Marriage equality and rethinking the wedding celebration!

Jan 9, 2018

A wedding celebration to reflection who you really are.

With the Marriage Act amendments passing Parliament, we at Videoboutique have never been as excited to be a part of the wedding industry. But with this excitement comes responsibility and the need for a new approach.

Let me explain.

We’ve shot a lot of weddings in our ten years of wedding videography, from traditional weddings involving cultures and religions from all parts of the world, to civil services on yachts, barns and even backyards. We’ve had brides arrive on a tractor and even had much-loved family pets walked down the aisle. Out-of-the-ordinary moments like these are what make each wedding unique and special. And it’s these unique touches that we strive to capture, it’s what gets us excited.

In the past we have shot a number of ceremonies between same sex couples. They were amazing ceremonies because even though Australia would not legally recognise their bond at the time, these couples quite naturally wanted to express it formally in front of their friends and family, despite the lack of legal recognition. We always knew that there were other same sex couples who were missing out on having the wedding day they wanted and they were excluded by law from having that opportunity.

Now that’s all changed.

“In a few days I marry a beautiful gay couple who have been together for 44 years, supporting each other incredibly through so many ups and downs,” wedding celebrant Matt Finch tells me (http://mattfinchcelebrant.com.au/). “It seems that it’s hard for them to get their heads around the fact that yes, the discrimination by law has officially vanished, that they really can get married. It’s like a fantasy that couldn’t possibly be true, but really is.”

Bronte Price, a gay celebrant who also specialises in same sex marriages (https://gaycelebrant.melbourne/) is now flooded with requests by LGBTI couples wanting to get married. He assured me, in a recent discussion about the amendments to the Marriage Act and their effect on the industry, that “if service providers think that it’s simply business as usual with LGBTI couples then they may be in for bit of a shock with some couples.”

Sure, some LGBTI couples will opt for a more traditional style of wedding, with the walk down the aisle, the exchange of rings, the vows and the first dance, but now that the doors are wide open, many are keen that their ceremony and celebration express the uniqueness of who they are and what they share. And there is no formula for the way that will be expressed. We are starting from a clean slate. Even the very language we take for granted as describing most of the weddings we’re used to – bride, groom, bridesmaids, groomsmen, husband and wife – will need to evolve to accommodate the many variations that an LGBTI ceremony can encompass.

“Many same sex couples I’ve spoken to don’t know exactly how they will go about developing a marriage ceremony that expresses who they are,” Bronte insists, “because most gay people would never have dreamt that such an opportunity (to marry someone of the same sex) would ever have become possible.”

There’s no template.

So we realise at Videoboutique that we have to be ready to accommodate new styles of wedding ceremonies that will fly in the face of convention. This is an exciting and challenging task to be approached with respect.

Bronte emphasises the need “to ask more questions than ever and not presume anything. For example what sort of relationships do the couples share and how do they relate to each other? Are they husband/husband, wife/wife or spouse/spouse? Even bucks and hens nights, traditionally divided along gender lines, will be redefined in lots of cases.”

We can’t ever take anything for granted. The real exciting thing about the change to the marriage laws is that it’s placed a greater focus on the individuality of the couple. It may take a while for the industry to evolve and adapt. In fact, I suspect, that it will always be a constant learning experience for us. One full of exciting surprises with fresh, ever changing, creative potential for our wedding videography.

Matt is also excited by what the new laws really mean. “Rather than days gone by of being told you must endure a boring, impersonal ceremony, today your wedding can be packed with elements that reflect you, your partner and your relationship. Ceremonies with relevance and fun and meaning! And what better way to celebrate the love that you have found than to celebrate it in a way that actually suits you!? ”

“We’ll be exchanging watches, rather than rings,” Bronte told us excitedly, “when Clint and I get married. But,” he added with a wicked grin, “we’re still planning.”