Yorkshire's longest tunnel hosts first same-sex wedding

A couple have married underground in the first same-sex wedding to place at Standedge Tunnel near Huddersfield.

Kate and Rebecca married underground at Standedge Tunnel
Kate and Rebecca married underground at Standedge Tunnel

The 5km-long waterway is Britain's longest canal tunnel - and has been a licensed wedding venue since 2017. Couples can even arrive for their nuptials by barge.

Now it has hosted its first same-sex ceremony when Holmfirth couple Kate Stephenson and Rebecca Errett, both 36, tied the knot over Christmas.

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The pair met as students at the former Bretton Hall College of Education in Wakefield, where they both studied performance design and production.

The tunnel and visitor centre, which is run by the Canal and River Trust, stretches from Marsden to Diggle, crossing the border between Yorkshire and Greater Manchester. It was constructed in 1811.

Kate and Rebecca's ceremony had a Christmas theme with a carol-singing choir, fairy lights and a festive meal on sharing platters.

“We were looking for a venue that could host the ceremony and wedding breakfast in one location, but also somewhere that was typically Yorkshire in its essence and combined a rustic feel with some industrial heritage. We looked at many different locations but as soon as we set foot in Standedge we both realised it was our dream venue. Those dreams came true in the most amazing way. We’d like to thank all the Standedge staff who helped make it such as special day,” said Kate.

Weddings take place in the Thomas Bourne Room, which has exposed bricks, cast-iron colums, a wood-beamed ceiling and view of the Huddersfield New Canal. It holds 200 guests.