Bury St Edmunds hosts Suffolk’s first gay marriage on day it becomes legal

Newlyweds Thomas Blong and Luke Lindley, picture taken in the Abbey Gardens by friend/photographer David Kawena
Newlyweds Thomas Blong and Luke Lindley, picture taken in the Abbey Gardens by friend/photographer David Kawena
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A happy couple have finally said ‘I do’ in the county’s first same-sex marriage -– held in Bury St Edmunds on the first day that it became legal.

Thomas Blong and Luke Lindley helped make history last Saturday when they took part in one of Britain’s first gay marriages, and Suffolk’s very first.

But that wasn’t the couple’s main motivation for getting hitched on that date – it was also their 11th anniversary.

Thomas, 37, said: “I already felt like he was my husband. He was my partner and we were always going to be together.

“But when we realised it became legal on our anniversary, we thought it was a perfect time – it all seemed too perfect not to seize the opportunity.”

The couple, who live in Brandon, tied the knot in The Athenaeum, on Bury’s picturesque Angel Hill, in front of just over 40 guests.

They went on to host their wedding breakfast at Mildenhall’s popular Thai restaurant, En-Thai-Sing, and spent the evening at Revolution, in Cambridge. They even made their own wedding cake!

“There’s no one specific thing,” said Thomas, of what he loved most about Luke.

“He’s not just my partner, well my husband now, but he’s my soul mate, and that’s how it’s been for so many years. We do everything together and we love it.”

Luke, 29, said: “It’s his personality, and his love and upbeat attitude to everything.

“Every time I see him after a day at work I get a big smile, and a hug and a kiss. Having him there makes all the worries in the world go away.”

“Wearing a ring is very strange, and it’s strange to say my husband, but it feels nice,” he added.

Thomas, a graphic designer, said civil partnerships were great when there was no other option but they often seemed more like a ‘business agreement’.

“Getting married is about love and romance and making a commitment in front of friends and family.

“If you break it down into simplistic terms, it’s an issue of love rather than politics or religion – it’s about the person you want to spend your life with,” he said.

“Marriage is much more about love than just going through the motions of getting a piece of paper signed to bind you together,” agreed Luke, who works for a biotech company, in business and marketing.

“Whether it’s a gay marriage or a straight marriage, people should be getting married for the right reasons – that’s why we got married,” he added.