“We met the way most gay men do these days: we found each other chatting on an app,” said David of meeting his fiancé Gordon four-and-a-half years ago. The couple chatted a couple of times online, over a period of two or three weeks. “Yeah, things went quiet between chats,” said David. “And, then Gordon asked me to lunch.” Said Gordon: “David was a bit formal, really; almost like a business meeting!”

But, after an “enjoyable” time together over lunch, David made his way back to work to discover that Gordon had texted an invite for drinks later that evening. “I’ve never had two dates in one day!” Their second date was marked by a rare summer night in Manchester, which is very uncommon in the UK. What was also uncommon was that the formality of their date continued. “All he got was a peck on the cheek,” David said laughing.

But, the dating momentum continued with a more rollicking evening at the Gay Village in their hometown of Manchester, UK. “That evening culminated in a very nice kiss, I seem to remember,” said David.

“There was something that clicked between us from very early days.”

Very soon after meeting, Gordon’s mother passed away, which brought the two together quickly. “We went through a really difficult time together,” said Gordon. It is no surprise that the two spent more and more time together, forging a really strong bond. That said it wasn’t for two-and-a-half years that they moved in together!

When it came time to get engaged, Gordon was completely surprised. Many moons prior, when gay marriage became legal in the UK, David mentioned he didn’t think he’d marry. Not that he wouldn’t be together with Gordon “living as we were,” but just not married. Quite the red herring, it turned out!!

What made David “change his mind” was a trip to Europride in Amsterdan. The two had a fantastic weekend together which underlined to David that “this is the man I want to spend the rest of my life with and I need to make this more permanent.” And he set out to plan the engagement and went through, as he said, 100 different scenarios for getting engaged “in style.”

Turned out that the Manchester Pride, weeks after their trip to Amsterdam, would be the ideal time and place. A gay pride parade would certainly deliver said “style” in spades.

David is friendly with a group called the Village Bakers – an LGBTQ social baking group. The bakers were to be included in the parade and David arranged with them to present Gordon with a cake frosted with the proposal. “They were overexcited about the idea!” David also arranged for Gordon’s family to be present for the proposal.

“I could see them coming along in the parade and my heart rate was absolutely pounding!” The bakers - who were dressed as Hansel & Gretel as part of a Once Upon Time theme for their float - presented the cake to Gordon who took it in a very matter of fact manner, but when it sunk in he turned to find David, now on bended knee with a ring in his hand. “I said yes immediately. I didn’t have to think about it.” And, the surrounding crowds burst into cheers and the couple spend the rest of the pride weekend celebrating. By the end of the weekend, Gordon was asking David for a wedding date.

David and Gordon are getting married in September this year and they are “well ahead on it” planning wise. Their ceremony will be at Ordsall Hall, a Tudor manor near Manchester. Then, they will celebrate true to form with a dance party presided by a drag queen DJ! “Hopefully the party is going to be one that people will remember for a long time to come,” said David.

Parties, parades and pride should be the hallmarks of every engagement!