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A nurse and doctor who had to cancel their wedding due to the coronavirus pandemic have got married at the same London hospital where they both work.
Ambulatory emergency nurse Jann Tipping, 34, and acute medical registrar Annalan Navaratnam, 30, tied the knot at the end of April in the Grade 2 listed chapel at St Thomas’ Hospital.
“We had a beautiful wedding day. It was a nice thing to happen in the middle of an anxious time”
The couple had planned to marry in August in London but decided to cancel the event due to fears about their families being unable to travel there safely from Northern Ireland and Sri Lanka.
However, rather than postpone the wedding, the pair, from Tulse Hill in South London, decided that they wanted to get married as soon as possible with their guests being able to watch remotely.
They asked the chaplaincy team at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust if it was possible to have a private wedding ceremony in the historic chapel, which has features dating back to 1870.
Ms Tipping said: “A date was set within two weeks and we hadn’t bought my dress, our rings and other things we needed so we rushed to get everything done quickly.”
The service, which took place on 24 April, was held by Revd Mia Hilborn, head of spiritual healthcare at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, with two witnesses present.
Ms Tipping said: “It was nice being just us, it felt very intimate. One of our witnesses live streamed the service so our friends and family could watch.
“It was a lovely wedding and the chapel is beautiful, although it did feel surreal getting married where we work, and in a hospital,” she said.
“St Thomas’ is such a special place to us both, and especially to me, having been here for the last six years. Now there is an extra reason why it’s so important to us.”
She added: “We had a beautiful wedding day. It was a nice thing to happen in the middle of an anxious time. We’re so grateful to the chaplaincy team who went the extra mile to make it possible.”
After the ceremony, the newlyweds hosted a virtual drinks reception for their guests, which included their first dance and speeches. They had sent guests champagne for the reception in advance.
Revd Hilborn said: “At such a challenging time for staff, as chaplains we strive to offer as much support as we can.
“I was delighted to be able to get special permission to marry Jann and Annalan in the beautiful chapel at St Thomas’. It was a lovely service and I was thrilled to be part of it.”