Honeymoon supermoon

So Emma and I had a civil partnership.

It wasn’t really planned, but paperwork so that we can legally both be parents of the kid/s we’re planning on having. For the months beforehand I consistently went on about how it was ‘just bureaucracy’ and how it didn’t mean anything about our relationship. It was booked for the not-very-romantic hour of ten past nine on a Tuesday morning in Manchester, my parents and her mum were the only guests and I honestly thought it was no big deal.

And then the day came and it was actually huge and as I said words of love and commitment to Emma I couldn’t contain all the emotion I felt. Neither could she – we both of us cried the entire way through. This was so much bigger than I’d expected. I have my strongly-held political views about legal partnership/marriage, including some pretty strong feelings that marriage/civil partnership should not be a prerequisite for non-birth parenting and the oppressive heteronormativity of the entire thing. And also a real belief that partnering for life shouldn’t be seen as the peon of emotional achievement.

But none of that could alter the fact that I was there in a room in front of our parents swearing an oath to stick with Emma through the joys and challenges of our lives, to respect her, to love her always. It was bloody powerful. It didn’t matter what we were doing there – I needed a ceremony, a celebration, a ritual, something to mark the culmination of two years of really hard work and falling deeper in love with every new challenge.

Then a champagne brunch and presents and lots of excited chatter about life and love and it was all over. We headed home to begin our honeymoon. Part one was to climb to Gaddings Dam, the stunning reservoir on top of the Todmorden moors – to swim, camp, make a fire, share a bottle of bubbly. This was the place where we first said ‘I love you’ and where we got together properly after a few weeks of hot hot sex and ‘but I want to be single!’ confusion.

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It was the full moon, and it was a supermoon. It rose slowly in the sky that evening, beautiful and huge and so damn meaningful, and in the morning, it was still there, over the other side of the water, mirroring the rising sun.

I have no words to describe Gaddings Dam – it’s my favourite place in the entire world and I’ll miss being able to go as often as I like now I’ve moved to Manchester. I wanted to share some photographs to celebrate the events of September and to say goodbye to a local spot where so many happy memories have been made.

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Part 2: All change…

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  1. Ellen says:

    Sometimes you have to shove all the political and feminist ideologies aside and embrace the fact you are the blushing, crying bride
    Congrats. This is really a beautiful place to celebrate you honeymoon

  2. chloetarot says:

    Beautiful, Beth! I always used to think it was daft to cry at weddings, for some of the reasons you gave. Yet, when my mum got married again ten years ago, I cried. It was so beautiful, and their love for each other was so obvious… I’m glad you had such a moving ceremony, and a fun and uplifting honeymoon!

    • Little Red says:

      Yeah… I always cry at weddings. The fact that people have so much love for each other and are expressing it (however they do it) is just a damn gorgeous thing in itself, no matter what.

  3. Bobby says:

    Congratulations Beth and Emma! Ceremony has a way of reaching us and stirring our emotions through the collective unconscious, and there is little we can do about it! Enjoy those tears! I am not really into marriage as an institution, but there are very good things about partnerships and rights. When NZ passed the Equal Marriage bill, the whole of parliament burst into a waiata, (song),before the reading was finished. My daughter who worked really hard for this to happen, was there in the gallery, and I was howling my eyes out from across the Cook Strait! Check this:


    Who wouldn’t cry?

    I really enjoyed your boat trip reports, and envy you those English canals. One day I will be back. Many many blessings to two beautiful people xox Bobby

    • Little Red says:

      I think the happy years are pretty much in the bag but I can’t guarantee the gorgeous kids Willow… 😛

  4. Jen says:

    Ah!! Reading this made so much sense to me… My manfriend and I have finally picked a date. I had started this marriage business downplaying its importance, but the hugeness of our commitment has started to sink in. It’s a wonderful thing. Congratulations to both of you!!! <3 <3 <3

    • Little Red says:

      Thanks Jen! And congratulations to you guys too – on just being damn well in love if nothing else. It’s so confusing!

      In the almighty words of Autostraddle…
      *so many feelings*

  5. Kristel says:

    Congratulations Beth and Emma. Stumbled across your blog whilst looking for something else and was overjoyed to read about your ceremony. Iain and I always thought you were a fabulous couple and we hope you have lots of adventures and happy times ahead. Loved the photos of Gaddings Dam – I also like wild swimming and recommend Lumb Falls as another magical place.Sorry I missed you leaving Todmorden but was enjoying wild places in Canada at the time. All the best for your new life in Manchester and hope we can come and visit.xx

    • Little Red says:

      Thank you Kristel! Em and I met so many wonderful people on the marina – it’s a place we’ll never forget. Lots of love and happiness to you guys too xxxxx

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