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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 November 2005, 15:59 GMT
Sir Elton plans 'private wedding'
Sir Elton John and partner David Furnish
Sir Elton John and David Furnish have been together for 12 years
Singer Sir Elton John has said he plans to wed partner David Furnish in a "very low-key" civil ceremony next month with only their parents as witnesses.

The couple are expected to tie the knot on 21 December, after gay civil partnerships become legal in England.

Sir Elton told Attitude magazine that the ceremony would be "very private" out of respect to the couple's parents, followed by an evening reception.

He added that they had "yet to work out" the full arrangements.

The couple had been expected to stage a lavish ceremony, with celebrity friends such as the Beckhams and actress Liz Hurley among their guests.

Sir Elton said the couple had decided to hold "a very small family affair" but predicted it would still be "an incredibly emotional day".

"The ceremony itself will be David's parents and my parents and the two of us," he said.

Law change

"They've been so fantastic to us and so supportive. Out of respect for their support, we want to just keep it small. Not to make a ballyhoo of the ceremony.

Sir Elton John
Sir Elton was pleased to be part of Live 8 but called it an anti-climax

"There will be a party somewhere, but the day will be very low-key and we'll take our parents to lunch afterwards."

Sir Elton's publicist Gary Farrow said 21 December was the "probable" date for the ceremony.

Under the Civil Partnership Act 2004, the first gay marriages can be staged on 21 December.

Canadian-born film-maker Furnish said the act was "hugely significant" for society.

"It is one of the defining issues of our times," he said.

"And I applaud Britain for embracing the diversity of our society."

The government has predicted that up to 22,000 gay couples will take civil partnership in the first five years.

Sir Elton previously married Renate Blauel in 1984 but they divorced four years later.


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