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Couple with Down syndrome tie the knot in socially distanced ceremony: 'Greatest day of my life'

After spending three excruciating months apart from each other, Heidi and James were able to tie the knot as planned on July 4 in the presence of 30 of their closest friends and family.

Couple with Down syndrome tie the knot in socially distanced ceremony: 'Greatest day of my life'
Cover Image Source: Facebook/Heidi Crowter - Living the Dream

For Heidi Crowter and James Carter, the past few months were nothing short of an eternity. Like many other couples around the world, the pair's big plans for this year were thrown into jeopardy when the coronavirus pandemic brought life as we knew it to a screeching halt. However, after spending three excruciating months apart from each other, Heidi and James were able to tie the knot as planned on July 4 in the presence of 30 of their closest friends and family. The adorable couple exchanged vows in a socially distanced wedding ceremony at Hillfields Church in Coventry, England, earlier this month after the Prime Minister lifted a ban on weddings amid the pandemic.



 

 

According to Daily Mail, 25-year-old Heidi and 26-year-old James were unable to meet each other over the past three months as they lived with their families in Coventry and Weymouth respectively. The uncertainty over their wedding plans and their time apart finally came to an end when the government gave the go-ahead for wedding ceremonies in the UK. Speaking of her big day, disability rights activist Heidi—who'd written a letter to the Prime Minister to ask if the wedding ban could be lifted—told The Mirror that it was everything she'd dreamt of.



 

"It wasn't the wedding we planned, but it was the greatest day of my life," she said. "When I walked into the church, I was so emotional and excited. I nearly started crying because James looked so handsome in his suit. I had dreamed of that moment since I was born." The couple did have to make some sacrifices to tie the knot on their previously decided date of July 4 as they had to cut down their 220 guest list to just 30 of their near and dear ones.



 

James, who has now relocated to Coventry "to spend my life with Heidi," described being "excited" as he watched his bride walk down the aisle to him on their big day. "I was so excited waiting for Heidi. Watching her walk down the aisle was the highlight of the day, she looked so amazing," he said. The couple who first met each other two years ago, told BBC that they've planned "a big party" next year to celebrate with those who couldn't attend their wedding. The newlyweds are currently enjoying a "staycation honeymoon" in the city.



 

Speaking of the time they had to spend apart, Heidi said, "It was really upsetting that we hadn't seen each other. It was like being in prison." She admitted that she felt "panicked" that their wedding may be canceled in light of the current situation but continued planning in the hopes of everything falling into place. Although they were able to go through with the wedding on the originally planned date, new post-lockdown rules that came into effect on July 4 meant they had to make some last-minute changes to the ceremony.



 

The couple, who love to sing, had to make do without hymns during the ceremony opted to live stream the wedding for those who couldn't attend. Over 11,000 people watched the heartwarming ceremony on YouTube while more than 1000 watched the couple exchange vows in real-time. "We are very popular," Heidi joked. The new regulations also dictate that fathers cannot walk their daughters arm-in-arm down the aisle and that couples must wash their hands before and after exchanging rings. No food or drink is allowed to be consumed at the wedding 'unless required for the purposes of "solemnization," due to which Heidi and James swapped their reception for a meal at a local pub.



 

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