The lesbian bride

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The Independent Online

Beverley Milner, 34, an HR manager, wed Sarah Simonds, 34, who owns a garden-design company, in July 2005

We were the first of our friends to have a civil partnership; when I realised Sarah was the woman for me it seemed right to make this public declaration.

Civil partnerships were in the news then, so it didn't take too much explaining to family and friends. They'd seen us meet and fall in love, so the overwhelming response was, "Of course you're getting married".

We had our wedding at a gorgeous organic farm in Berkshire, where Sarah used to be a shepherdess. My father had passed away about a month before, so my brother gave me away.

We exchanged vows in a beautifully decorated barn, and in the evening, instead of a disco – which really wasn't our style at all – we took everyone up into the woods on a candle-lit procession to a roaring bonfire.

It was an emotionally exhausting day, but it was worth it to show how much we meant to each other.

The civil partnership also gives us the comfort of knowing we are not going to be discriminated against. We're now Mrs and Mrs; no one can take that way from us.