Words by Ebany & Jacinta

We had been together for almost six years when Ebany proposed. We were tired of waiting for marriage equality to become a reality, and she realized that nothing was stopping us from getting engaged. Ebany bought rings, and the plan to propose was in progress when the plebiscite was announced.

We were feeling deflated by the negativity and having the entire country debate our love and the validity of our relationship. Ebany decided that this was not the time in which she wanted to propose. We had spent 12 months planning a holiday that would coincidentally overlap with the lead up to the plebiscite. Ebany packed the rings in the hopes of finding the perfect moment far away from the madness at home.

There was such a moment, and we got engaged in the Swiss Alps!

We were welcomed home by the news that Australia had voted in favor of marriage equality. We still weren’t 100% sure that same-sex marriage would be legalized, so we made the decision to plan a commitment ceremony that would hopefully turn out to be a legally recognized wedding.

We were so eager to start planning our big day that we had everything booked and ready to go before the legislation was passed. We were smashing it! What was everyone talking about? Planning a wedding was easy.

We made a trip together to visit the Grace Loves Lace showroom at the Gold Coast. What an amazing experience. Our stylist, Tina, was so patient with helping us find the perfect dresses. We each found the one we loved and were so set on them that we decided looking elsewhere wasn’t necessary.

About a month later, we saw on Facebook our venue had gone into involuntary receivership and was placed in the hands of an administrator. We lost our significant deposit and now had to find a new venue with far less funds than we originally had. Fun!

It turns out that everything does happen for a reason. We noticed one of the cafes in Dubbo had hosted a wedding or two and decided to approach them and see what they could do. We fell in love with the space. We could not believe that we had never been in there before, and it instantly became the perfect venue for us. The cafe owners, Cristina and Alister could not have been more accommodating; everything ran perfectly.

We went from a more formal seated wedding with 100 guests to an intimate 70 close friends and family canapé style wedding/party.

We would try and keep the lead up to the wedding as stress-free and relaxed as possible. However, this didn’t really go according to plan. Jacinta’s chronic spinal condition had progressed significantly, and standing, walking, sitting and basically life in general, had become increasingly difficult. Our anxiety was sky high, and we had no idea how she was going to get through such a huge day. A very talented family friend, Leonie, helped Jacinta by taking the 1.2m train off her dress and brought the lining up so that she could walk more freely. We loved how the dress ended up, and you would never have known it was altered. We ordered her an awesome walking cane to use and she got through the day. Not at all easily, but she stayed out until midnight with a huge smile on her face! We had lots of help on the day and we ended up not worrying at all about the smaller details.

The morning of our wedding day was spent together at our home getting ready with our sisters, mums, and Jacinta’s best friend. It was perfect for us, relaxed, and being in our own home kept the nerves at bay as much as possible.

All our planning paid off, and everything fell into place beautifully. We could not have wished for a more perfect day. There were many happy tears shed and we received the best hugs ever!

There is really something special about having a room full of people who love you both and are genuinely over the moon elated for you. The vibe was unreal! We had Howard and Alex travel from the Central Coast to play at the reception, and we were lucky enough to have Ebany’s sister Kylie play at the ceremony and for our first dance. We decided to stay at Press for photos as it was too much on Jacinta to travel elsewhere, but our photographer Kirsten made it work, she was so patient with us and the photos look amazing. The venue was fantastic! Better than we could have imagined and suited us way more than the previous one we chose.

Our wedding was absolutely perfect for us. Super chilled and super fun!
No formalities, just a big party! A very happy ending for us.

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Captured by Kirsten Cunningham