When Australian couple Kelly Mackenzie and Kirsty Albion got engaged on a snowy mountaintop last year, they never thought they’d be married for real within 14 months.
You see, when the couple got engaged marriage equality was not yet legal in Australia. Even though it was a hot topic, it seemed unlikely it was going to become a reality anytime soon.
Fast-forward to September 2017 and the Australian Government announced a public postal survey on the issue.
Thankfully most Aussies voted in favor of same-sex marriage and the parliament made it law a few weeks later.
‘We got engaged in October last year on top of a snowy mountain, then started planning a commitment ceremony and a trip to New Zealand [to get married],’ Mackenzie told Gay Star News.
‘We had no idea that a non-binding non-compulsory postal vote would happen at the same time and that if we were lucky it might actually be legal. It’s pretty amazing.’
The women set 3 January, 2018 as the date for their commitment ceremony. That’s only six days shy of when same-sex couples can start legally getting married.
But with the wedding venue booked and people flying in from around the world, there was no way the couple could push back the date.
So, like some other couples have already done they applied for an exemption to get married sooner.
‘We wrote a very convincing 11 page letter to the Tasmanian registrar with our case,’ Mackenzie said.
‘We were so thrilled when our celebrant gave us the call that we it had been approved and we’re so excited to have a real life legal wedding.’
The women also had another very important reason for keeping their wedding date.
‘The main reason we applied for an exemption is because our dear friend and bridesmaid has terminal cancer, so pushing back the wedding would mean that she wouldn’t be able to make it, and we really want to share the day with her,’ Mackenzie said.
Albion and Mackenzie said they were very excited to be part of a historic moment for Australia.
The reception will be very PRIDEful
On top of being involved in history, the women’s wedding reception will also feature the PRIDElweiss beer.
Aussie brewery Stomping Ground in the southern city of Melbourne, created the special beer a few years ago. PRIDElweiss was initially created as a tap-only beer to support emerging LGBTI artists at the annual Midsumma Festival in January.
But after being inspired by the ‘yes’ results in the postal survey, the brewery decided to give free cases of PRIDElweiss to couples getting married.
‘Given the official date of the first same-sex weddings is January 9, we simply decided it would be a nice gift for those getting married on that historic date (or earlier, if they were able to get exemptions) a couple of cases to help them celebrate,’ said Stomping Ground’s director, Steve Jeffares.
‘It is important to us at Stomping Ground to be meaningfully engaged with the community in general.
‘We also supported the ‘Yes’ campaign because we passionately believe that equality for all in our community matters. ‘
How do I get the free beer?
Stomping Ground is giving the free beer to 25 same-sex couples getting married in Melbourne or Sydney on, or before 9 January.
To score the free beer, couples need to take a photo of themselves and share it to their Instagram. They’ll need to tag Stomping Ground @stompinggroundbrewingco and use the hashtag #PRIDElweiss. Stomping Ground will be in touch to sort out the rest.
Mackenzie and Albion were very keen to get their hands on the free beer for their big day.
‘It’s great that companies like Stomping Ground are giving back to the LGBTIQ community like this,’ Mackenzie said.
‘Plus we have a lot of rainbow going on at our wedding so it makes sense to serve rainbow beer.’