Saturday, 27 June 2015

No union is more profound

News from the United States overnight ensured that I woke up with a smile on my face. The US Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution’s guarantees of due process and equal protection under the law mean that same-sex marriage will now be legal in all 50 states. 

What a wonderful victory for love. 

When my husband and I married nearly two years ago, the moment that made the biggest impact on me was standing in front of all of those people (the people we love and respect most in the world) and telling them, ‘this is the person I choose.’ Just remembering that moment now gives me goosebumps.

You could argue that we didn’t need marriage to do that, but we wanted to be married. 

We yearned to be part of the tradition that had formed our own families for centuries. We wanted to make a public and documented affirmation of the way we feel about each other. We wanted to record our promises to love and support one another in the pages of history. 

For so long, these same rights have been denied to same-sex couples and I can't, for the life of me, understand why. I can't understand why, because I was born female and my husband male, our love is somehow considered more worthy of acknowledgement than that of another couple. When comprehension of that particular fact dawned on me, I cried.

This particular passage from the U.S. Supreme Court ruling eloquently expresses why the right to marry is so important:

Two people become something greater than once they were.

Such a little phrase and yet so true.

Marriage is a choice you make on your wedding day and continue to make each day thereafter. It is an acknowledgement that there will be tough times but that the best way through them is together. It is a resolution to support and love each other even on our most unlikeable days. It is an understanding that we are better together than we are alone and that with love, all things are possible. 

Through these vows, we hope for the best but promise to be there through the worst.

I eagerly await the day when marriage equality is achieved in Australia and all of my friends can, should they choose, experience that same rush I did when Dave and I were declared husband and wife. 

I want them to know the feeling of all-encompassing love and joy that we were surrounded with on our wedding day, from people who were simply happy that we had found each other. 

I want them to be able to proudly say 'my husband' or 'my wife' and have the world acknowledge the strength, love and support that lies within that single term.

United Kingdom Department for Culture, Media and Sport

The ruling overnight has given me heart. There’s still a long road to achieving marriage equality in Australia but I have hope that we’ll get there. 

With love, all things are possible.

It is so ordered.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

If Not For You - Robert + Linda

Dappled sunlight across a courtyard, the whisper of a breeze through the tall fir trees and the chime of happy voices. This was how Robert and Linda's wedding day began - and it only got better from there.

The elegant formal courtyard at Quat Quatta was the picture-perfect setting for their romantic early autumn wedding, although such was the weather, you'd be forgiven for thinking it was still summer. As guests arrived and began to fill the space, their voices formed a chorus of excited chatter, the volume growing as Linda's arrival drew nearer. Robert, full of nervous anticipation, paced the courtyard, eager to see his best friend and love of his life.

Linda arrived in classic style in a vintage convertible, her proud parents by her side. As her attendants fixed her stunning lace gown and whispered final words of love and luck, the smile on Linda's face only seemed to grow bigger. She exuded a radiance and grace that I had, through each of our encounters, come to know as pure Linda.

Her walk down the aisle on the arm of her Dad to an acoustic cover of George Harrison's If Not for You was greeted with sighs, oohs and aahs by friends and family and several few deep breaths (and perhaps a few tears) from Robert.

This is a couple that holds each other - and those they love - in the highest of regards. Judging by the way their family and friends reacted to the loving glances Robert and Linda shared, the love and regard Robert and Linda have for those around them is very much reciprocated.

Robert and Linda's ceremony was a personal and intimate celebration of the life and love they share, from their first meeting through to travelling the world and achieving major life goals together. Robert's uncle gave a reading composed of song lyrics from two of Robert and Linda's favourite artists and then it was time for the vows.

One of the best pieces of marriage advice I have ever heard is that love is a verb - a doing word. It is a choice you make on a daily basis and something you choose to keep doing. To thrive, love must be present in your actions.

Robert and Linda's vows embodied this philosophy. They spoke of love and appreciation, of acceptance and understanding and of celebrating small moments of intimacy.

Their first kiss as a married couple was long, lingering and seriously sexy - just as it should be!

It was my pleasure to stay on and conduct the formalities at their reception as their MC. It isn't often that I get to see the day unfold from start to finish and it was a delight to hear the touching (and hilarious) speeches given by their family and friends, to see the newlyweds take to the dance floor and to observe the loving glances that passed between the new husband and wife.

Best of all, though, was seeing the joy Robert and Linda so clearly felt reflected on the faces of those they love. Love, in all its forms, has such a powerful, contagious effect and it probably isn't a surprise to learn I didn't so much drive home, as float.

Congratulations again, Robert and Linda. What joy you gave me by inviting me into your lives, sharing your story and letting me share in this most magical of days. I wish you all the love and happiness your hearts desire.

Robert + Linda
Venue: Quat Quatta
Photos: Corey Sleap
Film: Lovely Day Films
Music: The White Tree
Celebrant: Koren Harvey

Wednesday, 17 June 2015