Updated: Apr 5
Now that the dust has settled, and marriage equality has finally been realised in Australia, some couples who could not previously get legally married are finally able to tie the knot.
Like many of my colleagues, I'm thrilled I can finally, and legally, marry all couples, equally. However, finding the right wedding suppliers can be tricky. I believe that choosing a celebrant you feel comfortable with is particularly important as it's the most intimate part of the day.
Amy and Rachael got married surrounded by lout cheering from their family and friends. It was such an emotional build up to their wedding day and I loved working with them to capture their story and make sure it was all presented with the the right tone.
Amy & Rachael's wedding day was full of fun, love & family
Sadly, in my opinion, there is still a bit of a sting in the ‘marriage – equality’ tail. That’s because celebrant's may, if they wish, elect to be registered as ‘Religious Celebrants’ who can then refuse to marry same-sex couples on the basis of freedom of religion.
If you've found a celebrant who you think might be 'perfectly matched' to marry you, it might be worth checking that they're registered simply as a ‘Marriage Celebrant’ on the Attorney General’s Registrar. This means that they are obliged to marry ALL couples because under Australian law, sex or gender no longer affects the right to marry.
There have also been rumours of marriage celebrants NOT correctly stating 'The Monitum,' which was changed to say that "Marriage in Australia is the union of two people." Celebrant's who do not correctly recite this passage during their wedding ceremonies should be reported to the Attorney General's website here.
A number of LGBTI friendly wedding directory’s have popped up over the past few years. Some of these are wonderful and allow you to talk directly to professionals who specifically want to work with same sex couples.
For example, ‘Mr Theodore’ was founded in Australia in 2016. It shares real weddings stories which offer inspiration to the LGBTIQA+ community planning their wedding day. The founders of this stylish platform see it as an opportunity for a community that has otherwise been largely unrepresented in the wedding space to find vendors. Interestingly, they also report many heterosexual couples using their directory too.
Sharon Palmieri, of 'Martini Bride, another excellent platform, sees it all from a different angle.
“Being in a same sex marriage myself, I can't wait to be able to simply talk about 'marriage', as opposed to ‘gay – marriage.’ Martini Bride stands for equality, but it’s not a same-sex directory. I’ve fought hard to be a part of the general community and want my gay couples to have the choice of the best celebrants, photographers, florists and cake makers as all my straighty -180 couples.” Sharon Palmieri
Of course, taking time to do your own research is probably the best advice.
It's important to speak with all your suppliers to see if you get along - maybe check if you can make a time to meet online or in person and have some questions ready for them. You want to feel comfortable but also get the feeling they are professional and really passionate about what they do.
I would also check out their reviews online, especially on platforms like Google or directly on wedding directories. (It would be easier for a supplier to edit reviews their own website. My Google reviews are here.
Follow their socials (Instagram & Facebook.) For instance, I display the ‘Marriage Equality’ logo, designed specifically so that members of the LGBTI community, and also those who support marriage equality, can easily find celebrants who will welcome their business.
I also talk about why marriage is so close to my heart here.
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