A gay wedding story starts in Islington

Donny Wong and Chris Dicken. Pic: Radhika Sanghani

A gay couple has set up a blog detailing their civil partnership plans to help other same-sex couples in Islington plan their weddings.

Highbury pair Donny Wong, 38, and Chris Dicken, 35 will have their civil partnership ceremony in August this year.

The couple created the blog, A Gay Wedding Story, to give advice on local civil partnerships, and the challenges of inter-racial partnership – Mr Wong is Chinese-American and Mr Dicken is from an Evangelical Christian background.

Mr Wong, who works in the City for a pharmaceutical company, said: “When we decided we were going to get hitched we started looking for resources and there really weren’t many for same-sex couples, or for gay Asian people, and we thought it would be a good idea to set something up so that it can become a resource for others as well.”

He added: “It is guaranteed that the issues we are facing are being faced by hundreds of people out there, for example, dealing with family. My family come from this generation that views homosexuality as a dirty little secret that you hide at home.”

The blog also gives practical, Islington-specific advice. Mr Wong explained: “We can write about venues that allow private hire and don’t, their minimum charge, the capacity of different restaurants nearby, and cost-saving tips like doing a Friday instead of a Saturday and a lunch service instead of a dinner service.”

Mr Dicken, a web designer, added: “Islington is where we’re making our life together so it made sense to do something here, and we love it. The council are making everything so easy and have been just brilliant.”

The blog also raises questions about the government’s stance on allowing civil partnerships to be called marriages.

Mr Dicken and Mr Wong have titled their webpage: “A gay marriage blog: our gay wedding story”, with the headline: “Donny and Chris are getting married!”

Mr Dicken said: “We don’t want people to see this as being anything different from a straight couple getting together.

“I think the choice of words is important. The legal wording of a civil partnership is just so dry, whereas ‘marriage’ does have a richer connotation in the choice of words so it was quite deliberate.”

Mr Dicken and Mr Wong are not planning to use a double-barrel surname when they are partnered, because they think “it sounds wrong”.