Environmentally-Conscious & Vegan LGBTQ Wedding

Susie Yang Photography

July 21, 2017

Shannon and Chris met through Gumtree! Chris was advertising for a flatmate, and Shannon was looking for a new house share. They were married in September at Half Moon Hideaway in Maleny, Queensland. Shannon is a circus enthusiast while Chris is a certified geek, they really wanted to make the day about who they are. They served vegan food, did hardly any DIY and decided not to have a bridal party, so their friends could just sit back and enjoy the day.

“We really just wanted something that was low stress, and fun for our guests,” they explained. “We wanted it to be like a big family dinner, and it was! We scrapped a lot of the boring sexist and traditional wedding ceremonial stuff. The celebrant was wonderful enough to remove all gendered language (where possible and not part of the legal section) from the ceremony. We decided to exchange VOWELS (an I and a U) instead of vows (we’re big fans of puns), and made the choice not to exchange rings.”

“We didn’t have any bouquet or garter throwing, cake cutting, or long drawn out speeches. This meant that the day had such a relaxed feel about it, and we didn’t have to stick to a timetable. One thing we did decide to include before the ceremony started was an acknowledgement of country. Unfortunately, this isn’t something you see very often in wedding ceremonies, and we felt that it was important to acknowledge the Jiniburra and Gubbi Gubbi people, who are the traditional custodians of the land we were on.”

Their ceremony was loud and full of laughter and their favourite moment was walking to the wedding together. “Walking down from the cottage together as all of our friends were waiting, making an absolute racket (we gave all our guests Batman party blowers so they could hoot, holler and make as much celebratory noise as they liked!) and waving us down. It was so loud that we couldn’t hear the music, but it was the best way to be greeted.”

As they wanted to keep their day simple and stress free they decided to keep DIY to a minimum. “We didn’t do any major DIY, in order to reduce our stress levels! However we didn’t realise how much time and head space wedding planning would take up! Even though neither of us were a traditional bride and groom, the day still took a lot of planning!”

“The best thing about planning our wedding was working out how to put together a celebration that all our family and friends would enjoy. But the worst part was sorting out all the little details and logistics, and trying not to get caught up in the social pressure around things you think you need to have. However in retrospect we wouldn’t have changed a thing about our day!”

Their biggest expense was their venue, but they saved money by keeping the decorations to a minimum. “We decided not to get a florist, or have any complicated decorations. We scattered around some blue and orange paper lanterns, and glass jars with tea light candles on the tables. These turned out to be really simple, but effective. We also decorated the tables with some foliage which we just scavenged from the venue grounds! This saved heaps of money, and also meant that the set up and take down was relatively simple. We used Paperless Post for invites which was not only cost cutting but environmental and practical. We could not recommend doing digital invitations enough. We were able to track RSVP’s easily, and update our guests with any weather announcements in real time.”

Also, rather than spending lots of money on bands and entertainers, their guests became their wedding entertainment! “Given that our guests were a mix of circus performers and geeks, we provided a mix of hula hoops, giant Jenga and Connect Four, alongside more sedate board games for the less rowdy. We also put together some playlists as a soundtrack for the evening, and to encourage any dancing.”

It was also really important to the couple to raise awareness and support for Wendybird, a not-for-profit organisation, on their wedding day. “Given that I am queer, and that we are both strong advocates for LGBTIQ+ rights, we made the decision to put out a collection jar for Wendybird”, Shannon explained. “Wendybird are a not-for-profit organisation who provide a safe and supportive community for LGBTIQ people, their friends, families and children. Given that the current lack of equal rights for LGBTIQ people can have such a negative impact on our health and well being, Wendybird aims to foster a space that improves connection, belonging, mental health and well-being, for those in the LGBTIQ community.”