Our proposal wasn’t like most others that you hear. We went out for dinner one night at our favorite restaurant – Umberto’s in Thornbury. We were dreaming of travel and where we would go. We started talking about New York. One of us suggested [we can’t remember who!] we get married over there… then we ordered another bottle of wine.

We woke up the next morning, agreed we were definitely engaged and that was it!

We chose Fenix as the venue. It’s a place nearby Katie’s parent’s house where we love to walk our dog along the river. Fenix is a special place that holds value and history, in particular to the Traditional Custodians, the Wurundjeri people.

We wanted to keep the focus on the incredible surrounds, and our love for native flowers helped to bring our wedding day – we knew that we didn’t need to fuss over lots of little details.

We each walked into our ceremony with our parents, led by our wedding parties, me first and then Zoe. Then we walked the last bit together just the two of us.

We asked Wurundjeri Elder, Aunty Di Kerr, to perform a Welcome to Country. We wanted to acknowledge the country we were getting married on, and it was the perfect way to start our ceremony. It was very emotional.

We also asked our parents and some family and close friends to warm our rings. They passed them along and gave little blessings along the way, and those blessings went into the rings before we wore them.

One of our favorite moments was after the ceremony. A cyclist rode past while we were getting photos down by the river, and she yelled out, “go girls!” It felt like all of the equality campaigning had brought people together, and it was everyone’s victory.

For Katie,

Marriage means so many things. All the joy, fun, and irritability of living with the one you love. It’s all pretty great, even in the hard moments.

People will differ on this, but it does feel different to Katie being married.

I think such a public, witnessed statement you make wholeheartedly together creates some pretty amazing energy! I also feel it is a remarkable privilege. It wasn’t something I assumed for my life, and we had to fight incredibly hard to get it. So I am grateful that fight is over and we can replace exclusion with love.

Katie & Zoe’s best advice to others planning their wedding day

Do what’s right for you both and make decisions on that together. Doing that meant we really did feel like everything reflected us, our people and our life together. A few people reminded us leading up to the day to make sure we found each other to say hi through the night as it can be very easy to hardly see each other. We were able to do this, and it was lovely.

Also, remember to breathe and try and enjoy every moment. It really does go insanely fast but trying to be present and not worry about anything meant I felt like I was in the moments as they flew by.

And, wear something that makes you feel comfortable in your skin and don’t worry about what other people want you to do.

Photographer Mavis Jean Photography

Catering Fenix
Cinematographer Harry Lloyd 
Celebrant Joyful Ceremonies
Entertainment DJ Dolly [and our talented musical friends]
Florist Panache Flowers
Gown Designer Robyn Bunting
H&MU Tamara Flanagan and Hannah Mapletoft
Lighting & Sound Hire LSS Productions
Place Cards & Menus A Box Full of Matches
Rings Katherine Bowman
Suit Designer Institchu
Venue Fenix