Home' The Canberra Times : Ivory and White 2018 Contents Ivory & White - 2018 Wedding Guide 23
MARRIAGE EQUALITY NOW A
By Gai Brodtmann, federal member for Canberra
When I first voted for marriage
equality in 2012, I was convinced
it was all about justice, that all
should be equal before the law.
But when I voted for marriage equality
again last year, I did so for different reasons.
After hundreds of conversations with the
LGBTIQ community, their families and
friends, I realised that yes, marriage equality
was about equity and yes, it was about
justice, but, most importantly, it was about
love: the right of all Australians to love who
My marriage is the most important thing
in my life, and last December Chris and I
celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary -
which he kindly shared with the nation on
the Today show.
Like any marriage, we’ve been through
our challenges, particularly trying but failing
to have a family. However, each year our
marriage gets stronger and I cannot imagine
a life without him.
So here are some of my tips for a
• Truly, deeply, madly love your partner.
• Put your marriage first. This will involve
compromise, which should be shared.
• Encourage your partner to realise their
potential, using the foundation of your
marriage for risk-taking.
• Take the pre-marriage counselling
seriously. It makes you discuss issues
and expectations that often don’t come
up in the course of your relationship, or
you assume have been agreed.
Also, here are my tips on what not to do in
advance of, and on, the big day – speaking
• Do not get your dear Mother to collect
rose petals from all her friends, then
spend the day before the wedding
frantically wrapping them in muslin
and ribbon bundles with your extended
family, to fulfill your vision of being
scattered with them after your nuptials
- only to hand them out to your guests
on the big day and everyone treating
them as a memento to take home.
• Do not go into meltdown over the fact
that the flowers aren’t the right colour
or the place setting cards don’t match
your invitation stationery.
• Do not buy new shoes and attempt to
“wear them in” with thick socks while
you are watching the television two
weeks before the wedding, only to
have your feet hacked to death over the
course of the day so by midnight you
are in excruciating pain.
• Do not let your bridesmaid buy her
dress in London after a big night, only
to discover she didn’t actually try it on
before she arrived in Canberra and it
• Do not blow all your savings on the
wedding day so you only have enough
left for a three-day honeymoon at a golf
resort miles from the beach and neither
of you play golf.
• Do not wing your speech and
unintentionally insult your bridesmaids
upon delivery. Invest the time in
thinking about what you want to say
when writing it.
• Do not stress so much that
you forget to have fun. This is
meant to be one of the happiest
days of your life. Stop sweating
the small stuff. Have a glass of
champagne, look around at your
beloved and all your fabulous friends
and family, and enjoy.
Gai Brodtmann, member for Canberra, and
Chris Uhlmann, political reporter, celebrated
their 20th anniversary in December 2017.
Gai shares some helpful and humorous advice
from her experiences.
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