MORE than 150 couples who were due to be getting married in Bolton cancelled their wedding ceremonies during the coronavirus lockdown.

In total, 158 ceremonies booked via Bolton Council’s register office, to be held either in the Albert Halls or elsewhere in the borough, have been cancelled.

This figure only accounts for civil ceremonies which were due to take place in the borough since March and does not include religious wedding ceremonies.

Liz Turner and Matt Allen, who live in Horwich, were planning to tie the knot in Bolton this month but, like many others, they have had to postpone their plans.

The couple, who planned to celebrate their wedding in Rivington after a civil ceremony at the register office in Bolton Town Hall, said they were filled with “stress and anxiety” in the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Matt said: “From mid-March, when the lockdown came in and we saw the death rates worldwide, I thought this isn’t going to fix itself any time soon.

“We thought, are we going to have a wedding in August? We’ve got 150 guests. Are we going to be able to have everyone there?

“As we started to realise this might happen, I contacted the venue asking if we have to cancel, what happens? We were just in limbo.”

In May, the venue, Spring Cottage in Rivington Lane, told the couple that their wedding could no longer take place as planned on August 29.

The pair, who booked the venue 18 months ago, chose to postpone their wedding by a year. Matt said it was “gutting” after waiting so long.

But he added: “It gives us a bit more time to lose some weight for the photos and pay some of the bills.”

Liz said rearranging the wedding has been a stressful experience, especially when there was a lot of uncertainty at the start of the coronavirus crisis.

But she would rather wait to have the wedding day that she wanted – which means having her big family by her side to celeberate the couple’s special day.

When asked whether she was worried the wedding would be postponed again, she said: “It could happen.

“The restrictions could be in place next year and we’ll be back to square one.

“Even if the lockdown gets lifted, it might not get lifted for certain groups and my nan is 94. The restrictions are getting stricter now, especially in Bolton.”

Wedding ceremonies have been taking place in Bolton again since July 4 following the lifting of lockdown restrictions put in place back in March.

A council spokesman said: “Since the government has allowed ceremonies to take place again across England, couples have begun to rebook ceremonies which they had cancelled.

“However, we are finding that most couples are postponing their ceremonies until 2021.

“At present, and until government guidance on social distancing changes, ceremonies at Bolton Town Hall can only accommodate a maximum of 10 guests, plus the couple getting married.”