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Coronavirus: Belgian town among first to allow weddings with invitees

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By Jack Parrock
Wedding in Belgium
Wedding in Belgium   -   Copyright  Cleared   -  

A rare sight in pandemic-hit Europe: a couple getting married in front of guests. 

Yolanda Nauwelaers and Timothy Dekeyser tied the knot on Saturday in Sint-Katelijne Waver, a town inbetween Brussels and Antwerp. 

They are thought to be one of the first couples in Europe to wed in the presence of invitees since lockdown was imposed in March. 

Sint-Katelijne Waver is allowing weddings with a maximum of 25 guests - but they have to be outside. 

The commune had been planning to offer the service even before the coronavirus crisis and have been spurred on to do so to help their community.

Kristof Sels, the mayor of Sint-Katelijne-Waver, said: "We have to avoid the three Cs: closed spaces, crowded places and close contact settings. But there's also a fourth C - contact surfaces. 

"So if we go inside we have a closed space with lots of contact surfaces that’s why we sped up the process and we moved outside.”

Sadly there was no wedding reception for the guests - for now at least. 

Yolande and Timothy, who are set to move to Canada, say they will do something in two or three years' time, either in their new country or back in Belgium on holiday. 

Meanwhile, Sint-Katelijne Waver plans to continue hosting weddings this way - there’s already three booked in for this weekend.