GREY skies and spitting rain didn't stop tens of thousands of fans from stepping out yesterday for the first big events of the Sydney Festival 2008.
Huddled under their umbrellas, people were spoilt for entertainment choices with a free concert in The Domain featuring Brian Wilson from the Beach Boys and Australian singer/songwriter Paul Kelly.
And three couples loved the idea of the festival so much they decided to get married among the crowds.
They started their unconventional wedding ceremony by marching down a red carpet in Macquarie Street.
Holly Ashby, heavily pregnant, and Dan Fish, from Britain, lined up with Imogen Kelly and Gerard Mahony, from Brisbane.
Wearing a long red satin gown with feathers, Ms Kelly jumped out of a giant pink wedding cake while Mr Mahony rode on a motorbike. Then Ms Kelly, a burlesque dancer, stripped down to reveal . . . well almost all.
Gay couple Greg Small and Avan Tiong, from Sydney, celebrated a "commitment ceremony" to the tune of a drag Kylie Minogue megamix.
At The Domain, Steven Gillespie, of Connells Point, said the last time he saw Wilson perform live was in the early '70s at the Sydney Sports Ground, now Aussie Stadium. His partner of four years Kerrie Lentfer said: "He's a romantic. When we first started dating he sang all the Beach Boys songs to me." (source)