Same-sex couple’s wedding day joy

Ilkeston's first gay marriage, Sarah and Debbie Hallam
Ilkeston's first gay marriage, Sarah and Debbie Hallam

Two women are busy enjoying their honeymoon after becoming the first gay couple to marry in Ilkeston.

Sarah Sibley, 36, and Debbie Hallam, 42, were joined by 32 friends and family at Ilkeston Register Office on Lord Haddon Road as they exchanged vows last Friday (May 2).

Sarah, mum to 17-year-old Ebbie, said: “It was the most amazing day.

“It went so much better than we ever thought that it would.

“Everyone said what a great day they had, we were thrilled.”

Emotions ran high as the pair became the first same-sex couple to walk down the aisle in the town.

Laws have recently changed, meaning same-sex couples can be legally wed rather than having a civil partnership service.

Sarah said: “Even the women at the register office were crying.

“They’ve obviously done same-sex services before but because this was a wedding rather than a civil partnership I think the occasion just got to them.”

The run-up to the big day didn’t go completely without a hiccup though after someone tried to maliciously cancel the couple’s wedding reception.

Sarah said: “We had a phone call from the venue saying someone had called them up and tried to cancel the booking.

“I went into a mad panic and ended up ringing round everywhere to make sure they’d not cancelled everything else.

“It did make things a bit of a nightmare but everything went perfectly on the day.”

After exchanging their vows the bride and bride walked up the aisle to the Ellie Goulding song How Long Will I Love You?

The newlyweds then posed for pictures in the gardens of the register office before celebrating with a reception at the Heanor Miners’ Welfare where 180 guests joined them.

Sarah said: “We’d just like to thank our friends and family for making it a day we’ll always remember and Caroline’s Cakes, Fifi’s Wedding shop, everyone at Heanor Welfare and the ladies at Ilkeston Register Office.”

The couple will return to their Marlpool home after their honeymoon in Newquay.