dancing with them  dwt   1
A historic estate with a modern twist in the heart of Gippsland Victoria, o ering you and your guests
a perfect and relaxed wedding day. An unforgettable ceremony under a shady tree or at the historic
Stables, breathtaking photo opportunities and a dreamy reception in our clear view marquee.
mewburnpark.com.au // info@mewburnpark.com.au
Hannah Gilbert Photographer

A historic estate with a modern twist in the heart of Gippsland Victoria, oering you and your guests
a perfect and relaxed wedding day. An unforgettable ceremony under a shady tree or at the historic
Stables, breathtaking photo opportunities and a dreamy reception in our clear view marquee.
mewburnpark.com.au // info@mewburnpark.com.au
Hannah Gilbert Photographer

dancing with them  dwt   1


dancing with them  dwt   1
dwt | 9
Dwayne & Karl
Why Can’t Men Hold Bouquets?
Jay & Jenna
Introducing, Shane Ave
Ian & Stephen
Things We Love
Lauren & Sam
Breaking Traditions
Matt & Zac - 10 Years of Marriage
Lily & Oscar
Katie & Kay
Rainbow Love
Abbey & Kate
Joel & Joseph
How to Choose Your Wedding Vendors
Dean & Sam
Lauren & Roya
Bobby & Joel
Brighton Romance
The Directory

dwt | 10
We did it! Welcome to the launch edition of
Dancing With Them Magazine.
If you don’t already know our faces, we are
Arlia (right) and Tara (left), two long term
lovers who’ve been engaged for a smidge over
three years. When Tara proposed to Arlia, we
were quick to discover a wedding industry
full of heteronormative, gendered, traditions,
and expectations. We didn’t see ourselves
represented, and that was disheartening. We
launched our other platform, Dancing With
Her, to inspire other couples like us but always
felt that we needed to extend what we were
doing to include the wider LGBTQ+ community.
So, Dancing With Them was born. A publication
that celebrates all LGBTQ+ love, authentically
and with a whole lot of heart.
We wholeheartedly believe that all love
deserves to be celebrated.
This Volume has so much love poured into
it. The couples featured have shared some
incredible stories of love, engagements,
weddings, gender, and everything in between.
We get to explore one couple’s journey through
ten years of marriage and another as they
transitioned gender during their relationship.
We get the opportunity to share some of the
most beautiful weddings from around the
world - from Dwayne and Karl’s emotional
Baltimore wedding ceremony to Ian and
Stephan’s dapper, two-tux, wedding in Canada.
Lauren & Roya’s epic sunset proposal will have
you tearing up with happiness and Dean and
Sam’s steamy at-home session, inspiring you
to book your very own with your lover.
We are so proud of what this celebrates.
We know you’re going to love it, cover to cover.
We want to take a quick opportunity to say a
giant thankyou to the people that brought this
issue to life. From the lovers who so openly
shared their stories, photographers who
have shared their art and the contributors
and wedding professionals who helped these
pages come to life in one way or another,
thank you.
As always, thank you, reader. Thanks for
supporting our work. Because of you, we can
share these incredible stories of LGBTQ+ love
with the world.
This volume is a community eort, and we are
so, so, thankful.
Photography by Tanya Volt
Arlia & Tara
Founders of Dancing With Them

dwt | 12
Tara Baker
Arlia Hassell
Sasha Sheehan
Love to the Core Photo, Eve Rox Photography, Bows and
Lavender, Elvira Kalviste, Maryland Photography, Sara Hannagan
Photography, Studio XIII Photography, Maria Bauer Photography,
Marissa Solini Photography, Tuesday Photography, Widman
Photography, Hannah Gilbert Photography, James Thorne, Be
Here Be Now Photos and Films, Fox & Kin, Kristyn Taulane, Silk
and Thorn, Stephanie Dreams Photography
Love to the Core Photo
Eve Rox Photography
P.O. Box 609
Coolangatta, QLD, 4225
Dancing With Them acknowledges the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of this nation. We acknowledge the people of the Bundjalung
Nation whose Land on which our company is located and where we primarily conduct our business. We pay our respects to Ancestors and Elders, past,
present and emerging. Dancing With Them is committed to honoring Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples unique cultural and spiritual
relationships to the land, waters and seas and their rich contribution to society.
© 2020 Dancing With Them™
All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without permission is strictly prohibited
Instagram | @shane.ave Facebook | @aveshane1

dancing with them  dwt   1
dwt   2     Hannah Gilbert Photographer

“Marriage is celebrating love for one
another and the willingness to accept each
other’s strengths and weaknesses.
It’s about sharing our individual outlooks
and growing through our shared
Oddly enough, marriage means freedom
to us. Freedom to live. Freedom to be
our authentic selves and knowing that
you have someone by your side who
understands when no one else does.
Marriage is loving someone who loves,
appreciates, and who gets you. It’s loving
someone who allows you to be you and
has the desire to reciprocate for life.
Marriage is also having a built-in dinner
and movie date for life - winning!”

dwt | 19
It was only a short eight months after their
engagement that Dwayne and Karl tied the
knot in a heartfelt and perfect ceremony,
surrounded by love.
Dwayne and Karl became a couple after
sliding into one another’s DMs over three
years ago. Little did they know, that not
long after, they would both start planning
their proposals.
On the weekend after Thanksgiving,
Dwayne decided to propose to Karl rst.
The couple spent the day visiting their
favorite places to eat and shop, and then
returned home to put up their Christmas
tree. Dwayne popped the question after
placing the nal trimmings on their newly
decorated tree. The ring was the nal
Planning their wedding was a great
experience that Dwayne and Karl will both
cherish for a lifetime, and they learnt so
many new things about one another in the
When asked about the inspiration for their
day, the grooms-to-be wanted everyone
to walk in and immediately know that it
was THEIR wedding. They blocked out the
noise of others’ opinions and decided on
a moody, minimalist and masculine look
that was fueled by purposeful thoughts
and ideas.
Choosing outts was a personal process
that was dierent for both men. Dwayne
changed his look three times in the lead
up! On the other hand, Karl’s choice was
much easier, as he selected a “classic” look,
an all black tuxedo, white tuxedo shirt and
white bow tie.
The couple delved into several DIY
projects, including creating a decal for
their tongue-in-cheek wedding sign which
stated, “Choose a seat not a side, we’re all
family once the knot is tied!”
On the morning of their big day they
started o with breakfast at their hotel:
the infamous Hotel Monaco, which they
said was “the perfect way to decompress
and prepare our minds for the day ahead.”
They then went and got fresh haircuts
from their barber and returned to their
hotel to get ready together.
Their photographers Corinne Thompson
and second shooter Alicia Wiley arrived
and started an afternoon of photo-taking
across various backdrops before the
ceremony began.
As promised, their ceremony began at 5:30
pm (5+3=8 and 8 equals new beginnings)
and it was exactly what they imagined
it would be! Their vows were ociated
by Rev. Laura Cannon who performed
a magical ceremony tailor-made just for
them. During the ceremony, Dwayne and
Karl purposely had their guests seated in a
circular design around them, because they
wanted to be surrounded by love.
Then guests enjoyed a dream cocktail
hour featuring many of the newlywed’s
favourites. Cue: endless fresh pizza, bacon
treats, donut burgers and their signature
cocktail: a watermelon jalapeno margarita!
During the cocktail hour, the couple
escaped for a memorable moment alone
to exhale and take in everything that had
just happened.
After switching into their custom Converse
Chuck Taylor sneakers, the newlyweds
joined their guests at the reception for a
wonderful night of toasts, dinner, dancing,
cake and laughter. There really couldn’t
have been a more perfect ending.

