Lockdown love is not lost for Leeds couples who are pressing ahead with plans to marry in March

With more than 100,000 weddings cancelled, virtual dating on the rise and love-birds forced apart due to coronavirus restrictions it is proving to be a very different Valentine’s Day for Leeds lovers this year.

By Emma Ryan
Saturday, 13th February 2021, 6:00 am

However, as the saying goes, love conquers all and two couples in Leeds have vowed that coronavirus won’t combat cupid for them this year.

For two years Sam Reardon, 23, and his bride-to-be, Terelle William-Gordon, 25, have had their hearts set on getting married on March 13 - the anniversary of when they got together.

They had planned for the wedding ceremony and reception to be held at Oulton Hall for 100 people complete with a big band, family staying over and cake favours for all the guests followed by a honeymoon trip to Jamaica.

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Terelle William-Gordon and Sam Reardon are set to get married on March 13 this year.

However, as lockdown restrictions continued and escalated, the guest list went from 100, to 40, to 30, 15 and now it might be six - or zero. The holiday and the payment for that have already been lost.

But, if it ends up just being the Morley couple and no guests on March 13, they want to go ahead.

Sam, a mortgage broker, said: “We have been waiting two years and don’t want to wait anymore. By the time we re-book it, it could be another year. We just want to get married and we will have a reception at a later date.

“If it is six people, we will have our parents. If it is 15 we can invite brothers, sisters and grandparents but I am not holding my breath for that.

It might be smaller than planned, but Oulton Hall is still the favoured wedding venue choice for Terelle William-Gordon and Sam Reardon.

“I am quite a simple guy but Terelle wanted a big day, but realised last year, it is whatever it is if we can at least get married.”

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Reeling from the after effects of a previously abusive relationship, she met her husband-to-be, Adrian Geary at a house party just days before lockdown was imposed last March. She wasn’t looking for love and was settled into re-building her life on her own.

However, the pair hit it off and stayed in touch with plans to date. However, the lockdown that came just days later left them with the choice of isolating themselves together - or not seeing each other anymore.

So, Adrian and his son moved into her home at Horbury in Wakefield - and never left. He proposed last June and the couple are set to get wed on March 31.

Joanna, 33, said: “We were in a predicament - do we isolate together or not see each other? I thought for the first time in two years after everything I have been through, I was willing to give it a go.

“I had got to a point where I was ready for my happy ending. We will get married just the two of us and have a big do when we can. I am just so excited to be a wife, I am so proud of him.

“If it was not for COVID this would not have happened. We would have eventually lived together but this gave us that push.

“People think we are bonkers, but it just works.”

The change in traditional weddings and couples having to put plans on hold has also led to calls for the laws to change.

With many venues closed or subject to restrictions and increased costs The Law Commission wants to see changes in England and Wales to marry at home, outdoors - and even remotely.

The Ministry of Justice said it wanted to ensure the law "better reflects modern society" while the Law Commission said the pandemic had highlighted the laws, some of which date back to the 19th Century, were "ancient" and "unnecessarily restrictive" and had led to weddings becoming more expensive.

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