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Pinky promise seals Canberra's first same-sex marriage

Elliot Williams

Published: January 13 2018 - 9:55PM

A pinky promise, it's the gesture people commonly use to make a commitment. On Saturday one was used to solemnise Canberra's first same-sex marriage.

Newlyweds Sally and Kara Bromley came together with about 100 of their closest friends and family on the lawns at the Carillon to celebrate their wedding.

For the couple, who met five years ago through dragon boating, it was a nice touch to be married at a spot they had travelled past countless times while training.

The ceremony was a follow-up to their commitment ceremony held in May 2017.

 While the couple said Saturday's event was more about the legalities of marriage, the significance of having Canberra's first same-sex marriage was not lost on them.

"It's just phenomenal," Sally said, tearing up.

"The moment when [the celebrant] said 'marriage is between two people', that was it."

Kara added: "Something else was that our certificate had the Commonwealth logo on it, it wasn't on our last one. It was a small formality but it really hit home."

Brides are well known for holding up weddings with a late arrival, but despite having double the chance of that it was Sally's mum and a misplaced cake that slightly pushed back proceedings.

The brides mingled with their guests who had all brought picnic rugs and food for the relaxed event. However, once celebrant Emma White began the ceremony there were reminders it was a wedding with extra significance.

Ms White reminded guests that at their commitment ceremony, which she also officiated, she was forced to say, "this is a moral obligation, not a legal one".

"I no longer have to say that," Ms White said to cheers and applause from the guests. 

Performing Canberra's first ceremony since the law change was a special moment for the lawyer who often tackles discrimination cases.

"Doing marriages is awesome fun regardless, but this is a bit special.

"They're a really committed couple, they're really close, great friends and that's a pretty good foundation from my experience of couples getting married."

Despite having had a ceremony less than a year ago and already calling each other wives, both women couldn't help but feel the legality added something to their relationship.

"It certainly is different. There's something more tangible about it being legal now," Kara said.

The couple thanked those who fought for marriage equality which ultimately led to their wedding.

After about 15 minutes, signing some papers, an unexpected musical addition from the Carillon, some tears of joy and many smiles, invited guests had witnessed Canberra's first legally recognised same-sex marriage under the new legislation.

That was despite Ms White almost announcing Mr and Mrs Bromley - to many laughs from the guests.

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