Men make history by becoming first in city to marry

Chris Caulfeild-Browne and Samuel Collins''Picture:  Richard Swain Photography
Chris Caulfeild-Browne and Samuel Collins''Picture: Richard Swain Photography

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LOVED-UP Chris Caulfeild-Browne and Samuel Collins have made history by becoming the first gay men in Portsmouth to marry.

The couple, from Mansion Road, Southsea, wed at the Royal Beach Hotel on Southsea seafront, on the weekend the world’s eyes were on Portsmouth for the D-Day commemorations.

It was an emotional day for the pair who had family members from around the world there to witness their declaration of love – made possible under legislation brought in in March to allow same sex couples to marry, rather than enter a civil partnership.

Chris, a 40-year-old recruitment consultant, said: ‘Sam and I are both very proud to be the first male couple to marry in Portsmouth since the recent change in the law.

‘It was incredible to have the fireworks and all the atmosphere of D-Day as the backdrop to our special day. It was very emotional for everyone, not just us.

‘We were so happy to have made history and it’s something our friends and family will be able to talk about for generations to come.’

Chris and Samuel – who is a manager at Tesco – met five years ago and decided last year to have a civil partnership.

The day had been picked and the venue booked before the change in the law was announced.

The first gay couple to marry were Laura and Mitzi Barber, of Copnor Road, Portsmouth.

They also tied the knot at the Royal Beach Hotel.

David Greenwell was Samuel’s best man. The 38-year-old, from Hilsea, said: ‘It was such a wonderful day.

‘It was a coincidence that it was D-Day weekend but we could see the fireworks in the evening from the concert on the common and it felt like they were for Chris and Samuel.

‘Both their mums walked them down the aisle. Each of them had a best man.

‘It was just a fabulous, emotional day from start to finish.’

Music at the wedding included Kylie Minogue, The Carpenters and Mama Cass.