It’s been a journey of giving up religion, navigating coming out and family dynamics, and living in two different countries, but all those moments have led to this wild, intimate wedding on the East Coast of Australia.
Tell us about falling in love.
Our story is a real ‘against all odds’ story.
We were both raised in a high-demand religion, where being gay was strictly against the church’s teachings and really wasn’t an option. Part of the religion was for young adults, in their early twenties, to serve a mission, often in foreign countries.
It was back in 2013 that Emily came to the UK to serve her mission, and it was during this time that she met Louise, who was very involved in the church.
During the few months that Em lived near Louise, they became good friends, enjoying the banter and connection. However, this couldn’t last as Emily, under the direction of the church, moved to another area and eventually returned home with the intention of finding a husband.
We kept in touch a little over the next nine months, but emails were sporadic and we both just got back on with our lives.
I think our story would have ended there if Emily hadn’t decided to come back to the UK and visit some of the people she met on her mission.
Of the month she spent in the UK, she spent a week of it with Louise, it was during the summer holidays and so we had days of adventures and then long conversations late into the evenings, sometimes talking about absolutely nothing and sometimes talking about the hardest times of our lives.
So, the friendship we once had was once again rekindled. And, although it was just a friendship, and a very unlikely friendship at that, I think this was where the universe first began to weave its magic and begin its course correction in Louise’s life.
That same summer, a whole sequence of events happened, a well-orchestrated set of unrelated events, which resulted in Louise completely losing her faith, and it finally led Louise to start thinking for herself: about who she was and what she really wanted from her life.
I am totally convinced that if it wasn’t for each of these events, and in some cases traumatic events happening, and right at the exact time of them happening, I (Louise) would have carried on trudging the path I felt I had no choice but to trudge, with its grey and dreary colors.
That summer was pivotal in Louise’s life changing. Having suffered a bit of a breakdown, she booked herself on a two-week holiday to Australia – I think everyone was hoping she would come back refreshed, fixed and ready to put her old life back together again, but for her, she wanted to work out where she wanted to go with her life, as well as relive some of those quiet, intimate evenings with Em. Although Louise knew there was no chance of anything happening with Emily (Em was still very religious), she wanted to revel in her company one last time.
Those two weeks in Australia, were all about friendship.
We talked lots, laughed lots, but Emily was a flirt – Louise assumed she flirted with all her friends, like some women do – but Louise knew she was developing feelings for her. Like teenage girls, we would cuddle at night as we talked, hold hands to help steady each other on rough terrain and generally find reasons to touch each other – It was all so innocent, and childlike.
We didn’t talk about what was happening in those two weeks. Louise was too afraid to scare Em off and Em had her own journey to make, one I am sure Louise wasn’t helping with. The one thing Louise knew about Emily was that she loved the church and she had made it clear she would always choose the church. So Louise left Australia expecting the friendship to fade and life to move on.
But the heart wants what the heart wants, and that included long skype calls every day – until Louise and Em agreed that one more holiday together was needed before they could both let go forever.
Yet each passing holiday, either in the UK or Australia, still wasn’t enough. So another would be booked, until eventually, in Nov 2015, Em finally accepted that love was stronger than a religious belief.
Plans were made and Emily moved over to be with Louise and her family in Feb 2016 giving up her lovely life there to become an instant mum for four girls and to face all the backlash together.
And there was a lot of it.
Tell us about the proposal.
Louise planned a holiday to Norway for the two of us and planned an amazing itinerary for us. The day of the proposal we left Oslo and took a scenic train through Norway, going past countless waterfalls and mountains.
We arrived in Flom, the gateway to the fjords.
We hired kayaks and explored them together. After that, we hiked up a mountain and even though it was 11pm, it was light as day.
We arrived a the most amazing view, sat down and started talking and then Lou popped the question.
Talk us through your wedding day.
We had the most chilled morning, having breakfast in bed and enjoying each other company.
We only had immediate family there, which we thought would never be an option a few years ago. It’s been such a long and hard journey getting to this point and we’ve lost family members through it, but now have regained them. We’ve lost friends, and our circle has become smaller, but stronger. For this reason we only wanted a handful of people there.
We wanted the day to just be about us and to celebrate our journey and how far we’ve come.
Once our guests turned up they headed to the location where the ceremony would be and waited out in the wind for us. We then got into our dresses and made our way down, trying to avoid slipping in the mud.
It was the most stunning backdrop, although a bit cold and windy as we could only come over in British summertime which is, unfortunately Australian winter. We had hair blowing everywhere but were surrounded by our loved ones and it was finally happening, two years later than planned, so we were happy.
Becky (celebrant) did the most incredible service for us and it all couldn’t be more perfect.
We had photos until sunset then went to Dan and Beks for the reception. We had no idea what to expect. We’d told Bek to keep it simple and not kill herself over it, but we all kind of knew that Bek has no idea how to keep things simple. We were absolutely blown away by how amazing the place had been transformed from a home into an incredible wedding venue.
It was incredible, and the evening was so intimate and special.
We ate loads, cried, and danced. It was just such a fun night. If it wasn’t for having tired kids, we’d have probably been up dancing all night long!
Back in 2020 we were devastated to be having our wedding cancelled, but in hindsight, we’re really glad for the two-year delay.
We were able to have our wedding and not be ashamed or embarrassed in the slightest to be us. Two years ago I think we still would have been very mindful of what others were thinking. Now in 2022, we have the full support of our families and we love who we were and are proud of it.
Dancing With Her Recommended Vendor
Photographer Wolf And Wildflower
Cake Maker Vicki (Home Baker)
Cake Stand Pillars Mayd By Rhi
Celebrant Becky Married Me
Ceremony Venue Fishermans Bay
Colored Candles Southern Lights Candle Co
Florist & Signage Electric Wildflower Events
Furniture Newy Event Collective
Glass Candle Holders The Wedding Designer
Grazing Table Graze Your Heart Out
Neon Whimsical Fox Events