dwt | 21
Love to the Core Photo
Love and Luster
Copper Kitchen MD
Melvin Miles
David Yurman
Nordstrom, Bonobos
Morgan State Band, Michele Fowlin,
Ceremony Ociants
Tira Lynn Events
Select Event Group, White Glove Rentals,
Event Dynamics Inc
Mt. Washington Mill Dye House
dwt | 22
There is no reason why that wedding party
of yours can’t be made up of di erent
genders - if they’re the important people
in your life that you couldn’t imagine
marrying your best friend without, their
gender should not stop that.
This one is super simple - just use names
on your invitations instead of addressing
‘Mr, Ms, Mx, etc.’ We’d suggest popping the
names on the invites in alphabetical order
- super inclusive.
A hens night for just the ladies, a bucks
party for just the boys - boring! There’s a
pretty high chance your favorite people
are of mixed genders, so the parties you
throw before the main event should be
the same.
Need a more inclusive name for your pre-
wedding party? Just throw a bach party, or
an ‘I’m getting married’ celebration!
Florals are for everyone, and wedding
orals don’t just have to be in a bouquet.
Sure, you could have a oral boutonniere,
but you could also have orals in the hair
(including beards) or orals attached
to your attire creatively, like over the
You know that awkward tradition of
partnering up someone from each side
of the wedding party to walk down the
aisle together - just have your wedding
party walk down together as a group, as
individuals, or another creative way.
Bridal party, bridal suite, etc, it is an old
school thing to make weddings all about
the ‘bride.’ It’s super easy to use non-
gendered language like ‘wedding party’
and ‘wedding suite’ for these things.
Why can’t men hold bouquets?
Photography by Emma Weiss
dwt | 22
dwt | 23
This one is especially true for those whose
vendors are going to be there with you on
the day. Ask your wedding vendors to use
gender-neutral language for your guests -
it is a good reminder that pronouns can’t
be assumed.
...because there might not just be ladies
and gentlemen in the room - the employed
people who are working your wedding
night included. ‘Friends and Family’ or
something as simple as ‘Hey, Everyone’
also works as an all-inclusive option.
You could ask your guests for their
pronouns when they are RSVP’ing to your
wedding day. Print those pronouns on
place cards. This will especially make it
easy for guests who haven’t yet grasped
asking new people for their pronouns and
create a warm and inviting space for your
gender diverse guests.
We still can’t understand why gender-
specic bathrooms are important,
especially at an event like a wedding.
Ask your venue to remove any gendered
signage, or cover it up with something you
have created.
It might be a tradition for men to have their
rst dance with their mothers, and women
with their fathers, but we say throw that
tradition right out the window and dance
with whoever you want to dance with.
Maybe you only want a rst dance with
your new spouse; maybe you don’t want
to dance at all. You do you, whatever feels
dwt | 23
dancing with them  dwt   1
dwt   2     Hannah Gilbert Photographer

dwt | 27
After ditching their fantasy of a rad
do-it-yourself wedding day in an empty
warehouse because it was way too much
work, Jay and Jenna found their perfect
venue and unleashed a theme that was
appropriately and hilariously characterized
as ‘Earth Tones meets My Little Pony.’
Jay and Jenna met as roommates
in an awesome apartment, near
Dolores Park. However, after starting
to date and deciding to give love a
shot, they ditched the apartment in
a move that they say was 100% worth it.
The couple eventually made a home
together in New York but were back visiting
San Francisco. They found themselves on
a reminiscent walk through Dolores
Park. Jay had sneakily hid a diamond ring
at the bottom of a Bi-Rite ice-cream
cone that Jenna was eating. When
Jenna reached the ring, Jay got down on
one knee and surprised her with his
Both Jay and Jenna have strong aesthetics,
so, at their convergence… the ‘Earth Tone/
My Little Pony’ theme just naturally arose.
The couple loved that when it all came
together on the day; it was romantic,
colourful, surreal, and fun all-in-one.
They found it super empowering to
appropriate the hetro-normative tradition
of marriage by personalizing it to make
their ideal day, in every possible way. They
gave themselves the leeway to embrace
the mindset of rejecting any requirements
or expectations that were motivated by
anything other than their love story.
Their wedding day was totally unique, but
totally Jay and Jenna.
Choosing outts, was something they
admit was tough for them both. Jenna’s
rst dress was a complete disaster that
ended up being returned after many
re-ttings and lots of tears. She found her
nal dress only three weeks before their
wedding date.
Jay knew they wanted to ride the line
between modern and classic. After trying
on the tuxedo jacket at Suit Supply, they
knew they had their look and everything
else fell in to place.
On their wedding day, Jay and Jenna recall
a favorite moment: driving over the Golden
Gate bridge to their venue, The Headlands
Center for the Arts. This was the moment
when it all started to feel real.
With the support of their co-ociants—a
dear friend and their future brother-
in-law, Jay and Jenna drew on queer
history and Jewish tradition to write their
ceremony. This created a ceremony that
was extremely personal and connected to
their roots.
Another moment that the newlyweds
recall as being one of the funnest of
the day, was during the champagne toast,
when they got to see all their guests
together in one place for the rst time.
When asked about what marriage means
to them, their rst response was ‘Gay-AF!’
Their wedding day gave them the chance
to make every detail of the day their
own. They believe that through collective
power, the creative spirit that the queer
community brings to marriage, can evolve
the meaning of an oppressive tradition
and make the world a better place.
Jay and Jenna are happy, living their best
cosy lives in committed bliss, and for them,
it doesn’t get any better than that.
dwt | 28
“We took on two big DIY projects before
the wedding day.
Jay, and a couple of friends including a
ceramacist, (Founder of Jo Boyer Ceramics)
hand made pinch pots that served as
incense burners in our favor bags.
Jay stued all the favor bags with the
bowls, palo santo and cedar stick incense
gifted from friends at Ritual Incense. Jenna
created informative intention cards to go
along with the gift bags.
We also had a napkin dying party where
we dyed all of our our-sack napkins with
friends in the back yard. Both were tons of
work but made the day more memorable
and meaningful to us.”

Eve Rox Photography
Katie Powers Catering
Event Planner
Partial Planning by Heartthrob Weddings
Tropic of Flowers
Essence of Australia

Hair & Makeup
Elizabeth Windust, Love and Wolves
Jacket & Pants
Suit Supply
Lighting & Sound
Marin Lighting + JK Sound

Photo Booth

Signage & Stationery
Mike Wilcox, Tropic of Flowers

Wedding Rings

Headlands Center for the Arts

dwt | 33
Who is Shane Ave?
Shane Ave is a journey to freedom of
We are a non-gender formal attire
company that prides itself on being able
to provide a safe, friendly and comfortable
environment for everyone to be able to
validate their identity without judgment
when choosing formal attire.
As someone who is a part of the
community, I recognized the hole in the
market and set out to ll it with a brand
and company that allows all queers to
feel con dent, validated and understood
without judgment or fear.
And, why were you inspired to do what
you do?
Witnessing the elation and happiness in
our clients is the driving force for us!
Suits, pants, vests, and shirts are a staple
in all queer wardrobes, yet resources
for lesbians, transmen and non-binary
persons to buy a suit or shirt that actually
ts and feels amazing are almost non -
We know that formal fashion in general
terms is very gender-speci c and
often doesn’t allow the freedom
of expressing one’s own identity.
We noticed that LGBTQ+ people
speci cally are left out in the market
place and that the community
had nowhere to go that allows them
to feel con dent and comfortable
to purchase their chosen formal attire.
Shane Ave was born out of a need
to provide formal fashion that blurs
traditional lines of gender divisions. There
has been a very big hole in the market for
too long.
We want everyone to feel safe to take a
journey with Shane Ave in the knowledge
that this is your journey, your style and
your opportunity to be free, to validate and
a rm your own identity with con dence
and freedom.
We are passionate about giving everybody
the opportunity to feel empowered,
con dent and comfortable when they walk
out the door.
Are suits for every body?
Yes, most de nitely!
At Shane Ave, we aim to design and create
a style that suits every client regardless of
their identity or style.
We cater to butch masculine, femme,
softbutch, gay, transmen, transwomen and
every person in between. We also welcome
our allys to the LGBTQ+ community, of any
gender, who want a great custom made
suit that is designed especially for them - if
you want to wear a suit, a suit is for you.
Size and style is no barrier with all our suits
because each and every one is made to
dwt | 34
Check out our website or social media
pages for some awesome inspiration in
styles and designs.
What does the process of a custom
Shane Ave suit look like?
The process can be done in a number of
We oer face to face consultations in our
agship store in Sydney, and at our pop up
stores that happen across Australia. We
visit every state in Australia 3 times per
year and we’re starting these consultations
over in the US in 2020.
These consultations take about 1hr and all
styling, designing, and measurements are
included in the process by either myself or
one of our qualied stylists.
Or, we oer Skype and Facetime
consultations for those who can’t make it
to a one-on-one consultation.
During these consultations, we guide
the client through the styling and
fabric selection process however the
measurements are completed by the
client using our unique measurement
guide which includes a video tutorial.
And, if the idea of a consultation doesn’t
entice you, there’s an opportunity to grab
your suit o the shelf online.
We’ve tried our best to make this process
as seamless as possible. Clients can
choose all their own fabrics, styles and
designs. And, like we mentioned there is a
measurement guide, complete with video
tutorials to guide you.
Do you only sell custom pieces, and do
you ship around the world?
At this stage all our pieces are made to
measure however we will be launching
an o the rack range of shirts and t-shirts
early 2020 with plans to launch a jacket
and pants o the rack range later in the
year. The best news though is that we ship
all around the world!
Do you have any suggestions for
people, who struggle with their body in
some way or another, on how to relieve
their worries around ttings?
We are fast becoming the name on
everyone’s lips when it comes to formal
attire whether that be for weddings, social
engagements or work.
Photography by Alana Taylor Photography
dwt | 35
Apart from the fact we provide high quality
and professional craftsmanship in all our
pieces, feedback from clients tells us that
the success and rapid growth of Shane
Ave is largely because of the safe and
comfortable environment we provide for
All measurements are taken fully clothed
which oers our clients that may struggle
with their body in one way or another, to
feel completely comfortable.
It is our passion and promise to everyone,
to ensure a safe and comfortable
environment when choosing their formal
attire. It’s something that every person
deserves, especially when they are nding
an outt for a special occassion, like their
wedding day!
Tell us more about your podcast, The
The Unsuitable is a natural extension
of the business, presenting the stories
of some of the world’s most interesting
people in the queer community, that we
have had the opportunity to meet through
Shane Ave.
When clients come for a consultation
they will often share their stories, some
are quite harrowing and confronting whilst
others are warm and heart lling.
The more stories I heard the more inspired
I was to tell the world these stories and
help our LGBTQ+ community and the
wider community to gain some insight
and better understanding of people in the
queer community.
What’s next for Shane Ave?
After an incredible reception at New York
Fashion week last year, Shane Ave will be
launching in the United States later this
year with two consultants already secured
in Atlanta and Chicago. It’s an expansion
that we are so thrilled about.
We will also be appointing consultants in
every state of Australia to be available for
consultations all year-round instead of just
a few times a year.
We will be taking our pop-up store to New
Zealand in April, which is a rst and we are
very excited about that.
We look forward to bringing the o the
rack lines to fruition and continuing to
serve the queer community.
dancing with them  dwt   1
dwt   2     Hannah Gilbert Photographer

