A last minute decision on Friday proved to be a case of perfect timing for a couple who were married on Saturday just before NSW started going into lock down.
James Dwarte and Sharnae Kennedy were planning a June 13 wedding with a reception at Panorama House but they started to get nervous about whether they were going to able to proceed.
Brother John Dwarte married Aleida Moulton the previous weekend with a reception at Dalton House just before the Federal Government announced social gatherings were restricted to 100.
Realising they were not going to be able to have a similar reception for their 230 guests James and Sharnae contacted Panorama House who were willing to postpone. They then phoned James Dwarte's parents Glenn and Katia Dwarte on Friday saying they were bringing the wedding forward four months.
"I couldn't believe how much they organised in 23 hours. I ended up having two boys married in the same church in eight days," Mr Dwarte said.
All Saints Catholic Church in Shellharbour allowed the couple to have a small ceremony for only 25 people done just days it was advised no more weddings could be conducted.
The newlyweds then had their reception at the Lagoon Restaurant near the same tree that has special significance to Glenn and Katia.
"When Katia and I eloped 32 years ago we had a small reception for seven people in the old Lagoon Restaurant," Mr Dwarte said.
"We had our photos taken in front of the same tree the 10 of us sat on Saturday just two days before the new Lagoon was forced to stop people dining in".
After the reception James and Sharnae booked into The Darling at The Star Sydney just three days before it was forced to shut the casino.
"We were able to stay in the same room I actually proposed to Sharnae in," James said.
"When we realised the June wedding was not going to be feasible we initially thought about doing it this coming weekend or the next one.
"But last Friday morning I turned to Sharnae and said 'if we don't do it tomorrow we might not get a chance to do it at all.
"It all happened really nicely. The church was able to do it. The priest was free. And close family and close friends were able to come.
"We have a feeling of great relief now. It looks like we ended up making the right decision".
The invited guests who could not be at Saturday's wedding will be able to celebrate James and Sharnae's marriage at a vow renewal ceremony followed by a reception at Panorama House in June 2021.
"We will use all the same businesses. They have all been really understanding. Lilles and Lace gave us bouquets and flower lapels for free on Saturday. We will have our full honeymoon after the vow renewal next year," James said.
Lagoon Restaurant manager Andrew Harrison said the Dwarte family was the last to be able to have a reception, albeit small, at the family owned business.
He said along with takeaways the restaurant was introducing home delivery social isolation parties for groups of 10 or 15 people.
Mr Harrison said they were no longer able to have such a party at a restaurant "so we will take the food to them".
He said the Lagoon employed more than 130 people at the restaurant, Bourke Street Burgers and his wholesale business.
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