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Swarland couple rearrange wedding in one day to beat lockdown

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image copyrightAly and Gareth Bateman
image captionThe couple said everyone "moved heaven and earth" to make their big day happen

A couple who were supposed to say "I do" in three weeks' time managed to rearrange their wedding in one day to beat Thursday's lockdown.

Aly Harwood and Gareth Bateman were due to get hitched at Christ Church in North Shields on 20 November.

But, after news of new restrictions, Miss Harwood decided on a scaled-back wedding and called guests and venues.

The wedding went ahead and the new Mrs Bateman thanked everyone for "moving heaven and earth" to make it happen.

image copyrightMr and Mrs Bateman
image captionThe couple had originally planned to have 200 guests but scaled it back to just 15
image copyrightMr and Mrs Bateman
image captionGuests were given special hand sanitiser saying "spread love not germs"

Underwriter Aly, 33, and 34-year-old dog trainer Gareth began arranging their wedding in November last year.

The couple, who live in Swarland, near Alnwick, planned to say their vows at Christ Church in Aly's hometown North Shields, and have 200 guests at a reception at Wylam Brewery in Newcastle.

But, when the first national lockdown was announced in March, they changed the reception venue to a local pub and reduced the guests to 30 and then to 15.

'Spread love not germs'

Mrs Bateman said: "When I heard the announcement my heart just sank, almost three weeks until our wedding day and I thought: 'this just isn't going to happen.'

"I burst into tears but Gareth was adamant that we would still get married. So I just set about rearranging and contacting suppliers and everyone moved heaven and earth.

"People were saying: 'We'll find a way, we will get it done."

With just 15 guests the couple tied the knot earlier and gave out goody bags with champagne and special hand sanitisers labelled: "Spread love not germs."

image copyrightMr and Mrs Bateman
image captionThe couple were able to get hitched at Christ Church in North Shields as originally planned
image copyrightMr and Mrs Bateman
image captionFlorists and suppliers were given just one day to rearrange the wedding
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