Soldier Paul Lorimer married his childhood sweetheart - and had to fly straight back to join his unit the morning after.

After just one night with his bride, the Crawley man flew out to rejoin his comrades, who are preparing for war with Iraq.

The fairytale wedding, with a horse and carriage and traditional three-tier cake, was brought forward at the Army's request.

About 300 guests had to attend the ceremony a month early as tank driver Paul, a trooper in the Queen's Royal Hussars, tied the knot with Haywards Heath hairdresser Aishia Palmer. The couple are both 22.

None of the soldier's unit was allowed to form a guard of honour because they could not be spared from training.

But the bride's mother Ann Marie said: "It was still a fairytale wedding. We had a wonderful day.

"Aishia had been worried about Paul because we really didn't know whether he would be allowed to come or not. When he flew in to Gatwick from Germany, she wept with joy."

The couple were married at St Bartholomew's Church in Horley, the bride's home town. A fortnight's honeymoon in Gran Canaria has been put on hold until Paul returns from the Middle East.