MORE than 1,000 people watched a Weymouth man tie the knot in one of the first wedding ceremonies allowed as lockdown restrictions were eased.

James Carter, 26, married the love of his life Heidi Crowter, 25, on Saturday, July 4 - the first day that weddings of up to 30 people were allowed to take place in England again.

The pair were worried their dream wedding was not going to go ahead, after thousands of weddings and civil ceremonies were postponed due to coronavirus restrictions. However, thanks to the Prime Minister's announcement on June 23, they did not need to reschedule their original date of July 4.

Mr Carter, from Weymouth, said he believes that a special card written to the Prime Minister from his wife may have persuaded him to let their special day go ahead: "Heidi wrote a birthday card for Boris and she wrote in it 'Will you allow small weddings for the 4th of July?' and he did."

The pair had not seen each other since March 6 because of the coronavirus lockdown, taking the old superstition of not seeing the bride before the wedding to new levels. They had to be extra careful because both fall into the vulnerable category due to having down syndrome. They both said that being apart for so long "felt like being in prison."

The ceremony was a little different too, they had to drastically cut the number of guests they had originally invited and they were not allowed to sing hymns. To overcome this obstacle the couple live-streamed the ceremony, with more than 1,000 tuning in to watch them tie the knot.

"We had to cut down from 220 guests to just 30 people," added Mr Carter. "But it was still good because we had my family there, we had Heidi's family there.

"There were no hymns - and you know how much me and Heidi love to sing - because of Covid-19 so the ceremony was smaller.

"Afterwards we went to a restaurant for our reception and did our speeches and had a little roast dinner."

As far as honeymoon plans go, the pair had planned to take a trip to Italy but have had to make other arrangements because of the global pandemic. They are now looking forward to a 'staycation' in Devon next month.

Despite all of these changes, Mr Carter said it was the happiest day of his life and he is now living with his new wife in Coventry.