When you can not only see the love… you can truly FEEL it!!
Over the last 18 months, I have married some awesome couples… with awesome ‘stories’. All ceremonies are special… but a few make you dance on the inside as a celebrant.
Last year, I had a lovely couple Cody and Emel contact me and ask me to marry them… I was excited and nervous, as they became the first couple I ever married, which was and remains to be super special. When we first caught up and were going through the ceremony and talking about the ‘legal’ aspects, they spoke of one of Cody’s sister Kirsty, who was in a long term ‘Same Sex’ relationship, I knew I would truly dread saying ‘those words’, during the ceremony...
Before Cody and Emel’s ceremony, I meet Kirsty who introduced me to her lovely partner Amber. Being my first ceremony… I was obviously nervous, but also felt embarrassed to be saying the monitum, as below… and could not look at Kirsty and Amber during this time; I felt like I was slapping both of them in the face.
“Marriage according to Australian law is the union of a man and a woman, to the exclusion of all others that is voluntarily entered into for life’
After the ceremony I had a really good chat to Amber and she remarked how she hatted those words, but understood they must be said. I learnt that they had been together for almost two decades and had a beautiful daughter together. They loved each other, they were truly a family, in every sense of the word that matters!
I had a fantastic first year as a celebrant, which could only be topped by the huge number of bookings and amazing weddings I had penciled in for 2018… I was loving this ‘gig’ (still can’t call it a job)... I only had one Saturday free in the 2018 dry season, and I had it crossed off for bookings, as it would be our (Brett’s and my) first wedding anniversary.
The laws passed and I received a call from Kirsty, who said ‘you married my brother’ and I was wondering whether you would be free for… 21 July 2018. I had a chat to my husband Brett and he said 'go for it', but I knew straight away I couldn’t say ‘no’... (lucky he knows me), nor did I want to, this couple had waited almost 20 years for this day… so glad I ticked ‘yes’ box, but also said ‘yes’ to marrying this awesome couple… WHAT A WEDDING!!!
We caught up a few times before the wedding; the first catch up included completing and signing the ‘notice of intended marriage’. This felt like a momentous occasion to me, so I’m sure did for Kirsty and Amber… a short few months before, this couple did not have the legal right to complete this form.
On the long awaited day, I arrived early and was instantly impressed… their ‘Bush block’ turned into a spectacular rural wedding destination. Their gardens immaculate (a 10 year labor of love), their ‘paddock’ turned into the ultimate campground for their interstate guests. A beautifully built bar area and lounge, styled by the talented ladies from Two Seasons Co and the atmosphere being enhanced by the vocals and music played by a two piece band, Ange and Ken known as 'Wicked Smile' (who are absolutely lovely). Mon from My View NT on hand to capture the magic, the feels, of this special day. I set up and went inside to meet the ladies.
The whole family were inside the house, mothers, fathers, children, brothers… excitement and a few nerves were in the air.
When ‘it was time’ Kirsty and Amber's daughter walked out their front door, with Kirsty’s step dad and Amber's mum, followed by Kirsty escorted by her mother Julie from one side of the house and Amber being escorted by her father Tony from the other side.
They all meet in the middle, their parents linked arms and walked down the aisle, which was just beautiful!
Kirsty and Amber embraced, their guests, their biggest supporters cheered and then they had a little ‘boogie’ down the aisle.
The ceremony was filled with laughter, cheers, a few wolf whistles and many tears of joy... (that soon dried with the next laughs). I will never forget reading the new monitum...
“Marriage according to Australian law (big pause) is the union of two people, to the exclusion of all others, which is voluntarily entered into for life”
I teared up, the lump in your throat, that you have to push away.... momentarily feeling like a rock star, instead of a celebrant… with the guests erupting into cheers and wolf whistles as I spoke ‘these words’… this recognition... meant so much, to not only Kirsty, Amber and their daughter, but all their supporters, to many guests who had been in similar circumstances and were unable to enjoy the same legal rights as many other Australians. This was what they fought for! Right there, in that moment ‘equality’ makes complete and utter sense and to be honest, I believe if some ‘no’ voters could of experienced the FEELS in that ceremony, they would have changed their vote!
Equality feels really good…. It feels fair…. and what an awesome time to have become a celebrant; seeing and experiencing this change in legislation, in a way, not many people get the chance to.
I have now married many same sex couples, two of which have been together for almost/over two decades! These beautiful humans have waited so long for this to happen so it really needs to be celebrated and we know how to do that in the Northern Territory.
Kirsty and Amber partied the night away, their guests enjoying an amazing show by 'Drag Territory'. I'm sure there were a few sore heads the next day!
These two are truly 'sole mates', they an amazing family.... and know how to party!!
Wedding Cake- Carolynne Murrell