A SOUTHAMPTON couple spontaneously decided to have the 'stunning' beach wedding of their dreams after their flight home was cancelled due to COVID.

Michael and Alicia Connolly, aged 29 and 26, from The Polygon area of Southampton were due to fly to Cancun, Mexico on the 21st December, but when they arrived at the Heathrow airport with their bags packed they were told their flight had been cancelled.

Telecommunications Specialist Michael said: "We drove back home and looked where else we could go, found Cuba and booked it immediately to leave on Christmas Eve."

They were due to fly home on the Jan 7 but couldn’t due to yet more flight issues, staying until Jan 15 instead.

As a result, the couple decided 'off the cuff' to get married where they were, in the town of Varadero, Cuba.

Daily Echo: Michael and Alicia Connolly from Southampton marry in Varadero, Cuba after their original plans were cancelled due to COVID.

"Last Monday we decided to book the wedding and go for it! It was a huge rush," said Michael.

"We’ve always said that we would elope somewhere abroad at some point."

The pair have been together for just under two years after meeting at a music festival and connecting through social media.

Michael described his wedding day on Thursday as 'perfect,' including rows of white chairs decorated with flowers and pink and white sashes leading down to a beachfront altar.

Speaking about the ceremony, Michael said: "My friend's partner walked Alicia down the aisle. She was wearing a beautiful handmade white dress which looked incredible. I cried like a baby."

"After the ceremony we took pictures on the beach with all of guests - all of which we had met on holiday here in Cuba and then had a dinner for everyone on the top floor of our hotel which was stunning. "

Michael thanked his guests - all of whom were required to have a negative COVID test before entering and leaving Cuba - for "clubbing together" to make the event happen.

"We cannot thank them enough," he said.