The Love Party

Elsa Campbell ~ HR-498.jpg

I’ve been sitting on writing this post for well over a year now. It’s been nice to sit with these memories and share them with friends and family. I’m also excited to share some of our day with your all as well!

So what in the heck is a Love Party?

The idea for the Love Party came about because we decided to throw a “party where we tell each other how grossly in love we are and make out in front of our family and friends”. This was well before the Same Sex Marriage postal survey had been confirmed to go ahead. I have always had conflicted feelings about marriage, but definitely did not want to get legally married while so many of the people I love couldn’t.

So instead we decided to plan a ceremony that celebrated our commitment to one another, and reflected who we are as a couple as well as the things we appreciate and value, but to completely ditch the rest.

What we ended up with, was a day filled with laughter, kisses, black dresses and happy tears.

While I was determined to avoid as many of the unnecessary trappings of the Wedding Industrial Complex as possible, we identified a few non-negotiable’s early on.

For me, it was really important that we had an excellent photographer to capture the day, and this was the one expense I did not want to scrimp on.

Jordan was insistent that we have cake, and I wanted to stop for ice cream.

While it wasn’t something we had originally thought of as a non negotiable, we opted to work with a celebrant to ensure that the ceremony flowed smoothly, and to help us tell our story coherently, and this was a very good decision.

Deciding not to go down the path of a legal ceremony meant that we could write our own ceremony, which was kind of daunting at first, along with our own vows - which was the one element we didn’t share with each other ahead of the day.

Given that both of our families live hours away, Jordan and I were both actively involved in planning the event together, and by doing a lot of things ourselves we managed to keep our expenses relatively low.

Two of the traditions I had fun doing away with were being “given away”, and hiding my dress from Jordan.

Instead, we decided to flip these with nobody except for Jordan having seen my dress ahead of the day, and we arrived at the ceremony hand in hand. We also made a point of acknowledging our parents during the ceremony, and we invited my dad to speak.

This was one of my favourite parts of the ceremony, as a lot of people - particularly older friends and family didn’t quite understand why we were having a “wedding without the marriage part” - let alone why we asked everyone to “Dress for a funeral, but come for a party!” and Dad did a great job of speaking to that gap.

By creating the ceremony in the way we did, it not only felt more meaningful to us, but also to a lot of our guests - particularly family members told us afterwards that they had found it more emotionally affecting than they had anticipated.

Having the entire day close to home helped reduce a lot of the stress both in the the lead up, and particularly on the day which was very, very hot, and I ended up being very sick. We got ready at home, and held the ceremony in one of our favourite parks. It was so nice to have our apartment filled with the chosen family who made up our “Un-Bridal Party” while we got ready, and stopping for ice cream on the way proved to be an excellent idea.

Elsa Campbell ~ HR-172.jpg

The overall aesthetic and theme of the day was Addam’s Family meets Modern Art with touches of Jean Miro inspired paintwork at the ceremony and on our cake. We popped up over a grassy knoll and walked down the aisle to ‘Miseria Cantera’ by A Fire Inside, and jumped up and down with excitement to ‘Bohemian Like You’ by the Dandy Warhols after we “Officially Made Out”.

By holding the reception in a cafe where everyone was able to move around and chat, we avoided the stress of creating a seating plan, and I think people made a whole bunch of new friends because they weren’t stuck sitting with the same ten people all night. Most of the kids seemed to have a lot of fun too - even though we didn’t plan any specific activities to keep them busy or entertained.

Our bleeding heart cake was a huge hit, but by far our favourite person to work with was our photographer, Elsa Campbell, who we cannot recommend highly enough.

It was important that we worked with somebody who we both felt comfortable with - particularly given that I was a little self conscious about my how my birthmarks would look in photos. Elsa helped us both feel completely at ease. She was fun to hang out with and she made us both laugh a lot. The photos not only captured the joy of the day, but have also helped me feel a little more at home in my skin by helping me see my wrinkles and scars in new ways.

My advice to anyone planning a wedding, or similar celebration is to identify the things that actually matter to you and your partner and stick with them.

Anything you’re not super enthusiastic about - or that you’re really opposed to you can totally ditch - including the marriage part!

You can totally pick an entire playlist filled with music you want to dance to - rather than the tired old wedding ‘classics’ like the Nutbush, or Mambo No. 5 (unless that’s your jam, in which case I’m not here to judge so long as you do ‘You’).


A very big special thank you to all of these vendors who helped us pull off the Love Party:

Photography: Elsa Campbell

Celebrant: Benny Roff

Cake: Atomic Cakes

Hair: Caitlin and Salon Hugh

Catering: Sundae School Ice Creamery and Eden Espresso

Rings: Psychic Desert and Michael Hill Jewellers

Pins: Jubly Umph

Stationery: Canva