“Neither of our families had ever attended
a ‘gay wedding’ before, so there was
denitely  a  level  of  anticipation  and
pressure we felt to make sure it lived up to

In the beginning, we struggled with
which ‘traditional’ elements we wanted to
incorporate, which would be expected of
us, and which we felt didn’t necessarily ‘t’
what we thought a ‘gay wedding’ meant to

In the end, we decided that staying true to
us and our story was more important than
anyone else’s expectations, and that’s kind
of what we used to guide our decisions.

As it turns out, that’s what everyone was
expecting anyway!”

dwt | 41
Yin and Yang lovebirds, Ian and Stephen,
met at a house party over 10 years ago
when they were both dating other people.
Those relationships soon zzled out and
it was clear to them both, that there was
something worth exploring with each
other. And… the rest is history!
Seven years later, they set o for their
annual trip with friends to Prince Edward
County for a weekend of wine and
debauchery. Little did Stephen know, that
Ian was planning an epic proposal.
While touring the vineyard, Ian slipped
away for a bathroom break whilst an
unassuming Stephen continued the tour
with their friends (who all knew what was
about to happen). When they reached
the barrelling building, the doors opened
to reveal Ian surrounded by candles
and string lights, down on one knee.
The proposal was one of the happiest
moments of their lives, and of course,
Stephen said “Yes!”
After an initial struggle choosing their
wedding theme and which ‘traditional’
elements they wanted to incorporate, they
decided that staying true to themselves
was important to them.
As a result, the initial direction Stephen
gave to their visual team, Index Creative,
was ‘part Britney Spears ‘My Perogative’
music video, part Met Gala- but make
it us!’ They wanted a chic, but moody party
vibe that really invited their guests to let
loose and celebrate!
Although they collaborated with a lot
of their friends in the planning process,
they do admit to creating their very
own ‘Wedding Bible’. This was basically a
35-page long, complete brand guide
for their wedding, detailing every aspect
to ensure everyone was on the same page
about every detail.
To t in with their neutral colour palette
for the wedding (mainly black, white, greys
and champagne tones) they dressed
their wedding parties in black tux’s and
champagne dresses. To make sure they
stood out, the grooms’ tuxedos had black
slacks and white jackets to give them an
extra slick pop!
On the morning of their wedding they
drank champagne and laughed as they
both separately practiced their vows
on their closest friends, and slowly got
themselves groomed for the event.
Photographer, Bows and Lavender
whisked the grooms-to-be away, a few
hours before their ceremony to do a ‘rst
look’ shoot in their tuxedos. The shoot took
place in an alley-way across from the hotel,
and those photos did not disappoint!
In a sea of nerves and excitement, they
then headed to Berkeley Church for their
They both say that the moment their eyes
met was so emotional and they found
it hard not to tear up. The entire church
stood up and started clapping as the
grooms met in the middle of the aisle
and walked down it together. It was pure
The newlyweds and their guests then
buckled in for a night of live music, food,
speeches and performances, that they
say, were all… absolutely perfect.
Ian and Stephen had felt committed for
a long time, but say having a wedding
became a great reason to celebrate their
love. Their union also serves as the most
powerful reminder of how much love and
support they are surrounded by in their
everyday lives.

dwt | 43
Bows and Lavender
Glory Hole Doughnuts
Berkeley Church
Decorative Elements
Index Creative
Engagement Rings
Tiany & Co.
Tynomi Banks, DJ Phil Villeneuve
Event Stylist
Index Creative
Suit Designer
Rented from Andrews Formals
Berkeley Church
dwt | 44
Say goodbye to boring, plain or generic ties and bowties, and a give a very enthusiastic
welcome to bright and bold prints created exclusively for the label by Australian designers.  

Peggy and Finn have arrived to the party!
We adore these original prints, they pack a punch in all the right ways. Sure to make a real statement.
Often inspired by botanicals there is something for every personality. Also, they’ve expanded into
socks and undies too, and have an adorable kids collection - swoon.
Melbourne based artist, Francis Cannon has
teamed up with Third Draw Down to bring
to life a fun collection that looks at ideas of  
body-love, body-loathing, anxiety, relationships,
sex, sexuality, gender and bodily functions - just
a handful of our favorite things!
We are head over heels for every piece but the
‘Franny Pack’ is the real show stopper.
We are huge, like really huge, fans of confetti - but we hate, like really hate, the environmental impact
confetti can have. Plus, you’ll nd a whole head of wedding venues will have pretty strict rules when
it comes to this very topic.
If handmade biodegradable, earth-friendly, confetti made with love is on your wedding ‘need’ list, 
you’ll need to check out Eco Confetti. Good for the earth and looks incredible in photos- a guilt-free
‘we’re married celebration’ confetti.

dwt | 45
We don’t want to alarm you, but, we’ve found an incredible handmade shoe brand that doesn’t
gender there shoes. As in, the designs, like our favourite Plain Plaid Toe shoes above, are available
in a huge selection of sizes. So, if you’re a smaller footed person you don’t need to miss out on your
favorite designs.
Parallel Shoes is a brand based in America, but they ship to lovers across the globe.
If you’re on the hunt for some inclusive wedding stationery that celebrates your love, meet, Two
Brides Presents.
Their stationery o ers a diverse range of pre-designed styles created by independent Australian
Artists which can be personalized on so many levels. If you are after a truly original design, the team
are also pros at creating something custom, totally unique. Packages are tailored to suit your big
day and your budget. They also o er some adorable inclusive cards for other important events like
birthdays and engagements.
Want to have this little ring all for yourself (or
to gift to someone you really love?) We’re giving
away a 9ct yellow gold crater ring, with a sparkling
diamond, handcrafted by Albert Tse Metalsmith.
Competition is open to lovers across the world.
You can enter via dancingwiththem.com/win

