Childhood sweethearts Sue and Mell are as inseparable now as they were in primary school. Matthew Wade spoke with the couple about getting tying the knot at Melbourne Pride.
Sue and Mell were best friends in primary school.
When they were ten, their family homes serendipitously shared the same back fence, and they would often climb the pool ladder to call out to each other during the day.
“I didn’t hear from or speak to her for a long time,” Mell recalls.
“But then my sister ran into Sue at the local shopping centre one day, and found out that Sue had been married, before leaving her husband and coming out.
“And my sister told her you’re not going to believe this, but Mell came out as well.”
After the coincidental revelation, the pair reconnected, and spoke over the phone for a month before organising a catch up.
“When we finally met up again, we hit it off,” Mell says.
The pair recently got married at the end of Melbourne’s Pride March, in 39 degree weather amongst thousands of LGBTI revellers.
The pair had already had a commitment ceremony, however in light of marriage equality, decided to make it official.
“We always wanted to get married, but never thought it would happen,” Mell says.
“A competition was advertised through Midsumma and Sue entered it without telling me, and then one day on the decking she said we’d won it.
“I’m not a huge crowd person and I knew it was going to be a very public wedding, but once we had won it was all systems go.”
At the end of the Pride March, which saw 40,000 people take to Melbourne’s streets to cheer on more than 200 groups and organisations and an estimated 8,000 marchers, Sue and Mell got married at Catani Gardens in St Kilda.
Mell says it was a beautiful day filled with friends, family, and community, and the pair loved every moment of it.
“We got so much support throughout the day everywhere we went – everyone said congratulations and said how happy they were that we could get married in an equal society,” she says.
“It’s unbelievable that it’s real and legal now, and it’s the little things that make a world of difference: we’re safe, we’re protected, and I know if anything were to happen to me that Sue will be safe and we’d be covered.
“The highlight of my day was hearing the words, ‘Mell, I take you as my lawfully wedded wife’, Sue is the most kind-hearted, giving, and gorgeous person.”
Mell encourages other couples thinking of tying the knot to go for it.
“If you’ve found the one, don’t wait or procrastinate, just do it,” she says.
“If you’ve found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, do it.
“I’d really love to thank Midsumma Festival, because the whole wedding couldn’t have been more perfect, and they worked everything out for us.”