When it was announced that the majority of Australians had voted ‘yes’ to same sex marriage, making it the 26th country to legalise it, gays, lesbians, families and friends all joined together to celebrate the milestone.
Steve Samuel, a member of the LGBT community was thrilled by the outcome, “When it was announced I was overwhelmed and feeling so many emotions to know that same sex marriage would be legalised. And to think I can finally get married in my own country. I never thought it would happen.”
Many of Steve’s friends started conjuring up ideas of what their wedding will be like when they decide to tie the knot. They talked of how big and lavish the event would be.
Cited: Jordan Drysdale
The legalisation of same sex marriage seemed to have everyone believing that it would create a boom in the wedding industry within the first twelve months.
However, Nivelo Miller, director of Equally Wed, an LGBTQ wedding directory and magazine company, didn’t believe it for a second, “Equally Wed did not expect there to be thousands of marriages in January, simply because a wedding is one of the biggest days of your life. It normally takes anywhere from 6 months to 18 months to prepare, therefore the expectation of thousands of marriages was never our belief.”
Cited: Equally Wed
After re-evaluating this only three months into the year, people have started to realise that numbers aren’t hitting what was expected, but perhaps this is because it is too soon to start judging the figures.
By the end of the year, who knows how many couples will have tied the knot. But one thing is certain, these things take a lot of time and effort. If people really want the wedding industry to get that billion-dollar boost, then perhaps they should start following in the footsteps of Equally Wed.
Equally Wed offers listings of businesses that have supported marriage equality since long before it was legalised and provide everything from venues, entertainers, celebrants and even married life services such as adoption.
Nivelo says, “As Australia’s premier LGBTQ Wedding Directory and now Magazine we are experiencing rapid increase in enquiries from same sex couples as well as wedding professionals who want to provide their services for same sex weddings.”
The change in the law needs to be met by a change in the community, especially amongst the traditional wedding industry if they want to open themselves up to the same-sex wedding market. Not only that but the industry will need to change for the right reasons, not just for the money that comes with it.
Cited: Jordan Drysdale
Nivelo continues, “If they simply place a rainbow on their website to denote that they have instantly become gay-friendly, that’s not enough. Granted they may get a couple of customers through their door. But those who genuinely adapt and make changes in terms of language, understanding and respect for the LGBTQ community, and demonstrate their active support, are far more likely to see a higher demand for their services.”
Not to mention a few other factors that could be impacting the numbers everyone was hoping to see, like how the postal vote gave many negative individuals the opportunity to voice their opinions towards gays. Many people shamed their sexuality and claimed that they shouldn’t be allowed to marry.
Nivelo says, “The postal vote has had some devastating effects on the LGBTQ community, and it will take time for some people to heal before they choose to get married. The same sex wedding industry will be a challenge for businesses as they need to change, adapt and rethink their processes to cater appropriately for the LGBT+ community.”
Another factor, which definitely plays a big part in numbers is that not all same sex couples are ready to jump into a marriage just because it’s legal.
Cited: Jordan Drysdale
Steve Samuel has been in a relationship with his partner for 7 years, but at 25 years old he thinks that he has a lot more living to do before he thinks too much about marriage.
“Wedding’s are very expensive and me and my partner have other plans for the future before getting married. We want to live overseas for a bit, travel the world and continue to strive and succeed in our careers. Living our best life.”
While figures may be lower than expected their will definitely be many to come. People must sit patiently. A wedding will be treated in the same manner for these same sex couples as it is for anyone. They’ll undoubtedly make the most of their special day and begin preparations at a pace which suits them.