dancing with them  dwt   1
dwt   2     Hannah Gilbert Photographer

dwt | 51
Brooklyn couple Lauren and Sam haven’t
always called New York home. In fact, the
couple met in Texas in 2014 and lived all
over the country before settling in their
forever home.
Not only have they travelled their home
country, but they have spent their time
together having epic adventures all
around the globe and making some of
their favorite memories along the way.
For Sam, waking up in Lake Como with her
partner was one of her fondest memories.
She recalls looking over at Lauren, who
had planned that stretch of the vacation,
and was enamored with the life they get
to live together. For Lauren, it was a trip to
Greece with just the two of them out on
a balcony, soaking up the sun and making
each other laugh.
The couple got engaged the weekend
after the US Presidential Election in 2016.
Like much of America, they were shell-
shocked when Trump won and they were
very unsure of what the future would
hold for gay rights, trans rights, and the
right to marry. When they started dating,
they couldn’t legally get married, so
they decided to lock it down while they
were under Obama’s Presidency, out of
principle more than anything else. With
about two months to plan, they set their
wedding date for January 7, 2017… two
weeks before Trump would be ocially
So, with a small guest list that included their
Californian and Texan family members,
amidst a massive snow storm, the couple
tied the knot in an artist loft in Williamsburg.
The loft was like a warm haven from the
frozen outside world. Fifty of their closest
friends and family surrounded them and
witnessed their vows. It was intimate,
candlelit, with minimal decor or fuss- just
them, committing to each other.
Though Lauren and Sam are now a happily
married couple that are both content
with their own identities and relationship
nuances, gay marriage rights have not
been the only gender based obstacle that
they have had to overcome.
Lauren was about six months into her
outward transition when she met Sam; she
was also leaving behind a marriage that
didn’t honor her gender expression. Sam
was 23 and just making her emergence
from inside the closet.
When Lauren told Sam that she is
transgender, they didn’t know what to
think at rst. Sam told her “I’ve got a lot of
questions, but I’d love to know more about
your journey.” This resulted in Lauren truly
opening her eyes and ears to a whole new
language surrounding gender, identity
and expression. The questions that this
new knowledge arose, brought about
revelations that were working on Sam
from the inside out. They started feeling
the lightbulb come on, like they nally
understood why they never belonged with
the ‘girls.’
It took them about ve years to come to
the realization that they are non-binary
and even then, it wasn’t until they saw
themselves on television (the couple were
part of a show called Couples Therapy
on Showtime), that they realized they
didn’t want to continue showing themself
to the world as a woman. They were
obsessing over the idea that they didn’t
look like themself on the show- like they
were dressed in a costume. And those
little inklings, combined with many years
of thinking through gender identity with
Lauren, helped them to come out as
non-binary and change their name to
something that felt truer to them.
Lauren, who has seen the gender
variances in Sam since day one and has
been so patient and kind in waiting for
them to fully accept themself, has been
nothing but supportive of their identity
transformation. In fact, she was so excited
to see them step out into the light of who
they really are!
Sam says if there were any signs of
tension, it was that Lauren was pushing
them to accept their truest self before
they were completely ready. Sam now
has a better understanding of their own
gender-dysphoria triggers and can now
better empathize with Lauren, about what
she has gone through for so long.
Being in an open relationship is also
something that is important to them,
because the goal within their partnership
is to never limit each other or themselves.
It was very early on in their relationship
(third date to be exact!) that Sam told
Lauren that they didn’t see cheating as
an option or a reason for them to ever
break up. It was their young way of saying
“I don’t expect you to never be sexually
attracted to other people, so let’s be
real about that up front.” Sam believes
that when monogamy is assumed and

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never discussed, it can give unrealistic
expectations about themselves and
each other. They ocially started seeing
other people about six months after
their wedding. They were cautious at rst
and started out with some ground rules,
that have slowly melted away as they’ve
built this specic form of trust with one
another. They don’t always date other
people, in fact it’s rare. However, they’ve
found the experience to be mind-opening,
whilst also providing them with the feeling
of being free, autonomous people in the
context of a committed marriage.
One of the biggest challenges they have
faced in their relationship has been
deconstructing heteronormative power
imbalances. As queer people, Lauren
and Sam sometimes feel that they may
have side-stepped the trappings of daily
social constructs; such as their individual
relationships to money and how rooted
they are in patriarchy and antiquated
gender norms… but say if they look closely
enough, they are denitely there. Woven
into the fabric of their childhood and
societal conditionings, they have dierent
ideas about how to relate to money and
how they think about child rearing and
timeline, etc.
Nonetheless, they do their best to take
these challenges as moments of growth
and say they have learnt so much from
each other on these topics, but at times it
hasn’t been easy!
When asked about what advice they
can oer other couples going through
similar subjects, staying honest and
communicative was top of the list. Keeping
lines free and open and not being afraid to
tell each other what you truly want or how
you really feel about everything. Finally,
treating your relationship like you’re a
team is a great way to get aligned, know
what you want to accomplish in your
relationship and design the world you
want to live in… together!
Lauren and Sam now have some big
dreams ahead of them- dreams of a
boutique interior design company,
furniture ipping, eventually working on
lms together and adding children into
their family unit.
They both agree, that they’re pumped up
about all of it!
Flowers For The Wildly Romantic
- Wild, Unique, and Wandering -
Photos by Sergio Alcala Photography

