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Digital Subscriptions > DNA Magazine > #196 - Wedding Issue > We Did It Our Way!

We Did It Our Way!

With the advent of equality, weddings and their traditions are being reinvented and new traditions forged. How do two men plan their ceremony, choose rings, write their vows or accommodate homophobic relatives on a guest list? Ten couples tell us how they planned for and celebrated their big day. Here come the grooms!

Steve and Truman Hudson-Packard

DNA: When did you get married?

Steve: We follow the Taylor/Burton school of marriage – we did it twice! First was our civil partnership in Oxford, UK, in June 2006. A year later, we went to Vancouver, Canada, to do it again and get a marriage certificate.

Happy tenth anniversary! Where was the ceremony? At the Registrar Office in Oxford, UK, where I grew up and where we both studied. The reception was at Truman’s college, followed by a rooftop sunset drinks overlooking Oxford’s famed “dreaming spires” and lasted long into the night. It was a perfect English summer’s day.

Did you ever think you’d be married? That’s a hard question. My mother married early on, and my parents are still together. So that’s a strong example. As a kid, I thought my interest in men was just a phase and that I would eventually marry a girl. Then I married Truman!

When did you know he was the one? When I saw his bank statement [laughs]! But seriously, driving around Australia on holiday in 2005, I was having so much fun and felt so happy in his company, I knew I wanted to seal the deal.

Why did you decide to seal it with marriage? There were clear legal benefits: next of kin rights, inheritance, etcetera, that would become important in case anything happened to one of us. I suppose we also wanted to be recognised as a family.

What was your biggest disagreement aboutthe planning? We don’t have disagreements. Truman doesn’t get to have an opinion, and does everything he is told.

Was it important to incorporate religious elements? The presence and participation of our family and friends was much more important than religious elements in the ceremony.

Did you have a gift registry? No. That was foolish, in hindsight!

Had you been to any gay weddings before yours? Not a single one. Ours was only six months after Elton and David’s, so we were in the slipstream of their trail blazing.

Did you encounter any homophobia from retailers or service providers? None at all. Everyone was so thrilled and supportive to help throw a fabulous and meaningful event. It was a testament to how cool the English are!

Did you invite any possibly homophobic relatives? We invited all the relatives, including the awkward squad. Everyone was very sincere and happy for us. Many put in quite an effort to attend, travelling to the UK from as far as Sydney and West Texas.

Did you get a pre-nup? Hell, no. Mama didn’t raise a fool!

Did you hire a wedding planner? I was the wedding planner.

How did you come up with your vows? We struggled with that for a bit, but the ‘boiler plate’ options offered by the Registrar’s Office were just fine. So we ended up just using those!

Tell us about your rings. They were forged in the fires of Mount Doom – one ring to rule them all [laughs]! We wanted something very simple and stylish. Neither of us are jewellery people. We finally found a funky bespoke jeweller in Islington, London, and had matching silver bands made. We had them inscribed with “I’ll be there by your side”. It’s the chorus of a Sade song, By Your Side, that came out the summer we met in 2001 and has always made us think of each other.

How did you decide to take each other’s names? We didn’t at first, but my Hotmail got hacked about five years ago and so to come up with a new address I added Packard, and it stuck. As we hope for a growing family, we decided to keep the hyphenated last name.

Is there a certain moment from the ceremony you always remember? The fairly spontaneous speeches by family and friends at the reception were unexpected and very special. It was odd to have a room full of people wanting to say wonderful things about you and your relationship. It was truly lovely.

Did getting married change your relationship? Not in the slightest. It does put a break on those thoughts of leaving when you’ve had a fight; you realise how much of an effort that would take! We are regularly surprised, and delighted, by the compliments and encouragement we get from people we meet when they learn we have been married almost ten years. It is almost as if we have survived of a chronic illness [laughs]!

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About DNA Magazine

DNA 196 | We’re going to the chapel and we’re gunna get married. That’s right it is our wedding special as we take a look at the best ways to prepare to tie the knot with fashion pitfalls you should avoid and how to deal with the big-day blues from style consultant Joshua Heath. Our Grooming expert Will Fennell has suggestions to help you look your best on your big day – from looking less wrinkly to fine-tuning your kissable lips, home facials, and sexy scents. DNA speaks with 10 gay couples about how they planned for and celebrated their big day … some of the stories will bring a tear of joy to your eye! Plus hear how Bollywood flash mobs, colour schemers, an arrest for disorderly conduct, and two deaths all tie into a frenzied lead-up to one couples wedding in London. It’s not all nuptials and rings this edition of DNA, we catch up with Aussie journalist Patrick Abboud to chat about growing up in conservative Arab Western Sydney plus hosting the national broadcast of Sydney’s gay and lesbian Mardi Gras! We also jump in the kitchen of the super sexy Jordan Burno from the Australian TV show My Kitchen Rules. In pictures we catch up with former cover model Willie Gomez and Iggy Goncalve, we also take a look the new trend that see’s muscle men wear womens under. All that and so much more in this issue of DNA Magazine