Couple’s ‘mad panic’ to marry with just 12 hours notice

Paul Richards and Agata Wygnanska, of Cambridge, married today at The Church of Our Lady and the English Martyrs.

Paul Richards and Agata Wygnanska, of Cambridge, married today at The Church of Our Lady and the English Martyrs. - Credit: © Terry Harris

A couple who were rehearsing their wedding when they discovered Cambridgeshire is heading into Tier 4 via a phone notification got married today - with just 12 hours notice. 

Drum/percussion teacher Paul Richards and primary school teacher Agata Wygnanska, who have been engaged for a-year-and-a-half, were originally due to get married on August 1.

Paul Richards and Agata Wygnanska, of Cambridge, married today at The Church of Our Lady and the English Martyrs. They are...

Paul Richards and Agata Wygnanska, of Cambridge, married today at The Church of Our Lady and the English Martyrs. They are pictured with Agata's brother, Piotor, who is an ordained priest. - Credit: © Terry Harris

However, as the first national lockdown took hold, they postponed it until December 28. 

Then yesterday, in the middle of their wedding rehearsal at The Church of Our Lady and the English Martyrs, in Hill's Road, Cambridge, Paul’s phone beeped with a notification.

The alert stated that the city and district is heading into Tier 4 restrictions from Boxing Day (Saturday December 26).

Paul Richards and Agata Wygnanska, of Cambridge, married today at The Church of Our Lady and the English Martyrs. Aagata...

Paul Richards and Agata Wygnanska, of Cambridge, married today at The Church of Our Lady and the English Martyrs. Aagata is pictured with her brother, Piotor, who is an ordained priest. - Credit: © Terry Harris

Understandably not wanting to push their big day back for the second time, Paul and Aggie dashed to the office of the parish priest and, with God on their side, they were told there was a slot available for 11am the next day. 

The support of friends and family, Paul said, has been crucial to them pulling it all off at the very last minute.

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In true 2020 DIY fashion, the couple were married by Aggie’s brother, Piotr Wygnański. Having very recently been ordained, his sister’s big day being his first ever wedding. 

Paul Richards and Agata Wygnanska, of Cambridge, married today at The Church of Our Lady and the English Martyrs. They are...

Paul Richards and Agata Wygnanska, of Cambridge, married today at The Church of Our Lady and the English Martyrs. They are pictured with her brother, Piotor, who is an ordained priest. - Credit: © Terry Harris

“Everyone rallied around to make sure it could still work - the best man even drove overnight from Bristol to make it in time.

“Plus, nobody had a chance to write speeches... so we kind of winged it.” 

More than anything, though, Paul says he and Aggie are thankful that they found out about the restrictions when they did. 

Paul Richards and Agata Wygnanska, of Cambridge, married today at The Church of Our Lady and the English Martyrs. 

Paul Richards and Agata Wygnanska, of Cambridge, married today at The Church of Our Lady and the English Martyrs. - Credit: © Terry Harris

“We were just so lucky that we were in the church at the time so could speak to everyone direct.”

He added that although it’s been “a bit of a mad panic, we were determined to get married this year somehow despite the setbacks.”

Paul Richards and Agata Wygnanska will tie the knot at The Church of Our Lady and the English Martyrs, in Hills Road, at...

Paul Richards and Agata Wygnanska have moved their December 28 wedding forward to tomorrow with just 12 hours notice following news of Cambridge being placed into Tier 4 from Boxing Day. They will tie the knot at The Church of Our Lady and the English Martyrs, in Hills Road, at 11am. - Credit: PAUL RICHARDS

The couple originally planned to have 200 people at their wedding, but due to Covid-19 restrictions they have been limited to just 15.

Despite the difficult cut back, Paul said he and Aggie will have a party or something similar next year “to make up for it.”

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