In partnership with The Pink Weddings Group
Pink Weddings Magazine is our bright and beautiful magazine to help same-sex couples plan a perfect marriage ceremony or civil partnership. We bring you the expertise, ideas and advice to make the most of your big day.
Every issue we showcase the most innovative and exciting ideas for your ceremony, review the latest trends from suppliers and venues, and give advice on suggested etiquette and legal requirements that are now in place, both in the UK and abroad.
We bring you stories from couples around the globe. They tell us how they met and, often, the great lengths they went through to be together. They talk to us about their aspirations, their anxieties and their new family’s future. They share with us how they planned their day with the unique themes and stylish touches that made their day extra special, and tell us of the emotions they experienced (and the reactions of their friends and families) on this most special of occasions – the first day of the rest of their lives as a legally joined couple.
We also care passionately, as you do, about equality and about challenging all forms of discrimination towards same-sex couples. By our coverage of such powerful initiatives as Pride, we add our voice to the demand for the same legal rights as any other couple.
We hope you’ll become part of our Pink Weddings Magazine family, with our expectation of equal rights in marriage, our support of all that makes us unique, and our celebration of the love and respect of our partners, friends and community.
Again, welcome – and enjoy the magazine!
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Scroll down to read some of our wonderful couple’s stories from the latest issue of Pink Weddings.
A classic affair
Mark and Nathan got festive with family and friends at their black-tie event. Nathan tells their story…
A classic first encounter - Mark and I met across a crowded dance floor late one summer night in 2005. He popped the question about six years ago, so we had a very long engagement. We made the decision to tie the knot quite last minute, only deciding a few months before – but the timing just felt right.
We decided on the style of our day – like every couple – after much debate! As with any event the choice of venue was the decision that would most affect the styling of the day. That’s the joy with the Old Finsbury Town hall – in many respects all of the styling was taken care of by the breathtaking building itself. We loved the vintage chic feel of the place, and all it really required was some aesthetic lighting to make it look absolutely stunning.
With our wedding being a few days after Christmas, we wanted a touch of the festive spirit without it being overstated. It was important to us that our venue felt elegant – something which, I feel, was achieved beautifully.
We both love singing, so before the ceremony took place in the council chamber, the guests gathered in the great hall, where we had four professional carol singers to help lead us in song. It was a lovely way to start the evening and set the scene for the ceremony to follow.
Such is the glamour and elegance of the Old Finsbury Town hall, all we did to decorate the space was place large silver urns of white poinsettias and ivy bought from Battersea flower market a few days before. These were positioned on window ledges and dining tables of dark plume brocade linen, with clusters of LED votive candles.
With colourwash uplighting to the pillars, stage and ceiling supplied as part of the venue’s lighting package, the room was almost dressed. To complete the festive look, a Christmas tree was placed in one corner and instead of gifts we asked our family and friends to bring a Christmas decoration to hang on the tree. It looked just stunning, and we have all these wonderful, homemade, decorations to remember our day by for years to come.
We had our ceremony as late as possible – at 5pm, which meant we could ask our guests to come in black tie and evening dresses. It was brilliant to see everyone looking so glamorous and excited to be all dressed up. Mark and I wore a white tie with tails to be in something a little different from our guests. Seeing everyone looking so fabulous and happy helped to make the place look amazing and gave it such a lovely atmosphere.
We were honoured to have both our mums give us away and have our dads as witnesses too. We had a best man and best woman respectively, with nieces as grooms maids and a godson as pageboy. Mark’s party went first and mine went second. It was brilliant to walk down the aisle with them all and our parents were chuffed to bits to be such an important part of the occasion.
Cynthia, the registrar from the Islington Town hall, couldn’t have been lovelier or make us feel more special. We didn’t write our own vows, but like many couples the readings and music were important to us. Cynthia helped us to put everything together and made us feel relaxed on the day so we could enjoy the moment as much as possible.
Like everyone says, it all passes so quickly and the staff at the Old Finsbury Town hall helped ensure it was as wonderful as it could possibly be.
We wanted to keep things relaxed and informal, so we did away with a long seated meal for our reception. Instead Boulevard Events created six amazing food stations, serving tasting plates of winter dishes, like loin of venison, roasted partridge, tournedos of beef and homemade shepherd’s pie – yum! Food stations meant guests could mingle throughout the meal and eat what they wanted, when they wanted it. Chefs manned the stations so that guests were able to ask about the ingredients and watch the dishes being assembled, making the meal a real feature of the evening.
My sister-in-law is French and she very generously provided an authentic croquembouche for pudding – a tower of vanilla filled profiterole, which in keeping with French tradition, we duly beheaded with a long silver knife!
