A young couple have found a novel way around the wedding ban brought in as part of the government's lockdown - by tying the knot on video app Zoom.

School sweethearts Ben Jackson and Sophie Austin had planned to have 200 guests at their wedding on Saturday, but were forced to change plans following the Covid-19 outbreak.

Instead they gathered all their friends and family on Zoom and had the ceremony over video chat.

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

Guests had to join them onscreen rather than in person

Sophie, 26, 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."

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.

The couple shared their big day with friends and family online

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."

Ben described the experience as 'amazing'

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.

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Ben, 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 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."

The couple met in Sixth Form

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

Ben 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.