After Marrying Pattie Boyd, George Harrison Warned Couples They Needed to Do This Before Getting Married

Article Highlights:

  • George Harrison and Pattie Boyd’s low-key registry office wedding
  • The Beatle gives some marriage advice
  • The benefits of being married, according to Harrison
George Harrison (1943 - 2001) of The Beatles holds hands with his wife, model Pattie Boyd, circa 1970.
George Harrison (1943 – 2001) of The Beatles with his wife, model Pattie Boyd, circa 1970 | Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The Beatles‘ George Harrison married model Pattie Boyd on January 21, 1966 after dating for two years. They had an intimate wedding at a registry office in Surrey, England. Here’s a look at what the ceremony was like that cold day in January, and what Harrison’s advice was to couples looking to get married themselves.

George Harrison and Pattie Boyd’s wedding

Harrison and Boyd tied the knot at a registry office in Surrey. In attendance were the couple’s families, Paul McCartney, and Brian Epstein (The Beatles’ manager and Harrison’s best man). Ringo Starr and John Lennon were out of town.

In her memoir, Wonderful Tonight, Boyd writes that she didn’t want a small wedding:

“Not the most glamorous place, it was not the wedding I had dreamt of – I would have loved to be married in church, but Brian didn’t want a big fuss. They all trusted him so implicitly that when he said it should be a quiet register office wedding George agreed. He also said it had to be secret – if the press found out, it would be chaotic.”

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Despite the small ceremony, Boyd and Harrison were both dressed to the nines.

“I bought a Mary Quant pinky-red shot-silk dress,” wrote Boyd, “and I wore it with creamy stockings and pointy red shoes. On top, because it was January and cold, I wore a red fox-fur coat, also by Mary Quant, that George gave me. She made George a beautiful black Mongolian lamb coat.”

George Harrison on married life

In 1966, the Evening Standard did a profile on newlywed Harrison in his and Boyd’s home. He told writer Maureen Cleave that he met Boyd while making a film. He said he married her “because I loved her and because I was fed up not being married. 22 is the normal age for people to get married. That’s when a petrol pump attendant gets married though he hasn’t got all these people looking at him,” as recorded in the book George Harrison on George Harrison.

He went on to give all couples considering marriage the following advice.

“We’re a match for each other,” he said. “People should know everything about each other before they get married; I’d like you to put that in my article. Not almost everything, but really everything. You must spill it out and get it off your chest like going to the psychiatrist. That’s the great thing about a wife, you see. She’s your best friend.”

The Beatle said he only acquired taste after getting rich and marrying Pattie Boyd

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The musician noticed an improvement in his taste for the finer things in life.

“The natural thing when you get money is that you acquire taste,” he said. “I’ve got a lot of my taste off Pattie. You get taste in food as well; instead of eggs and beans and steak you branch out into the avocado scene. I never dreamt I would like avocado pears. I thought it was like eating bits of wax—fake pears out of a bowl—when I saw people shoving it down.”

There were many benefits to being married in Harrison’s eyes. He also appreciated the permanency and companionship.

“The great thing about getting married, you see, is that everything’s different,” he said. “Before I used to think—there’s Pattie cooking my dinner in my pots and pans. Now, they’re her pots and pans and this house is a home.”