Cross-border same-sex wedding

A north Northumberland wedding venue is preparing to host its first same-sex wedding this summer.

Tilly Blakely and Jodie Tait, both from Eyemouth, are preparing to tie the knot at Marshall Meadows at the start of July.

Eyemouth brides to be Jodie Tait and Tilly Blakley are excited to be holding the first same sex wedding at Marshall Meadows

Eyemouth brides to be Jodie Tait and Tilly Blakley are excited to be holding the first same sex wedding at Marshall Meadows

The couple met three years ago, and for Tilly, at least, it was love at first sight.

She was onstage at Eyemouth Holiday Park, having come up from Essex to work during the summer.

“I saw this girl,” she remembers, “and right away I said: that’s the girl I’m going to marry.”

A short while after their first date at Edinburgh Dungeon, Tilly proposed to Jodie over Christmas 2013.

“She tied the ring to our dog’s collar,” said Jodie. “He was going crazy with this thing round his neck and I was wondering what this box was, and then it comes flying off and the ring popped out!”

Tilly, who performs regularly with Eyemouth Variety, admitted to some stage fright ahead of popping the question.

“I knew for myself,” she said, “that I’d always wanted to get married. The way some young girls want to be famous or a rock star, I wanted to get married.

“But Jodie had always said that she didn’t want to. I remember, because I wanted to things properly, before I asked her, I spoke to her mum, and got her permission.

“Her mum was great, very supportive, but she did say that she wasn’t sure Jodie wanted to be married.

“And then when I asked, straight away she said ‘Yes.’”

The two have now been planning their nuptials for about a year, and are putting the finishing touches to their big day, including their dresses, which they are keeping a secret from each other.

“People ask whether we’re worried that we’ll pick the same one, the same colour or something, but there’s no danger,” said Tilly.

“We’re completely different in taste that way. And my dress has a great story. It’s completely unique, and I got it second hand because the bride it was made for won a competition to have everything at her wedding paid for. It’s gorgeous, absolutely my dream dress.”

The couple have also hired Manchester United’s official matchday photographer to document their celebration.

“We wanted to be able to do things like the bridesmaids showing their bums, some cheeky things like that,” they said

A more mundane thing was a residency requirement, which meant an eight day stay at Jodie’s uncle’s in Berwick.

“We couldn’t believe it,” said Jodie, “all because we live 0.6 miles over the border!”

Tilly chimed in: “The wonderful thing about our kind of story is that it isn’t a sad or distressing story we often hear from the news nowadays, It’s a positive and huge leap forward into the 21st century, for the community and region.

“It is also, most importantly, celebrating the best thing in the world next to shoes and chocolate, it’s celebrating love.”

And with a large wedding party the only ones missing out, it seems, are the couple’s two dogs. Tilly laughed: “We thought about having them as ringbearers, but they are just too naughty!”