By Amber Ray
Updated March 30, 2014 at 02:38 PM EDT
Credit: Steven Lawton/FilmMagic

Elton John and partner David Furnish are getting married.

The pair, who have been in a British civil partnership for eight years, plan to wed now that gay marriage has been legalized in England. The ceremony is set for May.

Furnish broke the news at John’s 67th birthday party at Fizz Las Vegas on Friday. “We don’t feel the need to take an extra step legally,” he told the Las Vegas Review Journal. “But since we’re committed for life, we feel it’s really important to take that step, and take advantage of that amazing change in legislation. We all live by example.”

The plan is to have a small ceremony involving the couple’s two children, Zachary, 3, and Elijah, 16 months. It will be very different from the $2 million reception they held following their civil union in 2005.

“We do like big parties,” Furnish said. “But with the kids, everything is different. I think what we’ll do is go to a registry office in England in May, and take the boys with us, and a couple of witnesses.”