Haringey's first same-sex marriages take place at Alexandra Palace and Haringey Civic Centre

Haringey Independent: Benjamin Till and Nathan Taylor got married at Alexandra Palace on Saturday Benjamin Till and Nathan Taylor got married at Alexandra Palace on Saturday

Two same-sex couples tied the knot at Alexandra Palace as people celebrated the first day of equal marriage.

Ceremonies were held in the Victorian Theatre at Alexandra Palace and the Civic Centre Chamber as the first couples got hitched on Saturday.

Kicking off the day was the marriage of Subodh Rathod and Niranjan Kamatkar, who were surrounded by supportive friends and family at their wedding at the Civic Centre.

Mr Rathod, 49, and Mr Kamatkar, 48, both work for Haringey-based arts charity Wise Thought.

They have been together for almost 20 years and said it was “marriage or nothing” for them.

They believe they are one of the world’s first same-sex married couples of Indian origin and say that contrary to some stereotypes, their families were fully behind the wedding.

Mr Rathod said their wedding was a sign of the strong diversity in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities, adding: “This event hails a major cultural shift offering recognition to all same-sex couples in England.”

Mr Kamatkar said he hoped England would serve as an example to countries in Asia, where same-sex marriages are not officially recognised.

He said: “We are delighted and privileged to be able to marry.

“I hope, one day, all same-sex couples around the world will have the right to marry and will be able to express that love is for everyone, irrespective of their sexual orientation.”

Saturday afternoon saw Alexandra Palace’s Victorian Theatre play host to a ceremony with a difference for Benjamin Till and Nathan Taylor – whose entire wedding was sung.

The creative grooms wrote and staged their entire wedding as a musical – including sung vows, sung readings and show-stopping ensembles from the congregation.

Mr Till and Mr Taylor's wedding was the focus of Channel 4 show Our Wedding: The Musical by award-wining production company Wingspan, which was screened last night.  

A Wingspan spokesman said: “Benjamin and Nathan were so happy to be able to marry in their own borough, and to feel that there was such goodwill and excitement about the change in legislation.

“As the large rainbow flag fluttered outside the palace on March 29th, we couldn't have found a better borough to mark this wonderful moment in history.”

Haringey Council Leader Cllr Claire Kober said: “I’m tremendously proud that Haringey has played host to its first same-sex weddings and that this historic day was marked in such fantastic style.

“Huge congratulations to Subodh and Niranjan, Benjamin and Nathan and their families and loved ones. I hope this is just the beginning of many happy same-sex marriages in Haringey.”

A third same-sex couple also registered their marriage in Haringey for last weekend, and enjoyed a ceremony in Islington.

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