ONE couple will be marking their own special day on a poignant anniversary.

The D-Day anniversary next year will also mark their marriage as Weymouth Pavilion hosts its first wedding ceremony.

Sam Grimes, 30 and Steve Lealman, 30, from Fordingbridge, will be the first couple to get married on the theatre stage on June 6 next year, surrounded by over 80 family members and friends.

Pavilion director Phil Say presented the pair with a bottle of champagne to celebrate the occasion.

Mr Lealman, an NHS healthcare assistant, said: “I knew straight away that this was the right place when we came in. I loved being near the sea as a child and am quite theatrically-minded, so having a combination of the two is brilliant.”

The couple, who have been together nearly six years, will be sending guests ‘theatre ticket’ invitations in keeping with the theme for their special day. Miss Grimes, full-time mum to Kai, six, and twins Ava and Isabelle, 17 months, has a family connection to the Pavilion as her grandmother Sylvia Noakes has performed there for many years.

She said: “The Pavilion’s seafront location and family-friendly atmosphere made it the ideal place to hold our wedding. The whole family is excited and they came down to visit Weymouth.”

Marriages and civil partnerships are just the latest offering from the Pavilion, which was taken over by a community interest company from the council last May.

Events manager Julie Storey said: “We already host wedding receptions so it’s nice to provide everything in one place, and to say to couples “let your imagination run away with you” because they can have any style or theme they want.”

Mr Say said: “The Pavilion isn’t just a space that can be decorated, because it lends itself to a ‘show’ too. It’s already got that feeling of performance and spectacle, which is what weddings are really all about.”