Okay, so it wasn't that big, or even that gay – though my partner Ivan would argue I added a touch of gay by being there. It wasn't, in fact, even a wedding, given that back in the day we 'gays' couldn't actually get married. It was technically our civil partnership. But to us, well, it was our wedding!
Ivan had been in the hospital for nearly three weeks. An accident with a pony had left him fighting for his life and his leg. Five days before our wedding, he had just come out of the operating theatre after a nine-hour operation to repair his leg, now that the infection was under control. The doctors weren't convinced that Ivan would be well enough to be discharged in time.
Ivan was determined that he would be. Wil, our son, just wanted Daddy home.
You can imagine how overjoyed we were when, three days later, Ivan was given the ‘all clear’ to come home. He had strict instructions, and a wheelchair, but he was allowed home. And best of all, we had two days to practice getting him into his suit!
The night before the wedding, I had a little surprise for him. No, not that – that would have been a big surprise!
Unbeknown to Ivan, I had arranged for his best mate from the army and his wife to come to the wedding. They arrived the night before the big day, crept into the garden, and snuck up behind Ivan. Ivan was gob-smacked.
The next morning we were up and about early. Far from striking us down with lightening or pelting us with hailstones in retribution for daring to marry another man (not to mention have a child with said man), the skies were a wonderful blue, and the sun was bright. It was going to be a good day.
It all went amazingly smoothly. We were keeping it simple. The wedding was made up of only the two of us, Wil, two great friends as witnesses, and, of course, our surprise guests. We got to the registry office, having managed to get ourselves appropriately clad in suits. Wil, too, looked dashing in a shirt and waistcoat. The staff was brilliant: we had forgotten to tell them that Ivan was now in a wheelchair, but it was no issues at all. It was a short but perfect service, shared with Wil and our good friends. It was May 1, 2011, and we were married!!
From the registry office, we made our way to the local pub. We had hired it for a few hours to share the rest of the day with our friends and family. As planned, they drifted in and out throughout the day. It was superb! We had just one dilemma: should Ivan drink or not?! Now, we knew he probably shouldn't – he's a light-weight at the best of times, ha, let alone when he's dosed up on meds! But sod it, we figured, you only get married once! He drank and managed not to fall over even once – the advantage of being pushed everywhere in a wheelchair, I guess!
We wrapped up the day fairly early. Ivan had only been out of hospital two days. He had performed miracles but was shattered. The day was perfect, though. It may not have been the biggest, or the gayest, or even technically a wedding, but to us it was exactly what we needed.
The year had proven to us that we would stick together, as a family, through anything.
We make a great family.
Maybe it was time to start thinking about expanding it.