A British couple who caused scandal after they were photographed performing a sex act in front of a sacred Greek monastery say the picture has been ‘blown out of proportion’.
Matthew Lunn, 27, posted the snap of his new wife Carly, 34, knelt in her white dress as he had his trousers and boxer shorts around his ankles while punching the air.
This particular photograph has led to all foreign marriages being banned at the monastery in Rhodes, causing chaos for hundreds of British couples.
Speaking to The Sun Mr Lunn said that the couple now regret the stunt while it appeared that his wife had gone into hiding.
He said: ‘It’s been blown out of proportion.
‘We were just pretending and having a laugh. The Greeks have completely over-reacted.
‘We don’t think we did anything wrong but we regret it and wish we hadn’t bothered.’
A work colleague said Mrs Lunn is too distressed to speak to anyone.
She has reportedly left her home and remained off work.
The colleague said: ‘She said she feels terrible about the whole thing.
‘She hasn’t left the house or been into work since, our manager said she has had a lot of journalists at her door.
‘The whole was just a joke and she feel awful that it is got to this stage.
‘She has switched her phone off and I think she has gone somewhere to get away from all the media attention.
‘She’s a lovely girl she would never doing anything like this to cause trouble, she never thought it would go this far.’
The couple, from Birmingham, said they posed for the cheeky snap to show their unique sense of humour in their wedding album.
But Mr Lunn’s grandfather has failed to the see the funny side, telling MailOnline: ‘I’m disgusted.’
His sister, Kimberley, added: ‘The picture was just a joke.
‘It should never been in the papers.
‘I can’t say anymore than that at the moment.’
Near the harbour, the bride knelt in front of her new husband, who works for his father’s car recovery firm and seemed to perform a sex act on him in her wedding dress, while he had his trousers and boxers down to his ankles.
The picture, which was taken by one of Matthew’s family members, was posted on Facebook and instantly went viral.
But now the island’s top bishop, Kyrillos of Rhodes, has decided to ban all foreign weddings at the monastery of St Paul, forcing hundreds of British couples to cancel their dream days.
Giorgos Eleftheriou, president of the local Lindos community in Rhodes, told The Times: ‘We are Greek and we cherish our traditions and the sanctity of our religious sites. We cannot allow this disgusting behaviour to prevail.’
‘I have hundreds of soon-to-be brides from Britain and all over the world calling me today in tears because of this decision.
‘Shame on those two for the damage they have done. Would they have done the same in their homeland; in front of a British chapel, a Jewish temple, a Muslim mosque? They would have been beheaded by Muslims!’
After their wedding on September 25, Carly said they had always planned to do the photo.
After it went it viral, she said: ‘It was something we said we’d do for a joke.
‘We expected a lot of laughs and jokes from people but didn’t expect it to be as popular as it was.
‘People back in England were commenting on it, the whole thing went mad.’
Hundreds of British couples expressed their wrath at the couple today.
Suzanne Sparkles, 33, from Chorley in Lancashire, planned to get married to fiance Steve Arnold, 38, at St Paul’s chapel in Rhodes next May, costing around £40,000.
The couple, who have been together for three-and-a-half years, booked their big day on the Greek Isle two years ago.
The mother-of-two told MailOnline: ‘I’m absolutely devastated that these idiots have spoilt my dream wedding. We have 52 guests coming from the UK for it and have booked to stay for a week.
‘We have spent around £40,000 on this wedding. It was booked two years ago, when we got engaged two-and-a-half years ago.
‘We were originally thinking of getting married in Cyprus but then when I saw the chapel I knew I wanted it there. I’ve been to Rhodes a few times so I know how nice it is there.’
The mayor of Rhodes is due to make a final decision on the ban in the next couple of weeks.
And Miss Sparkles said she and her guests are eagerly waiting for the ban to be overturned and pleaded with the authorities to not tar everyone with the same brush.
She added: ‘Our wedding planner has told us that the mayor is going to make a final decision in seven to 10 days.
‘It’s such an anxious wait for us because I don’t want to have to get married on a beach. We can’t change the location because we have spent so much money on it already.
‘I just recently picked my dress for the occasion and that cost £2,000.
‘My message to the mayor would be that the British are not all like this couple.
‘We want to come for a quaint and quiet celebration with our friends and family.
‘I can’t believe what the couple did. I hope that he can see that we are not all like that.’
Gas engineer Daniel Gaynor, 32, and his partner vet nurse, Mandy Jackson, 30, from Rotherham also hit out at the Lunns for ruining their wedding plans in Rhodes.
Mr Gaynor told MailOnline: ‘Me and my fiancée are affected by these two low lives.
‘We have been planning our wedding for two-and-a-half years.
‘We are due to get married at St Paul’s bay in August 2018 but that won’t be happening now.
‘My partner was in tears all last night all because of this stupid immature disrespectful couple.
‘It doesn’t matter to them they have had their wedding, but for many couples like us our dream wedding that we have been saving years and planning years has been ruined.
‘I will be going to see a solicitor to see if any action can be taken against them. They are scum.’
Account manager Natalie Farrell, 32, from Coventry is also due to get married to Paul Veasey, at St Paul’s in Rhodes.
She added: ‘Altogether the wedding going to cost around £10,000. I’ve given in to the fact that the ban is going to remain in place.
‘I am trying to get my wedding planner to sort out another venue.
‘When I first saw the picture I just thought it was so trashy and disrespectful – especially in a Catholic country.’