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Breaking Traditions
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A Diamond Engagement Ring
Andrew & Martin
Our proposal wasn’t a secret to either of us, rather a
mutual decision that we discussed at length. We forego
any real ‘traditional’ engagement, and instead, we started
making wedding plans after that discussion - no rings
Martin, being a little more impatient than Andrew, did
go about buying the wedding bands himself and used
them to ‘propose’ to Martin a few weeks after that initial
decision. It was more a romantic gesture than anything
Kelsey & Lina
Conscious of the environmental impact of diamonds
(and metals), Lina had a ring handcrafted from recycled
metals and had a sapphire from her Grandmothers
engagement ring set as a feature stone.
It’s a repurposed ring that has a lot of sentimental value.
One that Kelsey wears so proudly.
Kegan & Tag
Tag works as a medical professional, and so when they
are at work, a ring is out of the question - and, to be quite
frank, Tag has never been a ‘ring’ person.
Kegan proposed, in place of any sort of engagement ring,
with a beautiful watch. On the back of the watch, Kegan
had the date that we rst met engraved. The day our
lives forever changed.
Sarah & Yara
In day to day life we work hard to reduce our
environmental impact, our engagement and our
wedding will be no dierent. Sarah actually found an
Etsy seller who created rings from recycled skateboards.
It’s an accidental nod to the beginnings of our relationship
where we Yara would spend hours trying to teach Sarah
how to board, with not a lot of success.
Sarah got down on one knee with the ‘non-traditional’
ring and Yara couldn’t have been any quicker to say ‘yes!’
Dane & Ryan
Dane actually proposed with a tattoo! You wouldn’t
consider either of us shy when it comes to getting new
ink. Dane actually booked us in for a couples tattoo
session, something that we had done before, so Ryan
was unsuspecting.
He planned a wonderful lunch where we talked our
future, what we envisioned a life together would look
like, and even our journey to parenthood. Dane very
sweetly asked during the lunch ‘will you marry me?’, Ryan
of course answering ‘yes’. The matching tattoos signify
that commitment to one another.
Photography by Marylane Photography
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Dylan & Robert
We didn’t have an aisle at all! We only ever wanted a
small wedding and had just 37 guests present on the
day. We had a private rst look with our photographer
before heading to our venue together. We arrived before
our guests and so had the opportunity to greet them all
as they arrived.
When the time came to get married, our ociant (and
dear friend) called for our guests to be seated, and we
casually made our way to the front of the area as they
No grand entrance required. It was authentic to us.
Abbey & Kim
We didn’t even think about who would walk down the
aisle rst until our celebrant reached out to conrm
about a week before the wedding - talk about being
chilled out brides!
After we laughed at our own lack of organization, we
decided that it would be fun to toss a coin on the day.
We got ready together, made our way to the venue as
a team, and at the top of the aisle, we tossed the coin.
Kim chose heads, and she walked rst - escorted by both
her Mom and Dad. Abbey followed with her proud older
brother on her arm.
Sure, it wasn’t a ‘traditional’ way to go about it, but it
denitely got a laugh from our loved ones!
Bobby & Julie
Since the beginning of our relationship, we have seen
one another as equal. The tradition of walking down
the aisle and being ‘given away’ by our parents was
something that just didn’t sit well with us.
So, we decided to walk down that aisle, and into the next
chapter of our lives, together. Hand in hand, it felt like we
drifted down the aisle in an emotional, almost dream-
like, state.
Stacey & Yumi
We consciously decided to nd a venue that would allow
us to both walk down the aisle, separately. It wasn’t an
easy task, but with a creative stylist on board, it came
to life.
Our venue had space that allowed us to both walk down
two dierent aisles, toward one other. It really allowed us
to be in the moment; eyes locked on one another from
the minute ‘our song’ started to play. We both remember
the moment as one lled with pride and joy - the pre-
ceremony anxiety dissipated almost instantly.
Grant & Augie
We eloped, so technically, there wasn’t an aisle!
Photography by Sara Hannagan Photography
Walking Down the Aisle
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Dylan & Robert
We are social butteries and with a guest list just shy of
200, our wedding party was just as grand - seven on each
side. Each of us had our siblings and a handful of friends,
a wedding party of both men and women.
We did set rules around what we wanted the wedding
party to wear. We wanted to stick to a neutral color
palette for our beach wedding. Our groomsmen did
wear matching, hired, sand-colored suits, however, the
women of our wedding party wore dresses that they
chose themselves. We wanted them to feel comfortable
and wear a dress that they could wear again!
Alex & Roberta
Choosing a wedding party was really tough for us! Initially
we shortlisted people that we thought we would like to
stand beside us. However, we were planning an intimate
wedding, and eventually, we came to the conclusion that
we didn’t really need a wedding party at all.
Instead, we decided to invite those people closest to us
to get ready with us. And, when the time came to make
our way to our ceremony, we all caught a bus together
for the grand entrance!
Bobbi & Mandy
In planning our entire wedding there was never any
conformity to old school traditions, and mapping out our
wedding party was no dierent! Bobbi had three people
that they wanted beside them, and Mandy had six. So,
we had misnumbered wedding parties! We also knew
that we wanted every person standing beside us to feel
comfortable, condent and beautiful. And so, we decided
that everyone in our wedding parties could choose what
they wanted wear.
It was a mix of colors, dresses, suits, jumpsuits and it
could not have been any more perfect! We think the
smiles on everyone’s faces says it all.
Alex & Arnold
We actually have a large joint friend group, and so we
found that when we started discussing the wedding
party, we realized that there was some crossover!
Obviously, when thinking about where they would stand,
there were some logistical issues.
We eventually decided that our wedding party would be
a joint wedding party! We got ready in separate rooms,
our people moving between the two of us. They walked,
very enthusiastically, down the aisle just before us, and
all nine of them took their seats front and center at the
Then at the reception, they all sat with us on a shared
table. It was an awesome way to have them all involved
in our love celebration.
The Wedding Party
Photography by Studio XIII Photography
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Chnaging the Last Name
Dean & Nigel
Dean proposed rst, but Nigel proposed back, asking
Dean, ‘can I be the man to take your last name?’
Nigel has two older brothers who have carried on the
family name, and keeping his last name just wasn’t
He ocially took on the new last name about six months
after we were married.
Casey & Eleven
It took us a long time to decide what we would do
about surnames after our marriage. Neither of us felt
emotionally connected to our ‘family name.’ We spoke
about hyphenating, or not changing them at all, but
anticipating children for our future, we wanted to have a
name that represented our family unit.
We actually ended up deciding that we would choose
our own new surname. We are avid outdoor enthusiasts,
and we planned our a ‘proposal hike’ with the intention
that we would both have a chance to propose at some
point during the hike.
That mountain is a special place for us; it is where we
declared our commitment to one another. And so, its
name was a natural choice for our own new family name,
Amy & LeAndra
We are both career-driven women and have worked
hard to build our professional proles. We never found
ourselves having a discussion over the whole ‘changing
your last name’ tradition. Instead, it was assumed that
we would both keep our last names - personally and
professionally. It’s also something that neither of us
found importance in, it seemed like an outdated tradition
we just weren’t interested in fullling.
We were taken back by just how many questions
our family would ask about the decision, particularly
questions around what we would do if we chose to
expand our family. Although we don’t know exactly
what we will do (it is still a few years away, if it will ever
happen), we both agree that we might go down the road
of hyphenating our child’s last name.
Marc & Sam
We went back and forth on what to do with our surnames
for our entire engagement and during the rst few
months of marriage.
We eventually decided that hyphenating our two names
was the best choice for us. We wanted to have a unifying
surname (we dreamt of a sign at the front of our farm,
proudly displaying our family name), but it didn’t feel
right for either of us to give up the meaningful names
we’ve carried with us through life.
Photography by Maria Luise Bauer Photography
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dwt | 62
Love grows and shifts during a long-term
relationship. Matt and Zach have been
together more than 15 years, and married
for 10. Their lives have intertwined, they
have grown together, and their love is just as
strong as ever.
How did you two meet?
Z: We met on the rst Wednesday of
September 2004 at a gay bar in Providence,
Rhode Island, called Mirabar. Matt went
to Brown University and I went to the
University of Rhode Island. We seem to
remember it was college night at the bar
during the week that everyone was moving
onto their respective campuses.
We were both there with friends, and I
was there to dance it all out before classes
started the following week. Matt came up
to dance with me and tried to chat over
the ear-damagingly loud music.
Before he left for the night, he asked for
my number, but he had no cell phone to
type it into (these were still early cell phone
days), nor anything to write with. So, I
typed my number into my own phone and
he memorized the number.
He called me a week later for a date and
we dated almost weekly that fall.
How long have you two been together?
And when was your wedding?
M & Z: We met over 15 years ago! We
got married on October 9, 2009, in
Massachusetts, where Matt is from and
where same-sex marriage had been tried
and tested for ve years. Legality was
still patchwork throughout the states
then, and only domestic partnership was
available in Oregon where we lived, but, it
all worked out for us to go back to the East
Coast where we’re both from and have our
wedding there.
How did you two become engaged?
Z: I never cared if I married or not. At the
time, it was not an option for me anyway.
Also, I didn’t have examples of happy,
long-lasting marriages in my life and some
of the most well-adjusted couples I knew,
had been together for many years without
ever getting married.
Matt had it in his mind that he would get
married after he had reached certain
milestones. At the age of 27, he had met
all of those milestones.
dwt | 63
One night in bed, before we had fallen
asleep, he casually asked me if I thought we
should get married. I knew that married or
not, I could see myself with him for many,
many years.
So, I said if it was important to him to get
married, I would absolutely marry him.
Nothing fancy, but totally us.
When did each of you know you were in
love with the other?
Z: In 2006, the year that I graduated, we
got to spend a lot more time together in
the months before graduation because I
lived the closest I had ever lived to Matt up
to that point.
I also knew that earlier that school year, I
had made the decision to live in Oregon for
a year to see if I liked it. If I decided I didn’t,
then I would move back to New England.
Matt still had a year of school left, so I knew
he couldn’t come back west with me and
that we would have to take a break or do
a long-distance relationship. I didn’t really
want to do either, but knew that I could
have ended up resenting Matt if I stayed
for him instead of seeking something new.
I knew we really had something good and
worth holding on to, when I was faced with
the possibility that distance may cause it to
slip from our hands or not.
M: About ten seconds before I asked him
to marry me, I think.
I was doing a little prayer and meditation
before bed, and I heard a voice; this had
happened one other time in my life. It told
me to marry him. We’d always had such an
easy connection, and I’d always felt like I
was with the right person, without even
being aware of that feeling.
I think that moment resulted from the
realization that I was good enough to ask
him to marry me.
What is your favorite quality about
each other?
Z: I’ve learned from Matt that it is okay
to make mistakes, and that perfection is
not necessarily the best goal to keep in
mind. That is not to say that he only makes
mistakes; he just doesn’t let the thought of
mistakes or perfection hold him back as
much as I feel it holds me back.

dwt | 65
Being in a partnership with Matt has
helped me push boundaries around this;
something that I may not have explored
without him.
M: Zach is extraordinarily considerate and
What are some of your favorite
memories from your wedding day?
M: My most prominent memory is that
of my grandmother, who was in the last
stages of Alzheimer’s, asking if I had any
girlfriends or boyfriends, and her being
very happy to learn she was at my wedding.
Z: I remember our families getting to
meet for the rst time. I remember
nerves and laughter. I remember that
it was threatening rain all morning, and
we got married outside in a park, along
a lakeshore down the street from Matt’s
parent’s house.
I remember the awkwardness of standing
in front of our families, so far apart,
we couldn’t even hold hands. I
remember being very calm, but trying to
smile because my calm face looks more
I remember seeing nerves in Matt that
I rarely see. We took a few photos after
the ceremony, and as we drove up to the
reception (a camp we had rented out for
the weekend) that afternoon, the rain
poured down!
How do you feel your love for each
other has changed or grown over the
years? Any advice you’d like to give
couples for a long and happy marriage?
Z: Married life has its ups and downs, but
so does a heart monitor, and if it is at,
you’re in trouble.
Our culture focuses so much on how
couples meet! I can’t recall a single story
or instance that focuses on how a couple
stayed together through the years, or how
they’re doing seven years in - and that’s a
real shame.
There was a time about a year after we got
married, when we both realized we could
never be everything the other wanted or
needed and that it was okay! That is a lot
of pressure to put on someone, and we
decided to take that pressure o of each
That was a very important realization!
We love to travel together, and those are
the times that I have felt closest to Matt.
He sets everything up with a direction
and a general outline, and I work out
details along the way. It’s wonderfully
When we aren’t traveling, we ll our days
with things that fulll us individually, which
means we sometimes don’t see much of
each other, but over the years, we have
supported each other to grow and evolve.
We also love playing with our sweet
adopted dog, Kirby.
We have become a safe home base for
each other.
We check in with one another about how
things are going. We get to learn about
each other’s lives in a way that’s exciting
because we often share something
new the other is hearing for the rst time.
Sometimes that individualism catches up
to us, and we nd that we need to spend
more quality time together, and that’s
often a nice change of pace.
It is all about the ebbs and ows.

