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First same sex wedding held in Brighton
A Brighton guest house owner and a Hove-based dramatist have made history by becoming the first same-sex couple to be married in Brighton and Hove.
Andrew Wale and Neil Allard became one of the first same sex couples to tie the knot in the country during a special midnight ceremony in the grand Music Room at the Royal Pavilion.
The pair made their vows during a 10-minute ceremony just after the clock struck twelve in front a gathering of 200 friends and family as well as 40 members of the international press.
After the ceremony, hundreds of well-wishers gathered in the Pavilion Gardens to cheer the newly-weds who then went on to a Spanish restaurant in the city to continue their celebrations.
Speaking after the wedding the pair said they felt "privileged" to be able to get married in this country and hoped their marriage would give hope to other people around the world who faced discrimination and violence.
Andrew said: "It is a wonderful feeling.
"It's extremely fortunate we are able to do this in this city, which is very broad minded and inclusive city to live in.
"We hope it is a sign of hope for people elsewhere in the world less fortunate."
Speaking about the number of journalists and photographers from as far afield as Japan and France lined up in the wedding venue Neil, said: "It was surreal although we have got used to it over the past few weeks.
"I think Trevor was more nervous than we were."
Following the ceremony, a special message from communities minister Baroness Stowell of BeestonMBE was read out.
The ceremony was conducted by Brighton and Hove City Council’s senior ceremonies registrar Trevor Love who also conducted the first same sex civil partnership in the city in December 2005.
He described the evening as the highlight of his career.
The pair will be followed into the record books later today by Phil Robathan and James Preston, from Portslade who will be married at Brighton Town Hall at 8am and Nikki Pettit and Tanya Ward, from Newmarket Road in Brighton, at the same venue less than five hours later.
Emma Powell and Sarah Keith, from Clapham, will tie the knot at the five star The Claremont guest house in Second Avenue, Hove, at 2pm and a fifth couple will marry in a low key and private ceremony on the same day.