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September 24, 2019

‘My mind hadn’t needed to go for a hike, or even a wander’ – Alessandro Tome on his first gay wedding

By Alessandro Tome

Alessandro Tome heads to Ibiza for his first gay wedding and finds that it was as perfect as it was always going to be

It was going to be my first for sure. My last, my only one? Probably, maybe. Either way I was a little nervous, apprehensive even. After all, I really didn’t know what to expect at all.

Which is when your mind wanders, and mine definitely enjoys a wander – I would even call it more of long, far-fetched trek than a wander. And there definitely was a lot of far-fetching potential here.

So as Angel Wife and I boarded another cramped BA flight to Ibiza, our guesswork turned to what lay ahead – the elated excitement of a wedding of good friends and related festivities. Yes, we were going to Ibiza for our first gay wedding.

Now I agree with your somewhat self-righteous murmurs – yes, I can hear them – what’s the big deal? But it isn’t at all the fact that these two friends of ours are getting married – on the contrary. It’s much more the fact that they are so much more flamboyant, colourful, joyful, outgoing and certainly embracing than most other friends, let alone recently marrying ones.

Nowadays, we tend to go to kids’ weddings where we are at the ‘oldies’ tables, or third weddings where the fun seems a rather contrived attempt to be as young as the bride and her friends. None of these has the extravagant mad potential that my wandering mind had trekked to since we received the invitation.

I mean, a gay wedding in Ibiza – what more could you wish for if unbridled fun works for you? We had packed our all whites, party beach wear and ‘summer suits’ as instructed for the various events, all of which felt pretty straight, as in straightforward that is.

My planned trip to various insalubrious parts of Soho in search of even less suitable outfits had been cancelled, the feathered accessories put back in their proverbial box alongside my deflated creative impulses. Surely they would be supplied on site.

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We had arrived in our dreadfully dreary room at Destino, where even the wall art had gone missing, leaving exposed hooks at the ready for improbable alternative uses. I could go on about the hotel, but I will instead just say that at any price I suggest you give that one a miss, and even more so at what they charge.

Other than a selfie with Raheem Sterling, who was leaving rather than arriving, there was no hint of an extravagant guest list. Familiar guests hovered around the lobby, rather than befeathered and bejewelled ones. No goodie bag of party tricks left on the bed either.

This was feeling ever more like just a wedding. And what a wonderful one it was. A wedding, full beautiful stop. Filled with merry people, all sharing in the generosity and joy of two wonderful men showing their love for each other and all of us.

As someone said in one of the speeches, you could have described the ceremony as the start of one of those jokes about a Chinese, a Belgian and an American meeting on a podium – but you could only finish it with the genuinely emotional vows exchanged, the enrapturing story of their romance, the corny humour and silly banter, their amazing families and all the friends who made the point of being there from very far afield, the heartfelt speeches and some naughtier ones, a dreadful jacket, thrones carried by shirtless studs, drag queens who had stolen all the feathers, male mermaids frolicking in the pool, and finally a goodie bag with special sunglasses made of recycled fishing nets rather than fishnet stockings (seatosee.org).

My mind hadn’t needed to go for a hike, or even a wander. This was the perfect wedding it was always going to be.

This article first appeared in issue 69 of Spear’s magazine, available on newsstands now. Click here to buy and subscribe. 

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