Two men's unique

By Rebecca SheppardTWO men celebrated their two-year relationship at a specially-designed “wedding” - believed to be one of the first of its kind in East Anglia.

By Rebecca Sheppard

TWO men celebrated their two-year relationship at a specially-designed “wedding” - believed to be one of the first of its kind in East Anglia.

Simon Canham, 28, and Leighton Marjoram, 24, were joined yesterday by their close friends and family at the official commitment ceremony at Christchurch Mansion in Ipswich.

At the service, Mr Canham and Mr Marjoram, both from Ipswich, exchanged “wedding” rings and commitment vows.

Mr Canham said it was important to show everyone they were together and added he would definitely recommend marriage.

“It has been a really good day and we are very pleased and happy that it went well,” he said.

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“It is definitely a relief after all the preparations. I think it is a very positive thing and I am very proud we are one of the first couples to do this.”

Although they are among the first gay men in the region to take the step, Mr Canham said there had not been any bad reaction and lots of people had wished them well.

“Hopefully, other people will see that this can actually happen and will do it too and then lots more people will start accepting it,” he added.

Mr Marjoram, who was suffering from a few cuts and bruises after his “hen party”, said: “I was quite impressed with it all. I didn't really know what to think about how it was going to be.

“We picked all the readings from a commitment book and sent it off to the company, as you can't do it straight through the registrar, so it's all taken about two-and-a-half months.

“I didn't realise there was going to be this much interest in the ceremony, but I think it is nice for people to see that these things are going on. It is just a statement between us and our friends and family.”

Mr Canham's mother, Davina Eade, said: “It has been quite a relaxed day actually, I don't know what I expected. I think Leighton was a bit nervous. They have been together for a while, so this is to say 'We are for keeps'.”

Kim Matthews, from Clacton, who has been Mr Canham's best friend for 13 years, added: “It is wonderful to see Simon so happy and it was a beautiful ceremony.

“I am not really surprised at all the interest as they are both well-liked. They are made for each other.”

As they left the ceremony, the couple, who wearing matching suits and ties with lilies in their lapels, were cheered and clapped as they walked along a pathway formed by two lines of their friends and family.

Although they did not have a “honeymoon” booked,Mr Canham said everyone would be going to the pub after the “wedding” to celebrate.

rebecca.sheppard@eadt.co.uk

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