Couple with Down's syndrome who fell in love at first sight enjoy emotional wedding

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A newlywed couple with Down's syndrome have claimed they were “destined to be” after discovering they nearly met several times before they fell in love at first sight.

Leah and Andrew Taylor Jones from Runcorn, Cheshire, had both been members of the same gym, and had even attended a gymnastics competition together before fate brought them together.

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The couple who’d had several near misses only realised they were truly destined to be when they hit it off at the inclusive Ella Performance Group in 2013.

After tying the knot at a beautiful Alice in Wonderland tea-party themed wedding in June last year, the pair have shared their love story to remind everyone that their special someone is “just around the corner”.

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Couple with Down's syndrome who fell in love at first sight enjoy emotional wedding

Leah had always dreamed of her wedding day, since she was a little girl ( Image: Wes Simpson Photographer)

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Leah, 39, told The Mirror: “When I was younger I was a bit shy, but I had a dream to have the perfect big day to show how much I loved somebody in front of our families.

“When I met Andrew, I knew I liked him straight away, I said to one of my friends that he was a hottie and he was the one for me.

“The first time he asked me out I said no because I needed a chance to think about it but then when he asked me again I said yes.

Couple with Down's syndrome who fell in love at first sight enjoy emotional wedding

Leah and Andrew tied the knot at a beautiful ceremony in June last year ( Image: Wes Simpson Photographer)

“The first time he asked me out I said no because I needed a chance to think about it but then when he asked me again I said yes.

“It’s the best feeling in the world meeting the love of your life, he’s my best friend and I want to grow old with him.”

Andrew, 43, who works as a store assistant at Asda, proposed to Leah on his 38th birthday at a local restaurant with a prosecco toast.

He said: “I had been single for nine years and I was hoping that I would meet that special someone to settle down and spend the rest of my life with.

Couple with Down's syndrome who fell in love at first sight enjoy emotional wedding

Andrew sheds a tear as he waits to see his stunning bride ( Image: Wes Simpson Photographer)

“As soon as I saw her I knew that she was the one.

“It was fate, I think we were destined to be with each other.

“I could tell I had almost let her get away from those near misses and I knew I had to reel her in.”

After struggling with her self esteem and confidence in her younger years, Leah, with the help of her PA, decided to set up an arts programme for people with disabilities to feel more confident.

She now runs the non-profit company, Positive You, which supports people across the UK.

Couple with Down's syndrome who fell in love at first sight enjoy emotional wedding

Now they are sharing their story to remind others, love is just around the corner ( Image: Wes Simpson Photographer)

Before finally meeting Andrew at a lucky encounter, Leah had even considered applying for Channel 4 ’s Undateables, a programme which helps to match those who feel unlucky in love.

Leah’s mum, Sue said: “Leah had always wanted to find that someone special even going as far as looking at contacting The Undateables and then Andrew just walked into the group that night.

“From the moment Leah was born her dad and I took the attitude that she would have access to everything her brothers had so having a relationship was exactly what we always wanted for her because she wanted it for herself.

Couple with Down's syndrome who fell in love at first sight enjoy emotional wedding

Andrew proposed at a local restaurant on his 38th birthday ( Image: Sue Jones)

“I had listened to Leah longing for a relationship for some time. There were a couple along the way but they didn’t work out.

“We always had a little saying and I would tell her “he’s just around the corner”.

“When Leah and Andrew met it was brilliant because they got on so well.”

Although the couple were forced to postpone their nuptials a number of times due to Covid, they finally celebrated the big day with 28 guests at All Saints Church in Daresbury, the hometown of Lewis Carroll.

Couple with Down's syndrome who fell in love at first sight enjoy emotional wedding

The newlyweds are now looking forward to spending the rest of their lives together ( Image: Wes Simpson Photographer)

Music played a big part too, with Andrew recording a version of his favourite song, Beautiful In White by Westlife, which was played as they left the church, while Leah walked down the aisle to A Thousand Years by Christina Perri.

This year, the couple plan to celebrate their full wedding reception with over 100 guests, inviting everyone who was previously unable to make the big day due to Covid restrictions.

Couple with Down's syndrome who fell in love at first sight enjoy emotional wedding

The pair had both been looking for love, and were starting to lose hope – when they finally met at a chance meeting ( Image: Sue Jones)

Now the newlyweds are sharing their incredible love story to show other hopeful romantics that the right person is out there for everyone.

Andrew said: “When I proposed to Leah there was nothing more I wanted in the world than for her to say yes.

“The best thing is to wait for the right person, they are only ever just around the corner.”

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