Heaps EnGayged: Lia-Belle & Lotte
By Kat Dopper
So we love love… We love seeing people happy. Soooo we have decided to start a new column on Heaps Gay called Heaps EnGayged. Each week we hero a bloody lovely loved up couple from our community. If you want us to feature you, send me an email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
LIA- BELLE & LOTTE
How did you meet?
LBK: We had known of each other through mutual friends but met properly when I contracted Lotte to produce a show I was working on for MBFW.
LBJ: Actually I first remember meeting Lia at Gordans Bay a few years ago when there was a group of us (and her then puppy pug dog Lordie) hanging out ocean side.
Why is marriage important to you?
LBK: Lotte and I are currently planning our wedding and although it’s not legally acknowledged by the Australian government, the ceremony and the commitment of which we are making, we see as being just as important and binds us to each other in just the same way as if it were legal.
Before Lotte proposed I initially wanted to wait until same sex marriage was legal in Australia, but by doing that it meant I was succumbing to the limitations enforced by the government and I didn’t want to do that. I don’t want us to not do something that we really really want to do because we’re told that we can’t. I deeply love Lotte and I want to do this. I’m not going to be dissuaded by the legal system in Australia and our friends and family all support our choice to do so.
I want to marry Lotte because I want to formally commit myself to her, and promise to love her for the rest of my life. I can do that privately and it would mean the same thing, and I could wait until it’s legal, but we’re both ready, and we both want to make a formal announcement in front of our friends and family and celebrate the event at this time our lives.
Marriage for me is more than a certificate or laws, marriage is a love, a binding between two souls who cannot imagine a life without the other one in it, and the strength of marriage between them represents their commitment and unity in a life. We want to share this deep love in front of our friends and family and show that love is love and there isn’t anything that could hold us back for what will be.
If you could get married today what would you do?
Actually we are getting married next week and for our wedding we’re having the ceremony in a beautiful historical sandstone gallery with an industrial atrium and glass ceiling. The reception is on the rooftop of The Old Clare hotel. We initially had a dinner booked at Chiswick but changed our minds as we really wanted the night to be a big celebration (party…!)– and what better place to have a party than on a rooftop with a pool in the middle of our beautiful city.
When planning locations and concepting how we wanted the event to be experienced, our top priority was that everything on the day was meaningful and that everyone felt the emotional intimacy and importance of the event. The celebrant is Lotte’s life long best friend (Lauren Meakin), our close friend Caitlin Park is playing the music for the ceremony, and amazing friends Jacqui Cunningham (Cunningpants), Anna Hay (The Smuts) and Tess Nicolaou (Mira Boru) are lending their love and musical genius and djing on the rooftop. The drinks at the reception we have created ourselves. There’s no flower arrangements just huge bunches of our favourite flower in silver buckets and hand made vases. Little touches like burning candles of our favourite fragrance at both the ceremony and reception so guests remember the unique scent of the event (Maison Balzac 1642). We’ve had linen napkins & custom boxes of matches made both with a personal monogram that carried across from the invitations, and an epic neon sign that Lotte’s friend Ryan Daniell designed that will hang behind us at the ceremony, and behind the DJ’s at the reception, we’ve also got a friend Rick Foureyes doing flash sheet tattoo’s on the night! To really provide long lasting memories… Just lots of little things that are simple, sentimental & unique to us. It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful, although we hope it comes pretty close to it.
What traditions do you plan to stick with? Which ones will do away with? Why?
LBK: Planning our wedding proved to be quite interesting, mostly because I’ve never been to one. I approached the situation not wanting to include any traditional elements, not even a cake, bouquet or wedding photographer as I wanted the night to be a refreshing experience for all of our friends and family and unlike any wedding they had attended before. Lotte and I both worked to execute a completely original event whilst still maintaining the dignity of a formal wedding ceremony. Lotte did manage to talk me around to a few things, (including a wedding cake by Andy Bowdy and professional photographer), and my mum is walking me down the aisle, but apart from that we’ve ensured everything is original, including writing the ceremony script and vows for the celebrant.
Have you ever been in a situation where not being married made things more difficult for you?
LBK: No, not yet. Although I think as we get older and maybe when we start a family or if we buy a house it might become an issue. To be honest the only negativity I’ve experienced as a direct result of same-sex marriage being illegal is that our wedding isn’t being taken as seriously by some people we know than if perhaps, we were a heterosexual couple. Generally everyone supports us but I also think there’s a lot of subconscious homophobia going on, particularly amongst our parents generation.
LJB: No I haven’t had any experiences that have made things more difficult. The only thing is the somewhat confusion of our Government and the current status of the issue. That a lot of family and freinds and to be honest personally, is that we don’t know how close or far we are from a change in the same sex laws. So even though we can only hold a ‘commitment ceremony’ to us, it’s our wedding, it’s the day we are getting married and no law will change the way we feel.