Bride’s tiny groom: He stood on a stepladder for the vows; Olympic star’s love test – can his girlfriend keep up?; “We’ll never forget our lost twin”; Crossdressing professor’s closet secrets
The bride closed her eyes and waited for the moment she had dreamed of for months, her first kiss with her new husband. But this was no ordinary locking of lips – the groom was standing on a custom-made ladder so that the pair could stand eyeto-eye as they exchanged vows.
James Lusted, 29, has a rare genetic dwarfism condition and is just 1.09m tall, while his bride Chloe stands at 1.7m. “I had the steps especially made,” says James. “They made me a couple of inches taller than her! It meant we could have a proper kiss just like any other couple on their wedding day.”
Chloe, 23, adds, “We wanted to have eye contact during our vows and to kiss without me having to crouch down in my dress. There may be a height difference, but when you are in love, little things like that don’t matter. As I said ‘I do’, I’ve never been happier.”
Local councillor James and trainee teacher Chloe tied the knot in a traditional church ceremony in Bodelwyddan, North Wales. The groom says, “It really couldn’t have been any better. We had 80 people there for the day and then 150 more in the evening. It was amazing.”
The couple first met in 2012, when James carried the Olympic torch through his hometown of Rhos-on-Sea. Chloe recalls, “It wasn’t love at first sight, but a friendship developed and soon I realised I was falling for Jay. It was impressive to me that his disability hadn’t held him back – and he was so kind and funny too. I’d never met anyone so proud to be who they are.”
The pair got engaged in 2014. The bride tells, “Jay took me back to the beautiful country park where
‘ When you are in love, little things like height don’t matter’
we had our first date. He was acting nervously and I couldn’t work out why, but as I sat down by the lake, I felt his hand on my shoulder. He was using me to steady himself as he got down on one knee and said, ‘Chloe, I love you with all my heart. Will you marry me?’ I burst into tears of shock. I was so happy and so surprised.”
James’ friends dressed him up as Snow White for his stag do. He laughs, “I’m always the dwarf, so it was a great change.”
While there’s a high chance any children they have will be born with dwarfism, the couple are planning to start a family at some stage.
Chloe says, “It doesn’t faze me one bit. I would welcome the chance for our child to use Jay as an incredible role model. We’d love it the same as any other baby. When we are ready to have children, it will be such a precious time for us, but at the moment, we are focusing on our jobs and enjoying the honeymoon period. I love Jay so much. His dwarfism doesn’t define who he is. To me, he is just my husband. He might be small, but my love for him is huge.”
The height of romance: Jay had a stepladder designed especially for the big day so he could look Chloe in the eyes when they said their vows.
“I’ve never met anyone who is so proud of who they are,” Chloe says of her husband James.