Coventry & Warwickshire

Coventry Down's syndrome campaigner gets married as restrictions ease

James and Heidi on their wedding day Image copyright Heidi Crowter
Image caption James and Heidi live streamed their wedding as guests were limited to 30

More than 1,000 people watched live online as Down's syndrome campaigner Heidi Crowter tied the knot in a socially distanced wedding ceremony.

The 25-year-old was able to marry partner James Carter, 26, at Hillfields Church, Coventry, on their original date as restrictions were eased.

They had to cut their 220 guests to 30 and were not allowed to sing hymns, but said they had a "perfect" day.

"A big party" is planned for next year to celebrate with others, they said.

Image copyright Heidi Crowter
Image caption A video of the event has been viewed more than 10,000 times on Youtube

Before the wedding on Saturday, Heidi and James had not seen each other since March, with James at his family home in Weymouth while Heidi was in Coventry.

"It was really upsetting that we hadn't seen each other," Heidi said. "It was like being in prison."

James has now relocated to Coventry, "to spend my life with Heidi" and the newlyweds are enjoying a "staycation honeymoon" in the city.

About 73,600 weddings and same-sex civil partnership ceremonies were postponed during the first three months of lockdown, according to the Office for National Statistics, and Saturday marked the first day that weddings of up to 30 people were able to take place in England.

Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Heidi and James said it was "love at first sight" after they met in 2017

Heidi said she felt "panicked" that their wedding may be cancelled, but the couple continued with planning.

On the day, new regulations meant the couple, who love to sing, had to make do without hymns, while a reception was swapped for a meal at a local pub.

They live-streamed the ceremony to overcome the limit on the number of guests, with more than 1,000 people joining them online.

"We are very popular," Heidi joked.

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