I recently attended my first lesbian wedding in Northern Ireland of all places! While residing in Sydney, one of the brides is from Belfast which is why the lovebirds, their favourite homies and a posse of Aussie lezbangers travelled to the other side of the world for the love-fest.
In official terms it was a civil partnership, but while the UK still hasn’t green lit the “M” word for gays, for everyone there it was a wedding and an incredibly cool one at that.
Let me start with the outfits. The brides looked like they’d walked off the set of a Janelle Monae clip – one had killer black jodhpurs, a bolero jacket and an off-white fur stole around her shoulders. The other wore a princess-like black tulle skirt, a sheer top adorned with a bowtie and buttons and some very Australian RM Williams boots. Effing rad.
The girls grooved down the catwalk-slash-aisle to Al Green’s ‘Let’s Stay Together’ and guests were provided with the lyrics so we could all sing along.
For me the most beautiful part of the ceremony was watching the girls’ mums and dads as their daughters exchanged vows. One lot had come all the way from Australia and the other Irish folks were frail and in their 80s. Like many parents of gay kids, these guys had probably doubted they were ever going to experience this moment – so seeing their proud, happy faces brought tears to my eyes.
Even the celebrant teared up as she read out the formalities. I later found out her son was gay so the ceremony had taken on a special significance for her as well.
It highlights how it’s not just we homos who are being excluded from society’s most celebrated traditions – our loved ones are being jibbed too.
We all whooped and cheered as their partnership was declared official then kicked on to party in true Irish style. The evening featured a variety of tributes and performances such as 81-year-old father of the bride, Frank’s, unforgettable rendition of ‘Danny Boy’.
The Sydney queers crumped and carried on with Ireland’s lesbian massive – including two awesome ladies who happened to be the first couple civilly partnered in the UK in 2005.
The only downside to my night was when Frank declined my invitation to dance. He said it was because he’d already packed away his portable oxygen tank. Fair excuse I guess.
By MONIQUE SCHAFTER