How to find a same-sex friendly marriage celebrant? (For queer, same sex & LGBTQ weddings!)
Updated: Sep 14, 2021
When I was a little girl, my Mum explained the term "a friend of Dorothy’s.' That was the discreet, (now super old-fashioned, but kind of cute?) term for gay, LGBTQ, lesbian, queer...
For me, becoming a celebrant was inspired by the fact that marriage equality was inevitable. I could never have married people if things had remained the way they were & I really wanted to be a part of that change.
I grew up in a family where both of my parents are gay. There’s a long and interesting story about how that came to be (they got married & had 3 kids thinking they were both straight!) and also a really happy & positive outcome for our whole family.
So What Should We Look For?
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 (below) got married surrounded by loud 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 perfect way for them!
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, ‘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.
Jimmy & Con's intimate wedding vows were touching and funny
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 and of course check out their website - 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.
One Last Thing....
I celebrate life at every stage.
As Co-Founder & Head of Memorials at Tomorrow Funerals, I am passionate about advocating for LGBTIA acceptance and equality within the funeral industry, which in itself is generally fairly old fashioned. In fact, we believe a fundamental change in the Australian funeral industry is long overdue – it is this belief that has inspired our unique cremation & memorial only package.
Find out more about my approach to queer friendly funerals here.
For more information check email me at email@example.com
OR Call on 0414 475 642
SHE / HER / HERS / HERSELF
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