dwt | 67
Words by Oscar
We’ve been together for almost half a
decade; it will be ve years in July.
We had been best friends since we were
17, then I transitioned at 19, and we got
together shortly after. We met at a mutual
friend’s house in the most simple way,
and somehow it ended up being the
most important meeting we both have
ever had.
Lily was eager for a proposal, like, really,
eager! I knew the only way to make her
not think it was happening, was to make it
seem like it really wasn’t happening.
For six months, I let her believe that
it wasn’t important to me, and once
I convinced her of that, she was so
oblivious to everything I did regarding the
Lily didn’t question why I was working
so hard or pay attention to the money
I was piling up, so all of that made
keeping a secret pretty easy. No-one
expects a big surprise if you tell them
for six months that it’s not going to
I booked a holiday so that I could propose
in a nice way, and since you do so many
nice things on holiday, I knew she wouldn’t
expect it. The only issue with it was the
added nancial stress of getting an
engagement ring and a holiday (overseas
to the UK no less).
I was looking for a ring for two months
before walking past a shop window and
nding the perfect match, when I least
expected it. Once I found that ring, I knew
it was the only one that would come close
to how beautiful she is.
I worked my ass o to get that ring for her,
and it was so worth it! Then, I proposed to
a very unsuspecting Lily on that holiday to
the UK. It looked absolutely perfect on her,
aside from the ring being the wrong size -
something not simple to x overseas.
When it comes to wedding planning,
taking our time is most important to us
since we don’t want to add unnecessary
stress. Some aspects of a “traditional”
wedding can be nice, but a lot of it is so
We want to show our family that there is
more to the queer world than a drag show!
We haven’t planned the ins and outs of the
day, but we do know we want our wedding
lled with queer love, celebrations, and of
course, wedding day outts.
There hasn’t been much planning done
so far, but we do know that every guest is
welcome to dress as binary or non-binary
as they please.
Luckily enough, Lily’s dad is an amazing
orist, so owers are sorted! Obviously,
Tuesday Photography is our ideal choice
for photos; we were absolutely in love with
this shoot and we honestly don’t think
anyone could’ve captured our love any
We have so many friends who want to
contribute to our wedding. Our friends
have always been so supportive of
our relationship, and it would be
amazing to have them all involved in this
We are really trying to be individual with
certain details and take inspiration from
ourselves more than anything. Our
biggest inspiration is, honestly, looking
at a traditional wedding and doing the
complete opposite of that!

dwt | 69
“I think our engagement mostly just
changed how other people see our
For me personally nothing changed, Oscar
was always my life partner since the day I
met him but the engagement just showed
all our friends and family the realness of
what we have.
Relationship wise no feelings changed,
but from the outside there seems to
be a lot of pressure to transform into
full-edged adults after the engagement
and ‘settle down’.
As much as I love that I’m spending
my life with Oscar, we don’t ever think
that we could ‘settle down’; that whole
concept was birthed from het-culture.
We are deciding what this engagement
and marriage is on our own terms, we are
forever growing and changing, so ‘settling
down’ isn’t ever on the agenda.”
dancing with them  dwt   1
dwt   2     Hannah Gilbert Photographer

“I did a ton of DIY for our wedding!
I love to do projects for people, so getting
to create things for our wedding was a
huge act of love for Kay and our friends
and family who would enjoy them with her.
I refurbished a custom s’mores table out
of a torn up vintage vanity, learned to
do calligraphy for all of our invites and
signage, designed custom coloring books
and goody bags for the kids coming to
our wedding and handmade combination
name tag place card buttons for each
guest. It was quite an undertaking!
As a orist, I also did all of our oral design,
which was my favorite gift to her. I cried
the whole time I was making her oral belt
because I knew she would walk down the
aisle in it.”

dwt | 75
Kay and Katie had been half-jokingly
proposing to one another for months. So
much in fact, that when Kay proposed for
real, it took Katie a moment to realise she
was serious. Of course, she said “Yes!”.
Katie’s proposal however, was much more
As the couple were set to leave all their
friends behind in Washington and move
to Massachusetts, Katie wanted to
plan a big do involving all their friends
and family, so that they could see them o.
She created a scavenger hunt for Kay,
taking her on a chronological journey of
memorable places and events through
their relationship. It involved lots of love
letters, clues, family and spontaneous
appearances of close friends… and then of
course, a cli-top proposal!
After their two unique and emotional
proposals, Kay and Katie embarked on
a carefully designed journey of creating
a wedding event that was as sustainable
as possible. Their whole wedding ending
up being either thrifted, compostable or
reusable in their lives.
They planned their theme based on their
love of camping and the outdoors.
Their oral design was based around
Kay’s favorite greenery and included
billy balls, evergreen trees, ferns, roses
and ranunculus. For the owers, they went
with mustard tones and warm neutrals.
They aimed to create a casual, intimate
atmosphere where people could relax and
enjoy the weekend’s events.
Their venue, Camp Huston in Gold Bar, WA
was chosen as Katie had gone their many
times growing up. She took Kay there and
experienced a perfect day (one of the
most special in their entire lives).
They ended up sheltering from a surprise
storm in the chapel, and spent at least an
hour laying in the outdoor chapel talking
about their future and families. It was
perfect, and they knew it was the place for
Both women had trouble nding the
perfect outts. Kay found a lack of queer
lady style icon to source inspo from, and
Katie just found it hard to nd anything
that suited her sustainable ethos. In the
end, they both found their perfect outts
with Katie settling on a perfect burgundy
jumpsuit and Kay nding a gorgeous lace
gown that she knows she’ll wear again at
some point.
On their wedding day, the brides-to-be
recall some of their favourite moments
being; helping each other get ready, their
‘rst look’ with their brides-mates, walking
down the aisle together, and when they
rang the chapel bell after they kissed their
Both Kay and Katie had dierent religious
upbringings, but started the ceremony
with a beautiful service of blessing
and unity. They made sure that their
bridal-family and parents were involved
in some way. This included having their
parents walk down the aisle, and playing
their wedding songs at the reception,
which was an absolute riot.
Their day was captured by Stacie from
Widman Photography, who the brides say
was just amazing. They honestly didn’t
remember her even being there in many
moments, but somehow, she captured
them! It meant for photographs are an
authentic representation of the couples
and their love.
Kay and Katie had the most beautiful
wedding day, one that set the stage for the
rest of their life together. A life of laughter,
learning, growing, and changing with their
best friend.

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dwt | 80

Hannah Gilbert Photography

Florals & Styling
Pollen & Patina

Sally Rose Jewellery

Elle James Makeup Artis

Props & Furniture Hire
Mewburn Park, Pollen & Patina

UnDandy Shoes

Redpoint Design

Stobies Land & Surf
Peggy & Finn


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dwt | 87
Abbey & Kate met on good old Tinder over
three years ago, and enjoy a full and fun
life. Between work, you could nd them on
hikes searching for hidden waterfalls or
snuggled on the couch, eating nachos.
Their proposal unfolded on the night of
Kate’s graduation ball, during a late-night
stroll through the botanical gardens. After
kicking o their heels, they walked down
some steps and found themselves in a
little area enclosed by trees, owers and
a water feature. As a courageous Kate
(who nds it hard to express her feelings)
was describing everything she loves about
Abbey and how her life had changed since
meeting her… she took out the ring and
Abbey bawled her eyes out in a very
ungracious way and said a big yes! When
she calmed down, she then described all
the reasons she wanted to marry Kate,
and proposed straight back.
When the couple rst got engaged, same-
sex marriage was not legal in Australia.
So, they planned to have a ‘wedding’
celebration here in Australia and then
travel overseas to a country where
same-sex marriage was legal and elope.
However, after many unreturned emails
from venues and vendors regarding their
wedding request, the women admit that
they felt hurt and disheartened.
Thanks to marriage equality laws changing
in Australia, Abbey and Kate were able to
start planning their wedding on home soil.
When it came to their wedding day,
the couple didn’t want anything to be
uptight or rigid. They wanted it to reect
themselves and be fun, free and owy.
After choosing a rustic aesthetic with a
laid-back vibe, they turned to Pinterest for
inspiration and started planning.
Their venue was one that they hadn’t
previously looked at, however, it popped
up on Kate’s Facebook feed as an
advertisement. The owners of the venue
were so happy with the change of law
that they had put on a special for same-
sex couples who were wanting to now get
legally married. So, they visited Immerse
and fell in love with their vineyard chapel
and their wonderful, welcoming sta.
After a few outt hiccups, the brides-to-
be both found their dream dresses at the
same store, using the same consultant
that guided them both to ‘the moment’
when you know you have found ‘the one’.
Abbey and Kate spent the night before their
wedding apart, and in the morning arrived
at separate times at their venue to get
ready with their family and bridal parties.
Then, on a perfect Spring afternoon, the
two brides thanked the weather gods and
set forth to enjoy their wedding day, which
they described as absolutely amazing.
Reecting on their big day, both women
reveal that they are glad they kept it very
organic, with no over-dramatic statements
or declarations of love, just what came
naturally. Their exchange of vows was a
perfect example of this, with both brides
stating that their vows were so similar, they
literally could have written one another’s
To Abbey and Kate, marriage represents
unconditional love. Their wedding day
showed them, and everyone else, just
how well they know each other, as well as
solidifying that they are 110% meant for
each other.
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“Some advice to those who are in the
process of or thinking about planning
their wedding as a same-sex couple: Your
wedding is completely your own.
Don’t let the media tell you what it ‘should’
be like. Don’t let the search for the perfect
venue or cake dishearten you because
they don’t agree with your sexuality, you
will eventually nd the perfect t, it may
take a bit longer but when you nd it, it’s
100% worth the wait.”

