Keith and Aaron met 16 years ago at Heathrow, where they both worked. They dated almost straight away and went from never wanting to marry to choosing marriage to celebrate and formalise their love and as a way to thank their friends and family for all their support. In their own words, this is their story…
"We met at work at Heathrow Airport back in 2002. I (Keith) was already working there when Aaron left his job in a bank to come and try aviation for a bit. We met and started dating almost as soon as he started, and within 2 years he was back working in the bank! It all feels very much like fate. With our shifts being opposite, we only saw each other once a week for the first year of our relationship and we’d been together 6 years before we moved in together. We’ve now been together 16 years."
"We always spoke about marriage; it went from something that neither of us wanted to do, to something that felt like it would be nice idea, to something that we decided to do to cement our relationship and also to throw a big thank you party for all of our friends and family for the support and acceptance they’d given us since we met.
"Equal marriage is so important because same sex couples love and share their lives in exactly the same way as mixed sex couples do."
"Our proposal was very unromantic. The decision to get married was made out of a series of conversations over a few months. We made it official in Ibiza in 2007 when Aaron made me get down on one knee before he’d say 'yes'. We ended up being engaged for 11 years and watched all of our friends get married before us and start their families! We were adamant that we wanted to get on the property ladder before spending any money on a wedding. We bought our first house in 2009 and then promptly decided we wouldn’t spend any money on a wedding until we had a bigger house! We finally bought the bigger house in August 2017 and the wedding finally followed a year later. I had always said that I wanted to get married before I was 40 and so we finally set the date for two days before my 40th birthday.
"We had 75 guests to the ceremony and meal, and a further 80 to the evening (we went all out for the evening due to it being my 40th birthday!). We didn’t have any readings – we just chose several songs that we love and had them playing whilst we signed the register.
"Our entire wedding day was spent at the Elvetham in Hampshire. We loved the venue mainly due to the grounds and the fact that the building had separate rooms where the different parts of the wedding could take place."
"We got married in a beautiful oak panelled room in front of a big fireplace."
"The meal then took place in a bright and airy conservatory with doors that opened out onto the lawns, and the band were able to play in a room that connected to the bar so that people were able to keep dancing and drinking until the small hours."
"With the kind of venue that the Elvetham is, our wedding was always going to be quite traditional. Anything else just wouldn’t have felt right in the surroundings.
"We decided on a colour scheme of black and white very early on in the planning process, it was the only colour scheme that we ever felt was right for our day. We always pictured our adult bridesmaids in black dresses, with the younger ones in white. The biggest problem was deciding on what we would wear. We went from tuxedos, to black trousers with white jackets, to finally settling on the grey suits that we ended up wearing. Almost all of our inspiration came from Pinterest!"
"We had very traditional wedding food and drink! We had Pimms, Prosecco and beer during the drinks reception, along with canapés to tide everyone over until dinner. The main meal was a cold duck salad, followed by fillet of beef, and finally a lemon cheesecake."
" Our wedding cake consisted of 3 tiers of square parcel cakes. Each square was black and wrapped with a white bow made out of icing. The top tier is the one that we cut and it was much bigger than the rest. Lulu’s Cake Kitchen in Fleet made the cake – she was absolutely brilliant! She understood the concept very quickly and the end result looked amazing. She also happily made 4 different flavours when we couldn’t make a decision on just one!"
"We had our first dance to Smash into You by Beyonce. Aaron is such a huge Beyonce fan that she was always gonna feature in the wedding somewhere! The song is such a great song and the lyrics really matched how we felt on the wedding day so it was a great song to pick. We were also really conscious that we didn’t want to pick a song that was too obvious or ‘weddingy’!"
"The venue was just stunning. Everything came together in a way that we could never have imagined. All of our suppliers were just outstanding, and took so much stress off us in the weeks running up to the day. We did have a few wobbles in the months before the wedding, as we really wondered if it would be worth the time and money that we were spending on it. But it really was the best day of our lives and every single ounce of effort and penny spent was worth it."
"I don’t think either of us have had so much fun or ever smiled so much in any 24 hour period! The day ran so smoothly and we loved every single minute of it. The venue's staff were amazing at making sure that the day ran to our beat – we were made to feel like royalty throughout the whole thing."
"Our advice to other couples? Plan early: Get the planning done early so that you can enjoy the run up to the wedding! We had friends coming over from Australia the week before so we had to make sure that everything was done before they arrived so that we could be there for them and enjoy their company. It meant that for the week running up to the wedding we were able to have fun, eat out, enjoy the weather, catch up with friends, and just generally relax and enjoy the entire period.
"On the day the advice would be the same as almost everyone said to us – take time to take it all in! It all goes by so quick, and before you know it it’s dark and nearly over. Also, take time to just be alone with your new spouse. Our favourite single part of the day was immediately after the ceremony when we were whisked outside to have a drink just the two of us whilst the guests were arranged for the confetti shot. It was the first time we’d been alone all day and it was great to just be together immediately after exchanging vows. "