Clair Davies had big plans.

A holiday in Florida, a big 40th birthday party - and her wedding day!

The arrival of covid-19 scuppered all hope of travelling abroad. The Western Frontier-themed birthday party was also abandoned.

But nothing was going to stop Clair and fiancé Doug getting married, even though covid-restrictions meant only a handful of guests could attend - whilst others watched live on Facebook.

The couple who live in Poole met five years ago whilst both working for Boots Opticians as branch managers.

They've been together four years and both work for Scrivens Opticians, Clair as a branch manager in Wimborne and Doug as an area manager. They got engaged in May 2019.

Clair, who has children Evan, 13 and Lilah, 9, from her first marriage, said:"We were at home getting ready to go out for dinner. It was a nice sunny day and he proposed just before we left for out favourite restaurant in Broadstone - he even had the ring.

"We planned to have a special holiday in Florida in April to celebrate my 40th and because I've always loved Little House on the Prairie I wanted a Western Frontier-themed party, with ladies wearing the dresses and bonnets - I even thought about doing something like that for my wedding. But with the pandemic I said to Doug I don't want to die and not have the chance to marry you. It really put the frighteners on us. We love each other and the wedding was the last piece in the puzzle for us."

And so covid prompted them to bring their wedding forward and on a much smaller scale at Poole Registry Office.

"Originally we thought we could have 30 guests but further restrictions meant we had to cut it down to 15. That was difficult to do but we knew what we were getting into and already decided to see it through, no matter what.

"Our bridal party was both sets of parents, my two children, my three sisters, Doug's brother and sister, and two friends -sadly no in- laws (partners) but at least we live streamed it!

"Lucy at the Hotel du Vin was amazing and said we can do this! I visited Sassey's bridal shop in Parkstone on the very first day everything reopened after the first lockdown ( July 16) and the dress I wanted was on a rail reduced for £150- it fitted and was exactly what I wanted.

"I chose a yellow theme because I wanted it to be bright and cheery. It was a lovely day, even though it rained. We stood in the doorway to the church and had to knock on a window to be let in. It was so windy I had to catch open the door with my foot and we were literally blown in!

"I walked up the isle to Tiny Dancer by Taron Egerton, as that was song playing when he proposed. The wedding was so nice and when we came out afterwards I felt like the queen; friends had gathered outside and had come to see me in the rain. I was worried as my hairdresser had worked miracles on me and given me a side bun with hair extensions. The weather was so rubbish I didn't want it messed up.

"The Hotel du Vin was flawless. They couldn't do enough for us- truly amazing. We had to sit at our tables to keep socially distanced and they had made the room look lovely.

"We didn't have a first dance. By 7.30 we were back to the honeymoon suite for a quiet evening. We had his and hers roll top bath tubs with a table in the middle and we sat in our bubble baths drinking champagne and eating cheese and biscuits whilst the only dancing was us watching Strictly on TV!"

The most stressful part of organising the wedding was "worrying about someone in our family getting ill. We still had to be very careful and anyone could fall ill or test positive and miss out on the day."

The best memories of the day?

"The cheers and claps from everyone as we blew into the guildhall doors!It was lovely to actually get married in difficult times and something to smile about. We enjoyed seeing the family so happy."

Clair adds:"Face masks, social distancing, a very windy October day with the threat of another lockdown did not spoil our magical day.It was just right!Just in time!"

*HAS your love conquered lockdown? Did you manage to get married despite the need for masks?
We'd love to hear all about the weddings that proved Covid was no match for true love and learn all about the couples who walked down the aisle in 2020 anyway.
Your wedding might not have been exactly as you envisaged but it was no doubt still one of the best days of your life and we really want to celebrate lockdown love. 

Did your lockdown wedding give your family and close friends just the boost they needed during a tough year? Did your small band of socially distanced guests have the time of their lives while celebrating your nuptials?
We run this feature in the Bournemouth Echo and online and we'd love to hear from couples who got married since March. 
To have your big day featured, fill out our simple Q and A form at