James Thorne
Stella York
Jessica’s Cakes Brunswick

Jayne Egeberg

Emma Jean Bridal Hair

Sian Howard Makeup, Crystal Meyer

Immerse Yarra Valley

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“We have been together for so long that
there was absolutely zero stress when it
came to wedding planning.
We had massages, lunch and then our
photographers came over and we took
our dogs for a walk. The weather wasn’t
great and our ceremony was supposed
to be outside so we were a little less than
pleased with that, but what can you do?
Luckily, just as we arrived at the venue, the
skies cleared and it was picture perfect.
From then on, it was exactly what we had
Even though, we have been together for
quite some time, getting married felt like it
has taken our commitment to a whole new
level. I still get this buttery feeling when I
get to call him my husband.”

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Joel and Joseph have been together for
an incredible 14 years. They met a short
eight days after Joseph arrived in Australia,
at 2am at the Market Nightclub in Prahran,
which they sarcastically say was “very
romantic”. Nonetheless, it worked out
perfectly for them!
The couple now live on Victoria’s
picturesque Mornington Peninsula with
their two huskies and a cat. However, as
Joel and Joseph love to travel, in was only
tting that their proposal took place on the
other side of the world.
On a trip to Europe in 2018, they got
engaged in Santorini while they were
sitting on their balcony overlooking the
Caldera at sunset in a moment that was
100% romantic.
It was a dream proposal that led into a
year-long planning process for their big
day. A process that they both recall as
being extremely enjoyable and completely
free from stress.
Both Joel and Joseph wanted their wedding
to be at a winery on the peninsula. After
lunching several times at the Red Hill
Estate winery, they made their choice. For
them it was the winery’s incredible wine
that tipped them over the edge.
In fact, having the wedding at a winery was
the only thing they were set on for the
wedding. Continuously calling themselves
‘bad gays’ throughout the process because
they were so laid back about it. They put
zero thought into the little details and
focused on having a big party with all their
family and friends… which is exactly what it
turned out to be.
Outt shopping turned out to be a fun
event. The couple have a friend-of-a-friend
who had just opened her own personal
stylist business, so, they tasked her
with dressing them. They met her at her
family’s house in Sorrento where she had
a cheese platter and champagne waiting
for them. She styled them in various suits
until they found the right ones. Then, she
customized them to perfection.
Their big day arrived and they spent the
morning getting massages and lunch.
Then their photographers from ‘Be Here
Be Now Photos and Films’ came over and
they took their dogs for a walk, which
turned into an amazing rst photo session.
The weather wasn’t great and with their
ceremony scheduled for outdoors, the
grooms were a little less than pleased.
Luckily, just as they arrived at the venue,
the skies cleared and it could not have
been any more perfect. From then on, it
was exactly what they had imagined.
The newlyweds rst dance was one of
their favorite moments of their day, which
they made in honour of one of their best
friends, who had sadly passed away. One
of his favourite songs was Proud Mary
by Tina Turner. Their rst dance was to
a sweet love song, but they cut it o 30
seconds in and put on Proud Mary and
invited everyone up on the dance oor. It
went o and was so amazing!
Fourteen years together did not take away
any of the fresh new feels that getting
married brings, and has taken Joel and
Joseph’s commitment to a whole new level.
Joel loves that he now gets that buttery
feeling whenever he calls Joseph ‘my

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Be Here Be Now Photos and Film
Cake & Cake Topper
Peninsula Cake Art
Max’s at Red Hill Estate
Emma Tomlinson
Be Here Be Now Photos and Films
Dr Romeo
Event Stylist
Rose Vinci Styling
Poppies of Red Hill
Uniform Black
Max’s at Red Hill Estate

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You’re engaged! Congratulations!
Now, it’s time to head down the rabbit hole
of nding the perfect wedding suppliers to
help bring to life what you envision your
wedding day will be.
Which sounds fun, right? Until you realize
that there are literally thousands of
wedding pros out there to choose from -
and it can get confusing.
From photographers to orists, event
planners to the stationery designers, it
can get overwhelming quickly - so, here’s
a little step by step guide to ease your way
through the process.
1. Take your time
You’re engaged, enjoy that bubble of
excitement! There’s no reason to jump
onto locking in your vendors before you
have done your homework. Celebrate
being newly engaged with your lover -
you deserve that. Go on dates, throw that
engagement party and know that wedding
planning will come in time.
2. Do your research
First things rst, think about where you
want to get married, the style and vibe you
want the event to have and map out your
The best way to go about this is to each sit-
down and think about the three things you
want to prioritize for your day - it might be
photography, your wedding outts, and
your venue. Keep these at the top of mind
when you are looking for vendors.
Find vendors through magazines, blogs,
social media or word of mouth. Head to
expos, if that is your scene.
3. Send you inquiries
Get your information ready and reach
out to the wedding vendors who have
made your ‘we need to know more’ list.
You’ll need; your names, contact details,
wedding date, wedding location, and any
questions that you want to ask.
Your initial inquiry is a good opportunity to
see if you vibe with the wedding pro, make
sure that they work within your budget,
and that they are available on the date,
you’re hoping to marry.
4. Shortlist your vendors
If you’ve reached out to three dierent
orists, it’s now time to cull that list down
to two (or one, if you can!).
If you have only reached out to one stylist
who you’re head over heels in love with,
and you don’t want to consider anyone
else, it’s totally okay to skip ahead and
make a decision. Don’t feel like you need
to complicate things.
5. Arrange consultations
If you are having trouble really narrowing
down your list, it might be time to book
in for a face-to-face (or online/phone)
While it might not be necessary to arrange
a consultation with all of your wedding
vendors, we would recommend really
catching up with your photographer and
ociant at the very minimum. These are
two wedding vendors that are going to
play one of the most signicant roles on
your wedding day. You want these people
to really understand your love story, and
champion it.
6. Make your decisions
The most exciting part - it’s time to lock in
your chosen wedding vendors. Make sure
you get in touch as soon as you’ve made
a decision so that your wedding date is
still available. It is commonplace that you’ll
need to pay a deposit before you can
conrm your booking.
Before you do pay that deposit, it’s your
last chance to read over contracts and ask
any questions.
You don’t want to go into anything without
knowing exactly where you stand.
And, it should go without saying, reach
out to the wedding vendors who you have
decided, for whatever reason, just aren’t
right for you. It’s common courtesy. Don’t
stress about the wedding vendors taking
oense; they will appreciate the honesty,
we promise.
How to choose your
wedding vendors.
                       A LOVE STORY

