Today Rob and I celebrate our 4 year wedding anniversary.
It’s been 4 years since the best day of my life. Surrounded by our family and friends, we had the most incredible & special day. From my Mum coming all the way from Australia, to the amazing town hall for our ceremony and a beautiful hotel for our reception it all went off without a hitch but most of all the love we felt that day was amazing.
I have wanted to write something about the on-going struggle to legalise Gay Marriage in Australia for some time, it is so frustrating to hear pathetic arguments why two human beings in love can not marry like everyone else. So I thought I would share our wedding day with people to see that at the end of the day it’s all about that 4 letter word…..LOVE.
Rob & I met in May 2010 and pretty much knew in those early dating week’s that we were meant to be together. Sometimes it really is that simple.
A year later on our 1 year anniversary Rob proposed to me. Off course I said Yes! And so we got to planning our Wedding day, Saturday September 22, 2012.
I will never forget walking into the ceremony , we were met with a huge cheers and clapping. Everyone there was so happy for us.
Our guests knew this wasn’t just a wedding or a civil ceremony, we knew how lucky we were to have this opportunity for the same rules don’t apply to the gay community that the straight community can take for granted.
I had always wanted to get married and like having kids I had assumed that by being gay I wouldn’t have the option.
By law it wasn’t a “wedding” it was a civil ceremony but to us in every sense of the word it was the day we were able to commit to each other surrounded by those we love and celebrate with them.
Even when Rob asked me to marry him, although I said yes immediately I did wonder if we would end up having to get married in a council office with a couple of witnesses.
Planning the wedding was easy, well easier for me as Rob was brilliant at coordinating everything and me. We booked the venue’s first, the Town hall building right in the centre of town, a beautiful room (and while I couldn’t get married in a church, this was just as good) then our reception venue at Hilton, St Anne’s Manor.
Flowers, invitations (going bespoke is great if the person sticks to deadlines) and the build up from friends and family is brilliant.
The weeks leading up were very exciting, well apart from my Britney Spears haircut. I’d gotten a number one buzzcut 4 weeks before the wedding as my hair was annoying me. Unfortunately my hair didn’t grow back as quickly and I still regret it in the pics.
My Mum arrived from Australia on the 1st September 2012, her first trip outside Australia ever! Having her here was the dream and while I would have loved my brothers to have been here, I always knew it was a big ask to get them all the way to the UK.
The following weekend we had our stag parties, I went to Ascot Races for the day and Rob went paintballing and in the evening our we all met up for another party with all our friends together.
Soon the wedding was the next day, it poured with rain for most of the Friday but the forecast was for sunshine on Saturday, I crossed my fingers. We checked into the hotel with some family and several of our wedding guests. Amazingly I woke up on the Saturday and ran to the window like a kid at Christmas, it was beautiful blue sky and sunshine.( it poured with rain again on Sunday, so I felt someone up above was looking out for us)
The actual morning was very laid back, well being a bloke there isn’t much to do so I chilled back with a couple of glasses of bubbles and worked on my wedding speech while my best women got their hair & make up done.
Rob and I hadn’t seen each other since the night before, I love all those traditions. We agreed to meet in the lobby at 13:30. I was the last to leave the room, I looked in the mirror and said “you can do this!” The nerves had well and truly kicked in.
As I walked down the stairs (it reminded me of Titanic) I caught Rob’s eye and we both smiled. Tears filled our eyes and we hugged, like many couples we realised this was the day we get to get married, the build up feels like a lifetime before the big day finally arrives. Our mums started to cry, Rob’s son started to cry and our wedding party started to cry and we were all telling each other to not look at each other as it was making us cry more. It was hilarious!
We had a few photo’s then jumped in the limo to the town hall, we had to drive around the block as our guests were still arriving. As the town hall is right in the centre of town there were loads of people standing about watching, We all got out of the car and went inside, I did wonder how long people waited to see a bride’s car turn up, that still makes me laugh.
