Tiny island of Alderney holds its first ever same-sex wedding
Alderney, an island of just 2,000 people, has celebrated its first ever same-sex wedding.
The Channel Island voted to legalise marriage equality in October, but the decision only became law on Wednesday.
This meant that after 15 years together, Allen Jones and Dits Preece were able to finally tie the knot.
The two men, who are both in their 70s, had decided to delay getting married until it was legal on their home island.
They told BBC News that the wedding “ties a lot of loose ends up,” adding that they were excited to enjoy their honeymoon.
“We’re having part of it in Royal Tunbridge Wells with friends of ours and then the other half we’re celebrating with friends in Lanzarote at the end of this year,” said Allen, whose surname will now be used by his husband as well.
The newlyweds will use rings made out of Alderney granite, which they said was “special.”
Allen explained: “We’ve incorporated the islands into our own personal life because it will be with us wherever we go.”
After holding the ceremony at their home in Platte Saline, the pair led a series of cars around the island in an open-top Volkswagen Beetle as other friends and well-wishers applauded and serenaded them.
“People have been saying you will be making history,” Dits told ITV, “but we’re not doing it for making history.
“We’re doing it because we do want to be the first couple on Alderney to get married and – in our own home, which is wonderful.”
Allen said: “It’s been a long time coming, the amount of wedding cakes we’ve had to throw away just waiting for the occasion to come along and all of a sudden it’s here!
“It’s just brilliant.”
The first same-sex marriages in the UK took place in 2014, but the laws for England, Scotland and Wales do not apply to the Channel Islands.
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The past year has also seen the first same-sex weddings take place in Germany.
In October, same-sex couples in the country were finally able to tie the knot after the Parliament voted three months earlier by a clear majority to legalise equal marriage.
This was less than a month after a historic postal vote which saw more than 61 percent of Australians vote in favour of same-sex marriage.