to nothing so that blew me away.

"We had no heating or lighting either so it was absolutely freezing but hundreds of candles had been put up so it looked amazing and the vicar made the whole service more enjoyable with his references to the situation we were in.”

The couple originally planned to marry on January 4, 2021 and hold a reception at Clennell Hall, near Alwinton in the Coquet Valley only for Covid restrictions and then lockdown to force its cancellation.

Hannah and Scott share a laugh during the ceremony.

Then, last Tuesday, Clennell Hall called to say they couldn’t host the reception due to roof damage and water leaks.

Hannah said: “It was devastating but my brother, Andy, put a post on Facebook asking if anyone could help out and Richard Shell from Doxford Barns popped up as my Santa Claus!

"He put me in touch with their wedding coordinator and we were able to put a package together. And what they did was just beautiful.”

Of course, not everything could be expected to run smoothly.

Groom Scott Cowens and friends.

"That would have been too much after what we went through,” laughed Hannah. “Quite a lot of our night-time guests had to call off because of snow – but at least we got there!”

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Scott Cowens and Hannah Armstrong with daughter Robyne.
Candles helped to light up the church in Whittingham.