Once dinner was finished we had Jacky’s Jukebox from the rivoli Ballroom to entice everyone up for some hilarious country dancing – country squares, a foxtrot and the Gay Gordons. Jacky called out the steps while we gamely tried them all!
I think the comment we got most after our wedding from our guests was just how much love there was in the room. Like all couples, it felt so special to have the people we care about most witness our commitment to each other. Our guests raved about the meal too – we think they appreciated being able to mingle and chat with lots of different people as much as we did.
Everyone just loved the venue – with everyone all dressed up in their finest, it really complemented the look and truly made it a night to remember. We got so many comments from our guests about what a treat it was to have somewhere to go where they could revel in the feeling of glamour.
We felt so relieved on the day, seeing everything come together, and we were on a massive high that lasted for a good few weeks afterwards! We had so many high points – singing carols in full voice, walking down the aisle with our mums, laughing lots at the speeches and country dancing in tails! Our top wedding tips for other couples planning their big day would be to give yourself plenty of time. Remember to only worry about the important stuff and stick to your budget – if you can!
Main image photographed by Marianne Taylor
Song for the future
Cathy and Georgina’s soundtrack took them from a concert in Colchester to their wedding in beautiful Suffolk countryside. Cathy shares their story.
We worked together, but at the time I was straight and I just wasn’t aware that Georgina was interested – I first noticed her dressed as Jack Sparrow at a fancy dress party.
Our first date started by meeting for hot chocolate – but Georgina quickly found out she was lactose intolerant so she didn’t feel too well afterwards! Later on we went to the cinema to see Twilight, which ended in our first kiss. Georgina took me to a music event at Colchester art Centre to see David Ford perform. I had never heard of him but was caught up in the lyrics and cried at Song for the Road, at that moment I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with Georgina.
From the first date it only took five months for Georgina to decide she wanted to propose, but after a couple of dashed attempts and a conversation about me never wanting to get married, she put her plans on hold. We moved in together for a happy four years.
In April 2013, we had tickets to see David Ford in concert and I asked – ‘are you going to ask me?’ Georgina had of course planned to ask, had the ring ready and was planning on waiting until Song For The Road came on. At the right moment, halfway through the song, she popped the question and I said ‘yes!’ Full of elation, after the event there was a signing session with David, and we filled him in on what happened during his concert.
We stumbled across Easton Grange on Facebook and watched the developments
as the renovation works were still in progress. We knew even without
visiting that it was going to be perfect. We called the wedding office
and were glad to hear how amenable they were to discussing civil partnerships.
We booked a visit and as we neared the entrance, a hare ran across the
road on front of us – just like
the Easton Grange marque of a hare wearing a crown! Our wedding rings were handmade in Wales and incorporated a hare, which has become a symbol of our wedding.
Symbols are very important to us as a couple. At a work Christmas party, all Georgina could find to give to me as an impromptu gift was a Queen of hearts playing card. I still carry this in my purse, and Georgina has created a tattoo along her side of this playing card with the letter C and G, rather than Q, as a reminder of our love.
We loved the venue, especially the fact that we would have complete exclusivity with everything onsite – from the ceremony barn to accommodation. We came away from the venue knowing that it would be perfect for the relaxed wedding we had planned.
We didn’t want anything too formal for our big day, aiming to keep the mood relaxed and ensure that all our guests fully enjoyed themselves and remembered our wedding. Although we wanted to keep some aspects quite traditional, it was important for the families to see how in love we are and make everyone feel comfortable.
I knew I wanted to wear a wedding dress. Georgina has always been a tomboy and decided to wear a suit as she had done for her friend’s wedding, when she had been his best man – and he was now going to be hers! She opted to have her hair down, as this is one of my favourite styles on her.
Naturally, our first dance had to be to Song For The Road by David Ford, followed by Use Somebody by the Kings of Leon. One of my favourite moments of the night was Georgina singing another of our favourite David Ford songs to me as a surprise. All of our family and friends really enjoyed the day and it was lovely to have everyone closest to us all together. We created some quirky games for our guests to play during the day, such as ‘Blanket- Blank’ with a few paragraphs of a story of how we met and fell in love, and messages from our friends.
Easton Grange is a beautiful venue in a tranquil setting with a relaxed atmosphere. The staff were so obliging and happy to help on every aspect of our day. We can’t recommend it highly enough and we feel privileged to have been the first same-sex couple to hold a wedding there.
We would consider converting our civil partnership to a marriage. it
would be lovely to have another ceremony on our first wedding anniversary,
as we see each other as a married couple – and Georgina asked me
to marry her, not civil partnership her!
Photography by Chris Smith,