A Bournemouth bride organised her wedding in just two days after Boris Johnson announced the second national lockdown for England.

Victoria and Andrew Watts were possibly the last wedding in Dorset before the lockdown as they married at 4pm on November 4 last year.

The couple from Ensbury Park married at The Greenhouse Hotel, Bournemouth, with nine wedding guests - two of which were their children, Poppy, 3, and Alex who is almost 2.

The hurried arrangements happened after they had already booked two other dates to celebrate.

Victoria said:"We had booked November 21st for a small wedding and a second date for the big celebration on March 20 this year - but in the end neither date could happen. We decided to beat the lockdown and bring the wedding forward but could only give guests two days notice. We have now planned a really big celebration where I will wear my big fluffy wedding dress on our first wedding anniversary on November 4."

The wedding arrangements were made in just a couple of days and Victoria recalls: "Boris did a speech on Halloween, Saturday October 31st. I sulked all day Sunday and then contacted the registrar sulking on the Monday."

Fortunately the registrar could fit them in on the Wednesday - the day before the full lockdown and the Greenhouse Hotel said they could organise a dinner for them too.

Luckily Victoria had already bought a peach coloured sequinned dress from the sale at Monsoon with her mum that was perfect for the day. Her traditional wedding dress, still in the shop waiting for alterations, will not be worn until the first anniversary celebration.

But it was a big rush to find a suit for Andrew the day before the wedding.

Victoria said: "I had to belt down to M&S on the Tuesday to get Andrew a suit. He had one in the wardrobe but we pulled it out and it had a stain on it. So I had to buy any two suits that were matching for him and the Best Man with two children in tow. I also bought my wedding cake there at the same time - a Rainbow Sprinkles cake. I just bought it off the shelf and it was delicious. It was either that or a Colin the Caterpillar chocolate cake! I bought flowers from the florist I used to work for and in my insanity did all my own flowers, including my bouquet and arrangements for the wedding table and cake table."

Sadly Victoria's parents could not be there as they live in France - which is where the couple got engaged. It happened outside her parents' village, Singleyrac, at Christmas 2019.

Victoria recalls:"Andrew took me to the shops and bought me a ring as my Christmas present but wouldn't let me put it on. We stopped at a hill near my parents' house as the sun was setting and he gave it to me. It was kind of making the engagement official as we had already planned to marry."

She says her parents, who were already under lockdown, were very understanding about missing the wedding:

"They were really sweet and said the reason you re getting married is for you two. They all watched it on Zoom and got dressed up in their posh frocks and drank champagne and we had lots of Facetime calls afterwards. I hate cameras and never even wanted my wedding recorded so it was bizarre to be on Zoom. My photographer was amazing and took on all the dates I had to change.

" The whole day was strange because there was a lot of not trying to get too close to people - apart from my best friend Danny who I needed to do my hair and of course Andrew. Not having my parents there was really strange and sad but the enforced social distancing made that easier to accept. "

The wedding party included her Best friend and her mum's best friend, and her daughter.

The best memory she says was "Being in a room with people we loved and smiling and talking and being “normal” for an evening."

There was no honeymoon as everything had to close by 10pm.

"We were finished by 9pm and just went home. We had the option of staying in the hotel but lockdown began the next day and I wanted to be with my babies. So we just got home and put our pyjamas on.

"When the original wedding date came along in the lockdown I just felt so relieved that we were already married, even though it was not how we planned it. When we have our big day this November back at the Greenhouse Hotel it will be such fun. We are doing the whole thing with a meal, a disco, a photo booth- the lot, a proper big party as we have all missed so many parties. It will be so nice to be able to give everyone a hug- if I can remember how!"

Did you support local businesses for your wedding? E.g cake maker, décor company

The Greenhouse Hotel were "amazing for organising a beautiful wedding meal in 2 days."

Rosie Woodhouse photographer (Salisbury based)

M & S for the cake and for the groom and Best man's suits

Monsoon for the bride's dress

Bride did her own flowers.

*HAS your love conquered lockdown?

Did you manage to get married despite the ongoing pandemic?

We would love to hear about your wonderful weddings amidst a year that has proven to be exceptionally challenging.

Your wedding might not have been exactly as you envisaged, but we want to celebrate your happiness and love.

We are continuing to run a wedding feature in the Bournemouth Daily Echo and online, and we'd love to hear from couples who got married from March 2020 onwards.

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