Modern love: School sweethearts who couldn’t have their dream wedding due to the lockdown exchange vows in front of 300 guests on Zoom
- Happy couple Sophie Austin and Ben Jackson tied the knot while on lockdown
- Newlyweds cancelled their dream wedding due to the coronavirus pandemic
- But uses video conference system Zoom so family could ‘attend’ the ceremony
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Despite the coronavirus crisis slamming the door shut on weddings up and down the country, one couple said the show must go on.
School sweethearts Ben Jackson, 25, and Sophie Austin, 26, from Croydon, got engaged in August 2018 and 200 people were due to watch them tie the knot in person on Saturday, March 28.
But when lockdown made this impossible, they gathered all their friends and family on Zoom and had the ceremony with their pastor over video chat instead.
The loving couple have been together for eight-and-a-half years after meeting in Sixth Form.
School sweethearts Ben Jackson, 25, and Sophie Austin, 26, from Croydon, got engaged in August 2018, but their dream wedding, planned for 28 March, was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. They decided to get married on zoom instead (pictured)
300 friends and loved ones tuned in to the ceremony thanks to the video conference app Zoom (pictured: some of the guests)
Their pastor hosted the wedding-style ceremony, while clarifying they still needed to be legally wedded.
Sophie now wears her wedding ring, and the couple will complete the legal process of getting married once the lockdown is over,
‘It was amazing. It was absolutely amazing,’ Sophie said.
‘I think it really drew back the sparkliness and extra stuff of a wedding and made it really obvious what was important: the two of us saying the vows to each other.
Sophie and Austin, who met in sixth form and have been together for more than eight years, wanted to make the date special, even if they had to reschedule their big date for September (pictured with a small wedding cake)
‘Even though we didn’t have everyone here it made it more intimate and special.’
The singer-actress said that she was unable to wear her planned wedding dress because it was at the shop, which had closed for lockdown.
However, despite having to rearrange their big wedding – which has been moved to September – she said the Zoom ceremony was incredibly special.
She added: ‘We still wanted to make the date significant to us because we had such a buildup.
‘Also it was so nice for everyone else as well to have an online party and see a lot of faces.
‘It shows how good Zoom is in this time.’
They were eagerly watched by up to 300 people over the internet, all safely socially distancing in their homes.
Ben revealed the idea of a zoom wedding came from their pastor, who was not sure they would go through with it (pictured on their wedding day)
The soon-to-be Mr and Mrs Jackson will complete the legal process for their marriage once the lockdown is lifted
Mr Jackson, 25, who works at the University of Sussex, said the ceremony featured a ‘real mix’ of attendees… in terms of what they were wearing.
He said that people wore suits or dresses, but added: ‘I know a couple of my mates were wearing their suits but underneath they had their football shorts on.’
The idea for Zoom originally came from their pastor, who was not sure if the couple would go for it.
Mr Jackson said: ‘We just kind of sat there and thought, “Oh that’s a really good idea”.’
Describing the ceremony, he said: ‘It’s still real. In that moment we didn’t really notice it, we were focused on what we were saying.’
The soon-to-be Mr and Mrs Jackson still need to complete the legal process of tying the knot once lockdown lifts.
They have also been fortunate that many of their wedding vendors have been able to rearrange to a date in September at no additional cost.
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