We went and met the register before walking to the corridor, our mums and wedding party all walked in and then we made our grand entrance holding hands. The whole room cheered and clapped, Rob and I looked at each other and couldn’t believe how lucky we were.
The ceremony was even better than I had imagined and we got all the words right, I thought I was going to panic and forget what to say but the Registrar was fantastic. She said afterwards it was the best wedding she had overseen…..Gay or Straight!
We walked out of the Town Hall and I had never felt so proud to hold Rob’s hand in public, in our eyes we were married and we wanted the world to know.
The reception memories are all about our speeches. Yes the food was great, the music and dancefloor were great and the company was amazing but the speeches are the things people still talk about. We had a fair few speeches, from our best friends who spoke about us as they knew us when we were single, how we came out and how we had met each other. Then our Mum’s both spoke; Rob and I share something quite sad in common, we both lost our dad’s at the age of 24. But while this was sad we both shared great memories of them.
Our Mothers are probably our greatest fans, and both of them can hold the floor, they told stories that were funny, (embarrassing) sad and a bit of both. I looked around the room and saw people wiping tears away, people I hadn’t seen cry before ever. There was a genuine feeling of love through the room that night and still people say to us it was the best wedding they have been to. Not Gay wedding, just wedding.
Rob and I had a moment outside later in the night, we sat together outside and looked into the room where our guests were and we talked about how amazing it was to be married, what a great day it was and how happy we both were. A Totally unforgettable night!
Several years later on the anniversary of our 1st date we made it more official with the Paper exercise (the council’s term, not mine) where we “upgraded” (yes another term not of my choosing) our civil ceremony to a full Marriage and received a new certificate backdated to our civil ceremony date. We were now legally married . A law brought in by UK parliament in March 2014.
Yes because this is the United Kingdom, who allow same sex couples to marry and for some time now have allowed civil ceremonies before the law changed again for the better.
But unfortunately in Australia the law is still in the dark ages, Civil Ceremonies are the closest thing to marriage.
Now as an Australian by birth I am deeply ashamed to say that same sex marriage has still NOT been legalised in Australia. This also includes a ban on the recognition of same-sex marriages entered into by Australians overseas. So although I have both an Australian and British passport our marriage is considered nothing in Australia.( well maybe not nothing but definitely not equal to straight marriages)
Right now politicians of Australia are arguing amongst themselves, over a Plebiscite?!
What the hell is a Plebiscite, you ask?!
The oxford dictionary states a plebiscite as “The direct vote of all the members of an electorate on an important public question such as a change in the constitution”
Yes it’s everything the gay community fears and does not deserve …..a public vote on whether they should be allowed to marry or not.
Can you imagine being told all the people with blue eyes can get married but if you have brown eyes we have different rules.so we will run expensive campaign’s for both and let the nation decide. Maybe not quite the same but the message is clear.
That’s a public vote for anyone eligible to vote. Oh and the estimated cost for this is $160 million!! Can you imagine what this could be spent on instead??
Now public votes used to a good thing, I remember back in the day when reality tv was new, the winner was usually the best, the favourite, the right choice but now public votes can go anyway.
I won’t mention Brexit as it still makes me angry but look at the Presidential vote in the USA, a few wrong votes towards trump and there is the new President of the USA, which is terrifying!!
But I digress. How can any country allow a decision based on two people wanting to commit their love for one another be given to millions of people who play no part in their lives.
So what are the other alternatives?
Simply parliament could have a free vote where individual politicians vote any way they like, and are not held to ransom by their political party. Many of them would if given the chance vote in favour of same sex marriage.
This would save millions and the politicians could get back to focusing on other issues
Perhaps the Prime Minister could find some care and compassion and take a look around at the number of countries already to have legalised Gay Marriage.
But more importantly look at the definition of love, look into your heart and see that what the world needs the most is Love. And Gay Marriage is not going to stop love it’s going to build the amount of love shared.
If the Australian Prime Minsiter or any of the other politicians need any help in deciding what to do next, I welcome them to read the above, look into the smiling faces and tell me how they define love, because Love is Love and we all deserve an equal chance to marry the one we love.