On Dec. 21, 2014, Elton John married his longtime partner David Furnish during a lavish ceremony hosted at the couple’s Windsor estate.

The nuptials had been decades in the making. The men originally met in the early '90s at a get-together hosted by John.

“In 1993, I went back to my house in Windsor for a while," he recalled in a 2010 interview with Parade. "I wanted to meet new people, so I rang up a friend in London and said, ‘Could you please rattle some new people together for dinner here Saturday?'”

Furnish was one of the dinner party attendees, and the chemistry between the two was evident from the start. “I was attracted to David immediately," John noted. "He was very well dressed, very shy. The next night we had dinner. After it, we consummated our relationship. We fell in love very quickly.”

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Before meeting Furnish, John was a serial dater. "I always had to be with someone, good or bad, otherwise I didn’t feel fulfilled,” he admitted. “I’d always choose someone younger. I wanted to smother them with love. I’d take them around the world, try to educate them. One after another they got a Cartier watch, a Versace outfit, maybe a sports car. They didn’t have jobs. They were reliant on me. I did this repeatedly. In six months they were bored and hated my guts because I’d taken their lives and self-worth away.”

Part of what drew John to Furnish was that he was completely different than the singer’s previous significant others. “He had a real job, his own apartment, a car. He was independent," John explained. "I didn’t need to take care of him. I thought, ‘God, this is new territory for me — someone wants to be with me just because he likes me.’ I knew he was the one, because he is not afraid of me.”

After years of dating, the two were joined in civil union on Dec. 21, 2005. Exactly nine years later, they would marry, following the legalization of same-sex marriage in the U.K.

"Having our civil partnership was an incredible breakthrough for people that have campaigned for a long time - through the '60s and the '50s in England when it was so hard to be gay and hard to be open about it. And it was a criminal act,” John noted to the BBC at the time of legalization. "So, for this legislation to come through is joyous, and we should celebrate it. We shouldn't just say, 'Oh, well, we have a civil partnership. We're not going to bother to get married.' We will get married."

The wedding was a star-studded affair, with David and Victoria Beckham, Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne, Ed Sheeran and Hugh Grant among those in attendance. John was sure to give his fans a glimpse into the special occasion, posting pictures of the ceremony and its reception throughout the day.

Roses were prevalent throughout the decorations, having already been the theme of the invitation. “We had red roses at our Civil Partnership nine years ago, and they brought us so much luck," John explained in one of his Instagram posts.

Naturally, the wedding was big news in Britain, where it received an abundance of coverage in the national newspapers and tabloids. John welcomed the attention as not only a celebration of the love between himself and Furnish, but recognition of the groundbreaking law changes that allowed the two men to wed.

“We're utterly overwhelmed by and overjoyed by all the kind messages of support we've received from people around the world. Massive thanks to everyone from the bottom of our hearts!” he declared in a post-wedding message. “We're grateful and privileged to live in a country where it isn't illegal to be gay and where marriage equality is a reality. Let's all stand up for LGBT people living around the world who deserve the same rights.”

 

Elton John Through the Years