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'The show must go on!': School sweethearts from south London tie the knot on video chat

Despite the coronavirus crisis slamming the door shut on weddings up and down the country, one couple said the show must go on.

Credit: Ben Jackson/Sophie Austin

School sweethearts Ben Jackson and Sophie Austin got engaged in August 2018 and 200 people were due to watch them tie the knot on Saturday, March 28.

But when lockdown made this impossible, they gathered all their friends and family and had the ceremony over Zoom video chat.

Credit: Ben Jackson/Sophie Austin

The loving couple live in Croydon and have been together for eight-and-a-half years after meeting in Sixth Form.

Miss Austin, 26, (soon-to-be Mrs Jackson) said:

It was amazing. It was absolutely amazing.

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.

Even though we didn't have everyone here it made it more intimate and special.

– Sophie Austin

The singer-actress said that she was unable to wear her planned wedding dress as 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 video ceremony was incredibly special.

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.

– Sophie Austin

The couple said their vows and declared their love for each other in their living room before sharing some cake.

They were eagerly watched by up to 300 people over the internet, all safely socially distancing in their homes.

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 most 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.

– Ben Jackson

The idea originally came from their pastor, who was not sure if the couple would go for it.

We just kind of sat there and thought oh that's a really good idea.

– Ben Jackson

The soon-to-be Mr and Mrs Jackson still need to complete the legal process of tying the knot once lockdown lifts.