Bev and Alex waited a long time for same sex weddings to be legally recognised, and were one of the first couples in the UK to have a civil partnership ceremony, on December 22nd 2005.
We spoke to them soon afterwards to hear their story.
Our first “wedding”
Alex and I met in 1991 and at the time I had a lot of gay friends in London. Two years later we both wanted to make a proper commitment to each other, and friends mentioned that the Metropolitan Church in London carries out ceremonies for gay couples. The minister there put me in touch with a gay vicar in Swindon, who was happy to carry out the ceremony in one of a choice of chapels, depending on the number of guests. Having initially been very helpful and supportive just two weeks before the wedding the vicar asked us to cut our guest list from over 100 to just 50 as he was concerned that the press would catch on to what was happening. We agreed to keep it very low key, and weren’t allowed to have confetti.
A local gay pub offered us exclusive use for the afternoon, opening their doors in the evening to the usual gay crowd to join in with our celebrations. The landlord commented afterwards on what a great vibe there was with so many of our straight friends, many of whom had never been in a gay bar before, partying with their usual customers.
Our second wedding Although we both felt we were married, we have always been aware that we weren’t receiving the financial advantages of being legally wed, and were concerned that we couldn’t make provision for each other in our pensions. We had a Civil Partnership ceremony at Oxford registry office at the first possible opportunity, on December 22nd 2005. It wasn’t a big wedding; just the two of us with two witnesses, and afterwards the four of us went out for a cup of coffee to celebrate!
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