“While this was such a personal and special day for Callum and I, we understand that what it represents is bigger than us. If sharing it helps anyone with their current views or encourages them to be brave, it was worth it.”
Surrounded by family and friends, Callum and Clinton’s gorgeous wedding happened at Dunbar House in Watson’s Bay on a rainy day last November.
The two initially met through a mutual friend back in 2004, but got together after Clinton arrived home years later from travelling. Within weeks, the couple were planning their new life together in Sydney.
They tell Same Same the sweet story of how their relationship began, and share photos and video of the event that formally united them in spirit.
How did you two meet and get together?
Callum: Clinton was so handsome that I was initially overwhelmingly intimidated and couldn’t bring myself to talk to him or even acknowledge his presence! So silly when I look back on it, but I was a very immature 21-year-old.
We never became friends while he lived in Brisbane, and he moved to London to pursue a career in hotels. We added each other as friends on Facebook, but this was the only thread of contact we had.
Once Clinton had moved back from London, I had completed my degree and was working in a design firm in the valley. I had also grown up an awful lot and finally had the confidence to talk to him. OK it did take a bit of booze, but whatever!
“We never take for granted our truly amazing families, whose love, support and acceptance has never wavered or compromised.”
I remember one of the first conversations we had was whether each other wanted kids (laughs). Yeah… we were definitely making up for lost time and made no effort to put on the brakes. Within a month, Clinton and I had met each other’s parents and our parents had also met. Within two months we moved to Sydney together.
Two months before our wedding we had a Civil Union at the British Consulate. It was nice to know that at least one government body could legally recognise our relationship as more than defacto.
Many people question whether Clinton and I have acted too quickly, too carelessly and not waited long enough to properly build a relationship. I can only quote a well known saying: “when you know, you know.”
Who proposed to who, and how?
Clinton: On July 16th 2011, after asking my father’s permission, Callum accompanied by a four-piece string quartet proposed at Centennial Park. I of course said yes.
While I was getting my head around what had just happened, right on cue, all of our friends arrived. Followed shortly after by both of our siblings and then our parents, having all flown interstate for the proposal.
When planning your wedding, what aspects of the ceremony were important to you both?
I think that the most important part of the ceremony and I guess the entire lead up to the day was our families’ involvement. We never take for granted our truly amazing families, whose love, support and acceptance has never wavered or compromised.
We’re so very lucky to say that we had our mothers walking us down the aisle, our fathers signed the witness certificate. My brother was my best man, our sisters did a reading in the ceremony and our nieces and nephews made up the wedding party as our page boys and flower girls.
Callum and I have been very fortunate in our lives to be surrounded by loving and accepting family and friends. Being gay has been as little importance in our lives as whether or not our hair was blonde or brown. We have never had to deal with a different set of rules or guidelines when it came to being introduced to each others families or being accepted as the partner of their son or bother. So for us having them be apart of our day was the most important thing.
How did it go on the day?
The day itself ran pretty smoothly. There were of course a couple of hiccups to keep us on our toes. We were planning to have our ceremony under a beautiful fig tree outside Dunbar House, but it rained on the day. So instead, we had the ceremony inside that looked out onto the bay. We also had a slight wardrobe malfunction (I won’t name any names), though I can say that five minutes before we were meant to walked down the aisle, a member of the wedding party had to be sewed into their outfit. Something that I’m sure we will laugh at in years to come.
February 4th, 2013
What does it mean to you both now to be married?
We have always regarded this day as our ‘’wedding’’. Leading up to it, our families all referred to it as our wedding and the day that we would become husbands.
So now that it has finally happened it feels how we always imagined it to feel. Amazing, exciting, comfortable and stable.
What do you think is the key to making your relationship last?
Communication. It’s so important to talk to each other. Not just about the good thing but especially about the bad. Even when it seems hard to say, you should always talk to each other.
How do you feel about your marriage not being legally recognised yet in Australia?
We, like so many people in Australia, support marriage equality. When Callum proposed, we originally were going to wait until it became legal. There is just something special about exchanging vows that has more impact if they were legally recognised.
But the thought of waiting for 5, 10 or even 15 years for legalities to catch up with social opinion was just not an option for us. The thought of someone else deciding when we were ready for this next chapter in our lives didn’t seem to sit well – why should politics dictate when we feel that we are ready to get married, or at all?
To our friends and family this day is not a wedding between two men or even a civil ceremony, as it is most commonly called. But it is simply a wedding.
We hope that our day was an example to society of what a modern day wedding looks like. It’s not a man and a woman, a man and a man or even a woman and a woman… but two people, standing in front of the most important people in their lives expressing their love and devotion to each other, witnessed by family and friends and recognised my law.