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Famous Greek church may ban weddings after couple took inappropriate photo

by Press Association

Gemma Hunter, 37, of Bradford, fears her special day with fiance Matthew Hewitt, 38, which has been booked at St Paul's Chapel in Rhodes for August 2018, may have been scuppered by the "obscene" actions of another couple.

Matthew and Carly Lunn's photo, appearing to perform a sex act at the sacred Greek monastery, went viral and now there is a suggestion of a ban on all foreign marriages on the island. The photo was said to be a joke.

Hunter, a healthcare assistant, said the wedding was booked in May during a specially-arranged family trip where they fell for the chapel which was a "lovely place and just perfect".

Hunter, who is waiting for more information from her wedding planner, said: "Now it is all a bit of a shock.

"You imagine how it is all going to be and then to find out that it could all fall apart. We are in limbo."

Gemma Hunter/PA Wire
Gemma Hunter, 37, with her fiance Matthew Hewitt, 38,

Estimating that her wedding party have spent around £20,000, she said: "It is all added stress. We thought we could get married abroad and there would be a wedding planner and it would be straightforward.

"We do not know really what is going on. We have not been told that it has been officially cancelled."

It has been reported that the mayor of Rhodes is due to make a final decision on the ban in the next couple of weeks.

Hunter and Hewitt have four children between them aged from eight to 11 years old, who were "really excited" about being part of the wedding.

She said: "I have not even told them to be honest that all this is going on and I cannot even show them the picture about why we might not be able to have the wedding there because it is obscene."

She described the controversial image as "disrespectful", adding "why would you think to do that in a religious setting?"

Giorgos Eleftheriou, president of Lindos community in Rhodes, told The Times: "I have hundreds of soon-to-be brides from Britain and all over the world calling me today in tears because of this decision. It's a huge damper on our society here.

"We are one of the most famous wedding destinations in the world and we are booked solid through to 2021."

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