Erin and Nicole, same-sex wedding at Sandbar Beach Cafe, Charis White Celebrant


Erin and Nicole are an amazing couple. I first met them at the Sandbar Beach Cafe open night.  They were lovely, we chatted about love and the fact that Australia needed to get with the times and change the law. The had already booked their commitment ceremony at The Sandbar and Nicole’s cousin was going to lead the commitment ceremony. My parting words were “you ladies are lovely, here is my card in case you need my services in the near future?”

Fast forward six months, and I am at the car wash when I receive an email from Nicole. In the email they asked if I could help them put a case forward to Births, Deaths and Marriage in case the law changed in time for their commitment ceremony. Of course I said “yes.” This was the start of an email chain of proof that I was free on their day and that they had been planning this commitment ceremony a very long time.

On November 14th Australians spoke and officially votes “yes” to same sex marriage.

December 8th same sex marriage was legalised and so began our journey of filling in the Notice of Intended marriage, as Nicole and Erin were doing their commitment ceremony on December 30th, we were quickly running out of time.

The girls went into Births Deaths and Marriages with their proof and the NOIM, and we waited.

I finally got a call from Erin and she sounded sad, I was unsure what the outcome was. She then told me they said “yes” and they would be allowed to legally marry on the 30th of December. This made them one of Australia’s first same-sex marriage. I was over the moon. I cried, did a happy dance with my husband in the kitchen and did not sleep a wink that night.

They were one of the first in Australia to have the new monitum said in their wedding ceremony. The wording is no longer hurtful, it is now inclusive.  The new wording of the monitum is: Marriage, according to law in Australia, is the union of two people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.

On the wedding day, the girls looked beautiful. The amazing styling was done by Belinda from The Three Piece Suit. 

Lakshal Perera was the amazing photographer for the day. I love working with him. He is such an easy person to like. Tall, kind and talented. That is lucky in a nutshell–simply divine.

What an honour to be involved in their day.


Here is what the girls said about their wedding day.

“My wife and I met Charis at our venues tasting evening. At the time we weren’t looking for a celebrant, as same-sex marriage wasn’t legal in Australia. However, we made easy conversation with Charis and chatted about our love story. Charis’ positive energy, warm and genuine nature were easy to connect with. We were in contact with Charis through out the same-sex marriage postal survey with hopeful hearts the law would change in time for our planned wedding day. Charis was an incredible support for us during this time, and we will be forever grateful. Once the law changed to allow same-sex couples to marry, Charis guided us through the legal paperwork for marriage, and our application for a shortening of time period. Charis went above and beyond for us throughout this stressful time. Charis’ professionalism and organisation ensured the ceremony was seamless. Charis was our perfect celebrant match. For a same sex couple, to hear the words “marriage is the union of two people” is a moment in time Charis, my wife and I will never forget. It was an honour to have Charis as our celebrant, and my wife and I cannot recommend her highly enough.”