Purfleet, by Rebekah Chilvers, June 11, 2017

London Pride 2017.
London Pride 2017.

It’s now been two-and-a-half weeks since my older sister tied the knot with her partner of 10 years, and it’s still difficult for me to remember she is no longer a Chilvers, or a Miss.

I imagine it will take a while to adjust to that, but once I’ve got that sorted, I can focus on the wonderful memories I will have from that beautiful day.

Don’t get me wrong though, it certainly wasn’t a stress-free occasion.

People always say that a wedding can be one of the most stress-inducing events in your life, but I don’t think I fully understood how much this was true until the weeks leading up to it – and on the day itself.

There are so many things involved in planning a wedding, and, as the maid of honour, I tried to take on my fair share of organising duties as well.

This was well worth it when I saw how happy the newlyweds looked on their big day – even the last few heart-racing minutes before the ceremony when my mum and I were making sure my sister was ready to go.

But of all the stories I have recalled to my colleagues, there is one in particular which has stuck in their minds.

Anyone who has ever witnessed the intrigue of young children when it comes to alcohol may be able to predict this one.

But let’s just say two young guests at the wedding were caught red-handed sipping more ‘juice’ than they should have been, which may have resulted in one of them feeling a little under the weather for a proportion of the evening...

It’s one of those things which you can look back on and laugh but at the time it’s safe to say there were some rather displeased parents.

In spite of this, it is a day I will remember forever – although I am sad that it is now all over, having looked forward to it for the best part of a year.

And now I look to summer and all that comes with it – the holidays, festivals and celebrations of the sunny – hopefully! – days.

This past weekend I went to London to join in with the Pride festivities. It was my first ever Pride and I can honestly say I’ve never been to anything like it.

Thousands took to the streets in London to celebrate the freedom to be who they are and it was wonderful. There was an abundance of rainbows, glitter, colour and smiles.

Although I do not personally identify as LGBT+, I always feel welcome as part of the community, just as someone who supports the cause and hopes for true equality for all. These events are still important as inequalities still exist – both here and abroad.

Pride marked 50 years since homosexuality was legalised and this year’s theme was Love Happens Here.

Maybe I’m naive but I still find it hard to believe that both of my parents were alive when this change in law came into effect – I feel like it should be more archaic.