Hogmanay ceremony as new law comes in
As the clock struck seconds into New Year’s Eve, two Fife men were among the first gay couples to be legally married in Scotland.
Ambrose and his husband Dennis Stanyer-Hunter, both from Kirkcaldy, wed at the stroke of midnight in the town’s Merlin’s Garden in the east end of the High Street.
Surrounded by guests and their four pet Chihuahuas who all braved the chilly evening, the couple’s unique Buddhist ceremony featured a burlesque-themed dance while the two grooms donned their best Christmas jumpers and kilts for their big day.
The kind-hearted couple also asked that instead of wedding gifts, guests made donations to local foodbanks where they collected over 20 large bags to be delivered.
To add to their generosity, they both asked that a donation be made to Merlin’s Garden coffee shop to help support local businesses.
Ambrose and Dennis have been together for over 13 years, and were one of the first couples in Fife to have a civil partnership.
Gay marriage was declared legal in Scotland on December 15 after MSPs approved the Marriage and Civil Partnership Act at Holyrood early in the year.
However, it wasn’t until Hogmanay that marriages could take place as a 15-day notice period is required before a wedding can take place.
Ambrose is proud to be a part of the new Act, especially being among the first.
He said: “The ceremony took place on December 30 with the official party.
“Then, just five seconds into the next day, we were declared husband and husband.
“We were definitely the first gay couple to be married.
“Our wedding was exactly as we wanted it. It really was lovely.
“We had candles in the trees and ones that lit up the pathway and we also wrote our own vows.
“Ten of us took part in a contemporary dance - somewhat burlesque - which was part of the ceremony that Dennis knew nothing about! He just shook his head when it was announced what was happening next.
“Gay marriage in Scotland is something that has been a long time in coming. We are definitely a lot more progressive than some countries,” Ambrose continued.
“We waited until December 30 to get married instead of just changing our civil partnership licence over to a marriage one, which many couples chose to do.
“We wanted a wedding that was something that we could include the things that we wanted to.
“People have lost sight of marriage and I know that our wedding was something that we were happy with and what we both wanted.”