Wedding Planning Begins For Queensland Couples


Sandy Wert and Chris Symanski

Gay couples across Queensland have begun planning their weddings, the first of which are set to begin in early January.

Sunshine Coast couple Sandy Wert and Chris Symanski (both pictured) said they were considering a beachside wedding, either at nearby Mooloolaba or Coolum beaches.

“We’ve decided we want it to be kind of laid-back, and neither of us will wear shoes,” he said.

Sandy said he was with his partner as they watched the same-sex marriage bill pass the Parliament on December 7. He turned to Chris, told him he loved him and promised they would soon be married.

“I honestly just never thought it would pass, but when it did I was just so glad,” he said.

“When it was announced I cried happy tears, especially when they started singing ‘I am, you are, we are Australia’. It meant everything.”

Marriage equality came into effect on December 9, allowing the first same-sex couples to give their required one-month notice of their intention to wed.

On the Gold Coast, couple Luke Sullivan and Craig Burns will marry just after midnight on January 9 in the Tweed Coast Hinterland.

Luke and Craig, a sprinter set to compete at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, fell in love three years ago, and Craig proposed to his partner in Byron Bay earlier this year.

“We were contacted by friends looking to throw the first same-sex wedding,” Luke told the Gold Coast Bulletin.

The couple told the publication they’ll be joined by more than fifty friends and family at a late-night garden party ahead of the ceremony just after midnight, followed by fireworks.

Some other lucky same-sex couples around Australia have been granted permission to wed early.

Lauren Price and Amy Laker will marry in New South Wales on Saturday afternoon, and Melbourne couple Stephanie Dyball and Megan Stapleton are set to wed next Thursday.

Both couples were granted exemptions to the one-month notice period after proving to the registry office they’d booked and paid for commitment ceremonies well in advance.

Each couple’s local Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages allowed their weddings to be legally binding on financial grounds.

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