Civil Partnership ceremony | Paul & Rob

Civil Partnership ceremony

Civil partnership ceremony photography

The sun shone on Paul and Rob’s civil partnership ceremony at Islington Town Hall in London on Saturday. The forecast had been for torrential rain. It would maybe have been more appropriate for light drizzle, as this was two Mancunions getting hitched.*

The day began covering two grooms getting ready, on different floors of the Apex hotel near London Wall. I often don’t get to shoot a groom getting ready – now there was two of them – and no makeup artist, just family and friends on hand. The air conditioning was on overdrive in Paul’s room, as he delayed putting his shirt on. Down two floors, Rob was chilling with champagne and friends. Then two taxis for the grooms and two Routemaster buses for the masses. North we headed, to Islington Town Hall. Given the recent hot and humid weather, Paul and Rob had issued fans to all the guests – Paul was very attached to his fan!

Islington Town Hall

A short wait followed, as another wedding ceremony finished and photos were taken on the town hall steps. But then, on into the circular council chamber, it was time!

It was a civil partnership ceremony conducted by smiling registrars ( yes, some do! ) with readings by two friends and Rob’s father.  The emotions got to Rob. But a quick-witted registrar responded quickly with a box of tissues. There were other tears all around. Then the ‘posed’ shot, not that we did that. Instead, after Paul leaned towards Rob, the surrounding friends and family raised a noise, urging them to do it, to kiss. They obliged.

Reception at their local pub

Back to the buses! North again! To Tufnell Park. To Paul and Rob’s stomping ground. Past their home and onto their local pub, the Tufnell Park Tavern. To keep things smooth, Paul and Rob had hired wedding planner, Aimee Dunne, to oversee the rest of the day. It was time to drink, eat and party!

Meanwhile, the weather caught up with the forecast. The sky clouded over, the light darkened, a breeze stirred and the first drops of rain fell. By the end of the speeches, the thunder boomed and the lightning lit up the gloom. But the speeches weren’t gloomy. Given the easygoing nature of these two guys, the speeches were funny, emotional and poignant. Speeches from two grooms and from two of their closest friends. There was talk of ‘no pink shirts’, of how they met at a West London barbeque, of Paul Calf, Manchester, lawyers and the word “excessive”. But as Paul mentioned, how lucky they were “as two gay men to be able to hold such a ceremony” – denied to many for so many years.

After speeches – dancing! I eventually left to the sound of Kylie reverberating around the tavern – so Rob had got his way with the song list!

Here are a few images from this civil partnership day…

Groom One having a drink with friends
Groom One chatting with friends in his hotel room
Groom two getting ready
Guest arrives
Groom two checking his hair
Groom chatting with friends
Family and friends in the hotel lobby
A friend adjusts the groom's buttonhole
Groom and his mother
Grooms and their mothers outside the hotel
Guest on the bus with a fan
Wedding bus
Islington Town Hall Civil Partnership ceremony
Islington Town Hall weddings
Civil Partnership ceremony Grooms enter the council chamber at Islington Town Hall with their mothers
Civil Partnership ceremony reading
Civil Partnership ceremony at Islington Town Hall
Tissues for emotional groom at Civil Partnership ceremony
Civil Partnership ceremony
Civil Partnership ceremony in London
Civil Partnership ceremony in the council chamber at Islington Town Hall
Civil Partnership ceremony
Civil Partnership ceremony - Guest greets a groom
Boarding the wedding bus
Welcome drinks
Reception in London pub
menu board
Large pub reception
North London pub wedding reception
Guests chatting
Two grooms couple portrait in pub doorway
Hugs with balloons
Groom's speech
Groom smiling at friend's speech
Poster of the groom with kittens
Civil Partnership first dance
Grooms kiss on the dance floor
Dance floor
Pub wedding reception dancing

* I use this cliche as someone who was born on the outskirts of and lived in Manchester!

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