Boom time tipped for weddings

Ashwini SaseedaranSouth Western Times

The South West wedding industry is bracing for a boom in same-sex nuptials in the New Year following last week’s endorsement of marriage equality legislation.

Several venues and suppliers are expecting a significant boost for the already popular wedding destination region and are preparing to meet demand.

The predicted surge of wedding activity follows months of campaigns, surveys, discussion and debate, including successful Rally for Love and PrideFEST events in Bunbury that saw hundreds in the community unite for inclusiveness.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 63.8 per cent of Forrest voters selected ‘yes’ in support of same-sex marriages in last month’s postal survey.

Bunbury MLA Don Punch said the changes to the Marriage Act were “a long time coming” and as a result the South West – a destination choice for ceremonies and honeymoons – would no doubt experience a sharp increase in weddings.

Coast to Country Weddings owner Nicole Liedermoy described the anticipated increase as a “positive” and said it would have a big impact on the region.

She said professional businesses and services in the area were ready to adapt and provide for the all-inclusive nuptials.

“It’s no longer them and us - it’s going to be a learning curve but wedding businesses and service providers here are excited to celebrate love,” Ms Liedermoy said.

“Weddings are already huge in the region so we are going to see more money flowing in.”

Owner of popular wedding venue, Ferguson Farmstay, Rosa Madigan said with a peak expected early next year, all marriages were welcomed.

Henderson Photographics owner Sarah Henderson said the team was happily marketing available dates for those wanting to be among the first same-sex couples to marry in the South West.

“We are experienced in same-sex blessings so now we are gearing up to support the massive rise in legal ceremonies especially in the next year,” Mrs Henderson said.

South West celebrant Wendy Hendry said she expected engaged couples and those in a civil union to add to the increase in activity.

“There are many couples who have been waiting for the laws to change for quite some time so it’s exciting for everyone to be equal according to law,” Ms Hendry said.

“I believe this is something for our whole community to celebrate.”

Same sex couples will be able to legally marry in Australia from January 9.

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