A blind couple who bonded over their shared love of a radio soap have tied the knot in Aberdeen.
Amanda Burt, of Garthdee, fell for sweetheart Richard Foster as they discussed the latest happenings in Ambridge – the fictional farming world of The Archers on BBC Radio 4.
The pair hit it off so well in an Archers email discussion group they decided to meet up – with Amanda, 49, making a 1,150-mile round trip to Crowborough, in Sussex, to meet Richard, 68.
After becoming an item, the couple decided to take the next step – with Richard moving to Aberdeen to be with Amanda.
And their union was complete this week when they became husband and wife before family and friends at Norwood Hall.
After Monday’s ceremony, newlywed Amanda told the Evening Express: “I’m on top of the world.”
Explaining how they began talking in October 2015, Richard, a piano tuner, said: “After a few weeks of being on the Archers email list, I received an email from Amanda saying she liked the stuff I had posted and that she thought I was a lovely man.”
Amanda, who volunteers for the Royal National Institute of Blind People, said: “He would talk about his guide dog and we got on so well.”
The couple communicate using a device called BrailleNote Apex, which reads emails aloud.
They enjoyed their first date in Sussex in January 2016 after Amanda travelled the length of the UK by train.
She said: “It can be difficult to travel independently, but I found it straightforward – though I was nervous to meet Richard.
“But we were on the same wavelength. There was an immediate connection.”
Richard said: “We had a couple of glasses of wine and had a goodnight hug and both just said ‘wow’. We knew the chemical attraction was there.”
Four years later, after striking up that first conversation about country life in Borchester, the couple moved in together in Garthdee.
Richard said: “I came for the weekend in Aberdeen and as soon as I arrived I liked the feel of the place, even though it was raining.”
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It was Amanda’s hairdresser who ultimately inspired her wedding.
“Listening to her speak so passionately about her wedding just gave me this feeling that marrying Richard would be right,” said Amanda.
She added: “I told Richard ‘nothing would make me happier than marrying you’.
“It is a little unconventional because of our blindness. We have to talk to each other a lot to say what rooms we are in, for example, but otherwise we are like any other couple.”
The newlyweds were to have a blessing ceremony at St Mark’s Church in Aberdeen today and are planning a honeymoon in Sussex.
On the secret to a happy marriage, Amanda said: “We just giggle all the time and also make sure we support each other when things aren’t so good.”