Historic religious school hosts its first same sex marriage
ABOUT 100 years ago, the Abbey of the Roses was a training ground for nuns.
It typified a life of strict adherence to religious code, conservative ideas and the primacy of the bible.
But over the years the building - and its occupants - evolved and that change marked a significant milestone when the Abbey hosted its first same sex marriage ceremony at the weekend.
Brett Gale and Joseph Swanson tied the knot at the quaint ceremony in front of the Abbey's imposing gothic doors on Saturday, September 22.
The building's owner Sonia Hunt thinks the nuns of old would have loved the ceremony.
"I see it as a pride in the building, I think the nuns were very forward thinking and it's all about love," she said.
"It's about the Abbey progressing into the future, who knows what it will be like in the future.
"We have had commitment ceremonies before but this is the first same sex marriage."
The ceremony was a short affair with both men arriving in separate cars and walking down the aisle together.
Local photographer Adrian Mayers was there to capture the day.
"It was really nice," Mr Mayers said.
"Being my first same sex marriage I didn't know what to expect.
"Every wedding is different, they all have their own feel and other than the two men walking down the aisle together it was no different from any other wedding I've photographed."
Shortly after same sex marriage bill was legalised, the wedding industry braced for a rush of work, but Mr Mayers said the hype was premature.
"That's the only same sex marriage I've booked," he said.
"Like a lot of people in the industry we expected a big influx of those wedding, but it hasn't happened.
"Maybe it's that they are still planning their wedding or they just wanted the right to marry."