Long-delayed wedding finally takes place... in 1941

Nicola and Graham 'Mez' De Meyer get married at Dereham Railway Station, in 1941 wartime style.

Nicola and Graham 'Mez' De Meyer get married at Dereham Railway Station, in 1941 wartime style. - Credit: Denise Bradley

The pandemic was a time of hardship that united the country against a common enemy, leading many to make nostalgic comparisons with the Second World War.

So when Covid forced Nicola Webb and fiance Graham 'Mez' De Meyer to cancel their wedding not once but twice, they at least had plenty of inspiration as well as time to plan their big day.

And at the weekend, the couple finally managed to tie the knot, with a stunning 1940s-inspired celebration which was more than two years in the planning.

Nicola and Graham 'Mez' De Meyer get married at Dereham Railway Station, in 1941 wartime style.

Nicola and Graham 'Mez' De Meyer get married at Dereham Railway Station, in 1941 wartime style. - Credit: Denise Bradley

The event - set in 1941 - was held at the Mid-Norfolk Railway (MNR) station at Dereham, which was decked out with Union Jacks.

Around 80 suitably-dressed guests gathered on the platform, surrounded by 1940s artefacts, from old suitcases and stacked newspapers to replica gas mask boxes.

Nicola and Graham 'Mez' De Meyer get married at Dereham Railway Station, in 1941 wartime style.

Nicola and Graham 'Mez' De Meyer get married at Dereham Railway Station, in 1941 wartime style. - Credit: Denise Bradley

The bride, 49, arrived at the wedding with her entourage in a wartime ambulance borrowed from the military museum at the former US airbase at Old Buckenham, south Norfolk.

She wore a stunning dress, based on designs from the period, while her husband, 61, wore a military uniform.

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The couple, from Methwold, have a shared background and interest in the military.

They met at the STANTA army training area, in the south west of the county, four and half years ago, when Mr De Meyer was serving in the Royal Anglian Regiment and his now wife was working in the office there.

Mrs De Meyer has long had a fascination with the 1940s so the idea for the wedding pre-dated the pandemic. But the delays to the ceremony gave the couple longer to make preparations.

Nicola and Graham 'Mez' De Meyer get married at Dereham Railway Station, in 1941 wartime style.

Nicola and Graham 'Mez' De Meyer get married at Dereham Railway Station, in 1941 wartime style. - Credit: Denise Bradley

Carol Hugill, 75, mother of the bride, said: "My daughter has always been interested in the 1940s. So she wanted the wedding to be the same.

"Her husband just retired out of the army, so making it about the army and wartime was just a natural thing to do."

Mrs Hugill said plans for the wedding had "grown like topsy" during the long wait, but that it was worth it.

Nicola and Graham 'Mez' De Meyer get married at Dereham Railway Station, in 1941 wartime style.

Nicola and Graham 'Mez' De Meyer get married at Dereham Railway Station, in 1941 wartime style. - Credit: Denise Bradley

She said: "They thought of absolutely everything.

"It was absolutely amazing to see everyone dressed up like that."

Entertainment on the day was provided by a singer performing music from the period, while guests also sung along to tunes including 'Land of Hope and Glory', 'Rule Britannia' and the national anthem.

Nicola and Graham 'Mez' De Meyer get married at Dereham Railway Station, in 1941 wartime style.

Nicola and Graham 'Mez' De Meyer get married at Dereham Railway Station, in 1941 wartime style. - Credit: Denise Bradley

'Ration cards' were also used on the day, although guests were treated to a full afternoon tea and fish and chip supper.

And they learned the seating plan from a June 25, 1941, 'newsletter', created by Mrs De Meyer, which also contained updates from the war on that day.

The event - set in 1941 - had a candy shop with sweets and chocolate inspired by the period

The event - set in 1941 - had a candy shop with sweets and chocolate inspired by the period - Credit: Carol Hugill

The event - set in 1941 - was held at the Mid-Norfolk Railway (MNR) station at Dereham

The event - set in 1941 - was held at the Mid-Norfolk Railway (MNR) station at Dereham - Credit: Carol Hugill