LOCKDOWN struck at the worst possible time for couple Mark Gowland and Lisa Jacobs.

They were due to move into their first house together and then get married, but both were put on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, with lockdown easing, the purchase of their new home in Wallsend was able to go ahead earlier this month - just one week before they tied the knot in a scaled down ceremony at the Church of Holy Spirit, Crawcrook.

The couple had originally planned to marry at the same church on May 23, with a reception planned at the Biscuit Factory, in Newcastle. But keen to tie the knot, they were married in front of 30 guests on July 11, and the couple plan a big celebration of their wedding with more guests next May.

Lisa said: “We made the decision early on to remain joyful, upbeat and thankful for all we have - after all, compared with what many were going through, us hitting pause on our plans was relatively easy to do and we were well supported by those around us as we navigated this season. For us, the most important thing has always been simply to be married to each other so to be able to do that really is the best thing ever.

“Happily, we got our house purchase completed the week before the wedding too so it all came together beautifully.”

Lisa (31), formerly of Prudhoe, is a marketing sales account manager for Newsquest Cumbria at Hexham Courant and Mark (25) teaches maths at Kings Priory School, in Tynemouth.

They met eight years ago through mutual friends when Lisa was playing at a music event in Durham alongside some of Mark’s friends. Following the event, a group went out for food and drinks and Mark and Lisa got to know each other after that.

Mark proposed on May 30 last year with a ring he’d spotted in the window of Dytham’s in Monkseaton, whilst on his way to meet Lisa, who had just come back from a few days away in Yorkshire. It was a rainy Thursday afternoon and they were meeting at the railway station; Mark arrived with a huge bouquet of flowers and popped the question as he met Lisa.

Lisa is saving her actual wedding dress for next year’s celebration and wore a long, floral cocktail dress from Oasis for the ceremony.

Rachel Elliott-Downing was maid of honour and Lucy Vickers was bridesmaid, while friends of the couple Jon Wigglesworth was best man and Tyron Elliott-Downing was usher.

The bride’s flowers and buttonholes were by Cornflower Blue Floral Design in Whitley Bay.

The Rev. Tom Brazier of Greenside Parish (Lisa’s former place of worship) co-led the ceremony with the Rev. Alan Dickinson of The Bay Church, Whitley Bay (Lisa and Mark’s current place of worship). The Rev. Randolph Vickers, a close friend of Lisa and Mark, gave the sermon at the service.

Guests were asked to bring their own picnic for the reception, and the bride and groom supplied champagne, cheeseboard and crackers, and wedding cake, with the other guests.

The wedding cake was a fruit cake made by the bride’s grandmother, Jean Lawson.

The couple danced to Save the Last Dance for Me by Michael Buble.

Because of lockdown, the couple were unable to enjoy hen or stag parties. Mark spent the night before the wedding with his best man and his usher, and Lisa spent the night with her maid of honour.

Once lockdown restrictions have been lifted, the couple plan to head to Paris on honeymoon.

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