Portsmouth’s first gay wedding brings brides to tears

Lauren and Mitzi Barber were the first couple in Portsmouth to have a gay marriage, Picture: Carla Stillman
Lauren and Mitzi Barber were the first couple in Portsmouth to have a gay marriage, Picture: Carla Stillman

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BURSTING into tears Mitzi Barber could not contain herself as she watched her wife-to-be walk down the aisle.

The 22-year-old and her now wife Lauren, 19, both of Copnor Road, Portsmouth, had waited a year for their big day.

And it was made even more happy as their union was the first same-sex marriage in the city.

Mitzi, who proposed to Lauren last March, said: ‘When she walked down the aisle I couldn’t even talk. I was crying, I made everybody in the whole room cry.

‘She looked absolutely beautiful and we couldn’t have asked for a better day.’

Lauren, who works at a nursery, added: ‘When we booked our wedding we were just expecting it to be a civil partnership.

‘We love the fact that we can say we are married just the same as a different-sexed couple can.

‘It is exactly the same, there is no difference.’

And the reaction from gathered friends and family at the Royal Beach Hotel in Southsea, couldn’t have been better.

The registrar announced the pair were the first to marry in the city, with the families cheering.

Mitzi, a community carer, said: ‘People were standing up, clapping and cheering for us. It was amazing.’

The couple used to play football for Widbrook and got together when they went on a tour to Spain in July 2011.

But not everything has gone to plan for the happy couple.

Mitzi couldn’t wait to pop the question and ended up abandoning plans for a romantic proposal, instead doing it while they were having a Chinese takeaway.

Lauren said: ‘We’d booked to go to visit the Royal Beach Hotel before we were engaged.

‘Mitzi had been telling me she planned to get a ring – it’s something that we’d talked about a lot.

‘It was a Friday, she got the ring and she actually told me – she shouldn’t have done.

‘We went out for drinks that Friday evening and I said ‘I want my ring.’

‘We’d come back from the pub and we were eating a Chinese – she ran upstairs, came down, got down on one knee and got the ring out.

‘She’d planned for us to go to a hotel and have the house decorated and do it nice and romantic.

‘It didn’t work out that way but it doesn’t matter. Obviously, I said yes.’

The pair were married on April 5. Same-sex marriage became legal in England on March 29.