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Wednesday 08 April 2009

Steven & Stan's Civil Union

Posted in: Civil Unions
By Matt Akersten - 30th January 2009

Stan and Steve
Kerikeri couple Steven and Stan got together thirteen years ago after being introduced through a mutual friend. They celebrated their Civil Union at their house on New Year's Eve, with a service in the garden and reception under a marquee.

Steven and Stan shared photos from their special day with us, and Stan answered our questions.

Did either of you 'propose'?

Yes, Steven proposed, in some Roman ruins in a walled world heritage town called Evora in Portugal, June 2008.

How did your families react to the announcement of your civil union?

Stan's family was fine although his father didn't realise the importance of the day and wasn't going to attend so he could tend to his budgies! Steven's mother initially reacted by calling the announcement a 'bombshell' but came around.

All family members attended the civil union that were able. It was neat having both our parents alive and present. But one of Steven's sisters who couldn't attend as she lives in London sent an email after the day saying that she found his 'lifestyle hard/sad' for religious reasons.

Here comes the groom!
What kind of ceremony was it?

It was quite a traditional ceremony with our parents walking us up the red carpet.

The celebrant was non-religious but there was a religious reading by one of Steven's aunties.

We wrote our own vows - they are too personal to include here though!

The weather was stunning, very hot.

We limited the guests to 85 people so that it was quite intimate for those present. We don't know about other couples but we paid for everything ourselves and had no financial assistance from family.

We had a best man who was a dear friend of us both. We also had our fairy god-daughter as our ring-bearer. There were many tears during the service and lots of people said that it was the most emotional event they'd ever been to.

Stan signed the register
One thing that made the evening so great was that we had lots of entertainment, from games, drag queens, cabaret singers, comedy acts. Everyone that attended said that they had an absolutely fantastic time and that we'd set a standard.

What did you wear?

We had the matching white suits made in Phuket while we were there on the same vacation in which we became engaged.

What was the best part of your civil union day?

Stan: The whole thing, it was very surreal and went like a dream, beautifully, having everyone together was unreal.

Steven: There are so many moments, but up there was when Stan sang to me with his guitar during the reception.

Was there a worst part of the day? Any stress?


Did you have a honeymoon?

Not yet. We will go away in the winter.

Do you two feel any different now you're civil unioned?

Yes, we feel closer than ever!

Are you coupled up? would love to share your special Civil Union day with our readers. Contact us at:

Matt Akersten - 30th January 2009