dwt | 103
We wish we could say we met in a cute way
like they do in the movies, but the truth is
we met in a much cuter way; Tinder!
We decided to meet in person at a beach
in Newcastle. The funny thing is, is that one
of us thought it was halfway between our
houses, while the other one of us knew
this denitely was not the case!
Nonetheless, he made the drive from
the Central Coast anyway (like a true
gentleman). We both awkwardly, but
excitedly, got to know each other while
exploring Newcastle, and ended up with a
pretty intense sunburn as a souvenir for
the best rst date ever.
Some of our favorite memories were in
that time, when we rst started seeing
each other. We lived about an hour and a
half away from each other, so the whole
day would be spent waiting to begin the
drive to the other person’s house.
The best part was always walking through
the front door and seeing the other person
just as excited to see you. It was our own
little escape from the world, just the two
of us.
Like any relationship though, it hasn’t
always been roses.
The biggest challenge we’ve faced has been
maintaining a good, healthy relationship,
while one of us completed a university
University degrees come along with their
own fair share of challenges.
Combine stress, mental health, spending
months away from each other over
placement periods and pre and post-
exam breakdowns. With a general lack
of nancial security, it is tough on one
person, let alone adding a relationship into
the mix.
Lucky for us, Dean is the most supportive,
beautiful human in the entire world and
took it all in his stride.
For Dean, his favorite thing about Sam is
his unfettered love for plants, art, music,
fashion, good food, and even board games.
Before he met Sam, he never looked twice
at plants or bothered to play a game of
chess, etc. But since being together, Sam
has taught Dean to look at these things in
a new light, with a better understanding
and appreciation for them. Now, Dean
can’t walk into a nursery without buying a
For Sam, his favorite things about Dean are
his infectious laughter, his positive outlook
on life, his sense of adventure, and the
way he listens to Dean’s many rambling
Dean has a tendency to get side-tracked
easily, and a 5-minute fun fact turns into
an entire breakdown of why each Harry
Potter book is superior to each Harry
Potter movie. But, most of all, he loves the
warmth and love he gives him.
We both see ourselves traveling, buying
a house, adopting more pets, getting
married, and eventually having kids.
A note from the photographer: Fox & Kin
In celebration of pride month, I gave away
an at-home shoot, and Dean and Sam
were the couple who won. They rented
out a super cute Airbnb, and we spent the
afternoon hanging out and documenting
their beautiful, playful and intense love.

Photography by Gabriell Vieira

Lisbon | Portugal

                          A PROPOSAL

dwt | 109
Together, Lauren and Roya had
purposely discussed the ins and outs
of an engagement, before the proposal
They are rm believers that both partners
need to be on the same page when it
comes to monumental life moments and
milestones. While a proposal (that is a true
surprise) sounded romantic to them, they
both wanted to be condent that they
were ready.
Ultimately, they had always known that
they wanted to marry one another, so
it was more a matter of when, than if.
Then, after moving into a new place and
receiving promotions at work, the timing
just felt right.
They discussed who would propose to
who, and Roya expressed interest in being
the one to do both the planning and the
asking. While Lauren knew it would be
happening, she had no idea of how, or
when it was happening.
It turned out, Roya already had the
proposal in the works, for over a year.
As a surprise, Roya had orchestrated a
couples photography shoot - one that
would disguise the anticipated proposal.
The photographer, Kristyn, suggested the
location, which was a nearby canyon. The
original idea was to make the proposal
at the beach, where they had their rst
date. However, Kristyn advised that beach
pictures may be dicult, depending on the
weather, and Roya wasn’t prepared to take
the risk.
A choice that paid o - their dream
proposal was captured right at sunset.
Directly after the proposal, Roya took
Lauren to a nearby restaurant for,
what Lauren thought would be a small
celebratory moment for us.
Lauren stood out the front, trying to call
her parents to share the good news. She
was unable to get through after multiple
attempts and desperate texts to call her
back, so, Roya convinced Lauren to try
from inside the restaurant.
On walking in, Lauren quickly realized
the entire room was lled with their
loved ones - Lauren’s parents included. It
turns out while Lauren was making those
frantic phone calls from just outside the
restaurant, Roya was texting them not to
answer their phones. Both of their families
were there, as well as their friends from all
over the country.
Roya had secretly been in contact with
them, coordinating ights, and organizing
the surprise.
Neither Lauren or Roya wanted a traditional
diamond ring for ethical reasons, but they
loved the look of moissanite, so that choice
was perfect. Both rings have a beautiful
rose gold setting.
Lauren found the rings and shared them
with Roya prior to the proposal, to give her
an idea of what she would like. However,
even more special than the ring, was the
box that Roya chose to place it in.
The lid of the box was adorned with
wooden carvings of our two cats, and the
interior of the box said “Meowy Me.” A
special little reminder of the life they have
already built together.
For the lovers, their engagement
represents their shared goal of spending
their lives together.

                          A LOVE STORY

dwt | 115
How did you meet?
B & J: We meet in an English class
twelve years ago while pursuing our
undergraduate degrees. We became great
friends on social media and made our
relationship ocial a number of months
later. We have been inseparable ever
since. We would spend hours talking on
the phone late at night just getting to know
each other, we’re best friends rst which is
the beautiful foundation our relationship
has been built upon.
What is your favorite memory together?
B: I have so many, however my favorite
memory would be a week-long trip we
took to New York in December of 2012.
My family lives in New York so I never have
experienced New York through the eyes of
someone who has never been. That was
Joel’s rst real trip to the states capital, we
went to our rst Broadway show, saw Jay-Z
for the rst time and tried every cuisine
New York had to oer.
J: I would have to say my favorite memory
would be our birthday celebrations.
We both believe birthdays should be
celebrated in a grand way. So each year we
design a cake for the others birthday that
ts the theme of that year’s party. We keep
the cake design secret so its a surprise
you get to enjoy for your birthday. This is
something I greatly enjoy and always look
forward to every year!
As you can imagine we’ve spent many
birthdays together so we’ve had some
beautiful cakes made each year.
What’s been some of the harder things
you’ve had to overcome together?
B: I believe the biggest challenge we had
to overcome was when we lived apart for
three years, we were tested in every way
I was in grad school and Joel, had taken a
new job. Those three years forced us to
really do some self-exploration and face
some major fears head-on. I believe it was
during that time that we truly understood
the meaning of unconditional love, and in
turn our love for one another.
J: I completely agree with Bobby, those
three years away were some of the most
trying times of our relationship. Meeting
each other while we were so young we
hardly knew ourselves, the time apart
was lled with us discovering ourselves as
adults outside of college life.
We learned so much about ourselves,
and it gave us an opportunity to come
back together and grow from the young
boys that met, to the young men we are
What is your favorite thing about one
B: My favorite thing about Joel is the fact
that he is my best friend, he gets me like
no one else does and I know he has my
back. I also admire and respect his creative
ability, I’ve never met someone who is
good at almost everything they do.
J: My favorite thing about Bobby is his love
for music, he lights up when it comes to
anything music. From the fashion, the
stage design at the concerts, the musical
arrangements, and production. Bobby
would always make mixed CDs or playlists
of music for me, I would always be excited
to hear the new music he’d mix together
just for me.
And, what does the future hold for you
B & J: First is our marriage in August 2020.
Then, possibly children. Most importantly
though, it’ll be growing together, traveling
the world and starting a business.
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A note from the photographer:

“This shoot was all about fun, love and 
honestly, what I hope for every wedding
of mine to be. I wanted it to capture what
LGBTQ+ means to me.

Being a ‘late-life lesbian’ has really opened
my eyes to making LGBTQ+ couples more
visible and the need to normalize, things
like getting married.

The rainbow veil was actually what the
whole shoot was based around. When I saw
that beauty from Crown & Glory, I knew it
would be a big part of the photoshoot and
overall look of what I wanted to achieve.

From there, the majority of my ideas came
from pastel rainbow colors, whilst adding
in fun oristry as well as vintage ideas and
styling. The cake and sweet grazing table
was a big idea for us, all the colors and
textures worked so well together, and the
vintage styling table connected everything
so well.

The veil worked perfectly with the dress,
with its simple, but beautiful features the
veil had a moment of its own.

It is all a perfect blend of styles, it feels
sweet and pretty, whilst being cool too.
The vintage vibes of the ceremony and top
table, especially, made the relaxed but fun
look all come together.

Although the weather was against us,
getting out in Brighton was still so much
fun & also so important to show couples to
make the most of their day- no matter the
weather. Being in between a few dierent
storms, photographing on the pier still
worked well, with the girls putting on their
converse and jackets for a more relaxed

Megan & Whitney’s love shines through on
every single photo; they were such a joy
to photograph and made the shoot come
together seamlessly”

Photography & Concept
Stephanie Dreams Photography
Charlotte Anne Cake Design

Perfect Words Ceremonies

Megan & Whitney (What Wegan Did Next)

Nadia Wyatt H&MU
Robynne Calvert Music
Painted Jackets
Creations by Miss Molly

Perspex Signs
Petitjeans Designs

Planning & Floristry
Hire Societies
Made by Rae Designs

Styling & Props
Betty Loves Vintage
Crown and Glory
JDP Photography

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A historic estate with a modern twist in the heart of Gippsland Victoria, offering you and your guests a perfect and relax...
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Photo By Tessa Follett Photo By Shari + Mike