They met through a mutual friend four years ago but now Joseph and Colin Curzon have made history by becoming the first gay couple to upgrade to marriage in Eastbourne.
While same-sex marriage has been allowed in the UK since March of this year, couples who were already in a civil partnership were unable to officially wed.
That was, however, until MPs voted for a change in the Marriage Act to allow civil partnerships to be converted to marriage.
The amendment came into effect on December 10 and Joseph and Colin jumped at the opportunity to upgrade their civil partnership to a marriage, filling in the official documentation on Monday morning (December 15).
Joseph said, “Colin and I were approached by the council back in July and asked if we wanted to upgrade our civil partnership into a marriage.
“It’s not something we thought we would ever be able to do in our lifetime so when we found out we could, we immediately said yes.
“We’ve known about it for some time, so we were able to plan ahead, plan what we were going to wear and such.
“We filled in all the documentation with a couple of close friends on Monday morning, just to make sure it was all official, and then we’re having a celebration with around 40-50 friends and family at Fiesta Bistro this evening.
“While we’ve known we were getting married for a few months, it wasn’t until we got to the office that the registrar told us we were the first couple to upgrade in Eastbourne.
“It feels quite weird to be honest.”
The pair met in 2010 through a mutual friend and hit it off straight away. They got engaged in 2012 and became civil partners in June 2013.
Joseph added, “We were introduced by a mutual friend and then Colin invited himself to a night out. We got on straight away and we didn’t stop talking for the whole night.
“We both had a love for travelling and in particular, we both really wanted to visit Japan.
“We were able to do that in 2012 and it was on top of the Tokyo tower that Colin proposed to me. He didn’t get down on one knee but it was still really sweet.
“We got our civil partnership in 2013 and we thought that would be it. As I said, we didn’t think we’d be given the chance to upgrade to marriage but when the opportunity came, we wanted to make that extra commitment.
“We expected around 50 people to turn up to our civil partnership celebration but it ended up being more than 100, so who knows how many people will turn up to our marriage celebration! We’re both just really excited to mark the occasion with our friends and family.”
The happy couple celebrated the historic event at Fiesta Bistro in Grove Road.