We’ve been together for 9 years- since 20 August 2009.

We met online. I told Mary that we needed to meet in person after only talking for a few days so that I could make sure she was not a weirdo. We made plans to meet at a coffee shop and both went to different locations on opposite sides of town as there are two café’s by that name in town.

Eventually, we made it to the same location and instantly hit it off. After the date, Mary text me as she was walking away saying what a great time she had. We still laugh about this now as I could see Mary as she was texting me- she tries to tell me it was her “move.” It’s cliché, but we really were inseparable from that day on. Mary moved in with me three weeks later.

As soon as the announcement came that the laws had changed in Australia and we could now legally marry, Mary and I started planning our wedding for the 17th August 2019. We visited venues and began planning the traditional wedding everyone thought we would have. But, we just both felt that we lacked the excitement about it that we should have had and that we were both dreading the formality of that type of wedding.

In April, amidst our planning we lost a close friend, Susan, to cancer; a friend who impacted our lives, made us laugh till our sides hurt and who we had always said would share the mc’ing gig for our wedding night with my little brother Jarad. A few months before that we lost another beautiful friend, Bec, to cystic fibrosis. These two friends were right up there with our biggest cheerleaders. Bec would send us messages of support and comment on every post that Mary and I shared about marriage equality. One such message read “Keep proving to the world that love is love, regardless of gender, and know that Spencer is extremely lucky to have two mummies who allow her to have a big heart and an open mind.” Susan showed that same support. One text she sent said that she hopes that we are keeping well “in this shitty time of this stupid fucking vote thing.” She said; “I am really conscious about those stupid fucking ads on telly at the moment. If they come on and I can’t change the channel straight away- I break out into a Tourette’s inspired song and dance routine, so the kids are distracted and don’t notice the TV”.

And so, with these two holes left in our lives, we suddenly realised how short and unexpected life can be and I posed the idea of a surprise wedding to Mary- she loved it and we got planning straight away bringing only our Mum’s and our friend and celebrant Hayley on board to help us pull it off.

Given that we had not been feeling the traditional wedding planning, we decided instead to approach one of our favorite go-to food places to see if it would be an option. They had never done a wedding at the venue before but, were excited by our proposal and thankfully jumped on board and did what was needed to make it work. They even ticked off Mary’s number one wedding wish- to dance in the open air under festoon lighting.

Having been together for nine years and having two beautiful children together already, the plans that we started to make excited us so much more and the relaxed and fun feel we decided on just really clicked for us. The wedding theme was industrial boho and with the shipping container bar and shipping container food stall, food truck style menu, relaxed seating and live music, I think we definitely achieved that.

All of our guests thought that they were coming to Mary’s surprise birthday party and so we decided to have a first glance photo shoot and get our destination photos taken before the ceremony. This meant that the ceremony just flowed into the reception which was fantastic.

Along the way, there were moments where people accidentally spilled Mary’s surprise birthday party to her which gave us lots of laughs afterwards. I got to share lots of messages with Mary that friends were sending offering to help with the surprise party or asking what to get her for a gift and we would have fun responding together and thinking about a gift we could suggest that we would both benefit from! A few friends and family did question if I was surprising Mary with a wedding and I would blow them off and say Mary would kill me if I did that to her, to which they would agree, not thinking that legally I couldn’t pull that off even if I wanted to!

We got lucky with the band for our wedding. We wanted some live music for the night and had always admired our neighbors Sunday sessions that we would enjoy with a drink from our patio next door. Mary popped a letter in their mailbox introducing ourselves, asking them if they were a band and asking if they would be interested in playing at our wedding; they were and were super excited to get on board!

Probably the most stressful part was getting people there and making sure they were on time. We had a few people text in the week before saying that they would miss the surprise but would be there later and we had to work hard to find a way to convince them to be there on time.

We didn’t incorporate any religious traditions, but our Mum’s did bring lots of traditions into the day for us. We had sixpence on our shoes given by our father’s, something borrowed/ old/ new and blue, a pillow for our rings that Krystal and her siblings had all slept on the night they came home from hospital and horseshoes from Krystal’s Mum’s wedding day.

We decided against having a wedding party and just had our children instead.

We did the tradition of having our father’s walk us down the aisle as we knew how much that meant to both of them. We threw around lots of ideas about how to enter and eventually decided that we each wanted the other to have that moment of walking down the aisle and so I walked down first with my Dad and Spencer and waited for Mary as her father escorted her behind.

For the bouquet toss, we had all the single people gather to try and catch it!

WHAT DOES MARRIAGE MEAN TO YOU?

Mary: It is so many things. I knew less than a year into our relationship that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with Krystal and marry her. Krystal is the love of my life, she is my home, she is my rock, she builds me up and encourages me to be the best version of myself, she loves me wholeheartedly and she is the inspiring and amazing mother of our two gorgeous children. Marrying Krystal feels like the epitome to our relationship and both celebrates and formalizes it and all that we have for one another. After nine years together I feel like the luckiest woman alive to call her my wife.

Marriage for me is also the ability to provide our beautiful children with married parents, just as my parents are married and our friends have married. I hope that marriage will make our children feel even more united and secure as a family.

Krystal: I knew that marrying Mary would mean a lot to me, but it wasn’t until she was my wife that I realized just how much. The morning after I remember looking at her and just feeling this overwhelming responsibility always to keep her safe. Mary is home to me, being with her feels so right, and I’m so excited that she is my forever and that I get to call her my WIFE!

The night following the wedding I was putting our daughter to sleep and she said to me “Mum are you so excited that we’re all McCarthy’s now? I’m so happy we are”. In that moment I knew this was why we had always needed marriage equality – our family is now one and truly recognized as equal.


Cinematographer Nathan Vallis Videography | Cake Ottos Palour Patisserie | Cake Topper ‘Finally’ by Urban Words Australia| Catering Ottos Fresh Food Market | Ceremony Venue Ottos Lane | Celebrant Hayley K | Entertainment Sugar and Spice | Engagement Rings: Jewellery By Design | Florist The Secret Garden | H&MU Kristin Martin Make up Artist, Katie May’s Art of Hair | Photographer Josephine Carter| Bridal Boutique Wedding Gowns by Melinda (Both) | Accessories Mimco and Lovissa | Flower crown The Secret Garden | Hair Piece Katie May- Art of Hair | Shoes Mimco | Flower girl outfit Oui Babe | Page boy outfit H&M and Big W