A soccer stadium might not be the first place you think of for a same sex civil partnership ceremony, but one of the leading top flight football clubs in the United Kingdom’s north east ‘SUNDERLAND’ has just opened it’s doors to same sex couples who want to tie the knot!
The impressive and spacious ‘Stadium of Light’ became the unlikely setting for a true love match when two Black Cats fans scored a first for the venue on Friday 5th April. Sarah Price and Heather Thompson, from Nettlesworth, County Durham became the first same sex couple to tie the knot at the stadium, which is home to Sunderland AFC, when they exchanged vows in front of family members and friends earlier this month.
The couple, both of whom are keen Sunderland supporters, left no stone unturned ensuring the day was red and white – the clubs colours, from start to finish – even down to the wedding cake which was constructed from wheels of cheese wrapped in red and white wax, especially for the occasion!
“We’re both really big Sunderland fans,” said 27-year-old Sarah, who wore a grey suit and red shirt for the occasion, “and we were delighted when we found out we could hold the event at the Stadium of Light, particularly as my mum and dad bumped into former goalie Jim Montgomery when they arrived – they were over the moon.”
Their special big day kicked off with an emotional ceremony in the stadium’s Drumaville Suite before Sarah, a school sport partnership manager and Heather, a teaching assistant, headed to the hallowed turf to have their photographs taken next to one of the stadium’s most well-known characters, mascot Samson the Cat.
Afterwards they moved on to the dug out and the dressing rooms for more photos before re-joining their guests in the red and white themed suite for a wedding breakfast, later 150 of the couples friends arrived for an evening reception. “It was just perfect,” said Sarah, “and we even kept the red and white theme going with our choice of honeymoon – we’re off to Canada.”