Darren & Peter: They wed on the foreshore of Perth's Swan River
"After what seemed like a lifetime of seeking acceptance, to meet the one you truly love was extraordinary."
Location Perth, WA | Photographer Samantha Simone
When Darren and Peter first became engaged, they had no idea that their planned commitment ceremony would actually result in a legal wedding.
With their daughters and granddaughter by their side, Darren and Peter embarked on their journey down the aisle to celebrate the long love they share, and to create memories that will live on forever.
When did you meet?
We met nearly 8 years ago in a Perth city bar. Darren spotted Peter on the other side of the room and knew that he had to meet him – so Darren went over and said 'hi'. We met for a drink a few nights later and discussed life and family and the things that are important to us both. It was love at first sight, and we knew we had found something extraordinary.
Tell us a little about your relationship over the years...
After about a year of dating, Darren asked Peter to move in with him and his three daughters, and of course with Lily, the family dog.
For Darren, after what seemed like a lifetime of seeking acceptance, to meet the one you truly love was extraordinary, particularly in regards to acceptance and living our lives openly and freely. We both feel very blessed to have found each other, and we are surrounded by loving family and friends.
Tell us a little about the proposal...
A year earlier Darren proposed at our favourite holiday spot ‘Hidden Valley Forest Retreat’ in Margaret River. The owners Lily and Tim helped by organising flowers, placing rose petals in a heart shape, supplying food and had Champagne waiting for us on arrival. Peter had no idea what was going on, but later that evening Darren proposed. At that time the law had not yet recognised same-sex marriage, so we had planned to have a commitment ceremony in front of our loved ones. Then the marriage equality postal survey happened which meant we were able to have a wedding!
When was the wedding?
Saturday, 28th April 2018 on the Nedlands foreshore of Perth’s beautiful Swan River and just a few steps away from our incredible reception venue, Acqua Viva on The Swan.
Darren and Peter's story continues below >
What was the style of your wedding?
The brief to our stylist, Branka Panici from Blonde & Blue, was ‘elegant, soft and pretty... but not feminine’.
Where did you find the bulk of your wedding inspiration?
We relied mostly on Branka to guide us, and we used Instagram a lot (we had to get an Instagram account for the first time – lol showing our age now). Once we had a good idea of what we thought we wanted we then met with each specialist vendor and allowed them to showcase their crafts.
Tell us a little about your overall wedding planning experience...
It was a fun experience, and we loved meeting and discussing ideas with so many amazing and creative people who were so passionate about what they do. Peter and I felt welcomed by everyone, and we will also look back at it with such fond memories.
Were there any challenges from suppliers?
Everyone that we met on this journey was super supportive and were so excited to be a part of our story. Most of the vendors we met had never been involved in a same-sex event or wedding, and all of them were very proud to be a part of our celebration.
Did you find it challenging to translate more common traditions into a ‘same-sex’ wedding? i.e. Walking down the aisle, choosing a wedding party…
No not all, we just changed things to suit what we felt represented ‘us’. As an example, our three beautiful daughters and our granddaughter gave us away by walking us to the aisle, arms linked as one family and then Peter and I held hands and walk the rest of the way together.
What was the most difficult thing about planning your wedding?
Initially, we were having a ‘commitment ceremony’, and then it became a ‘wedding’, so there were a few last minute changes, but our stylist organised everything and made our experience enjoyable and fun. Peter would say it was putting up with ‘Groomzilla’, but he would be over exaggerating of course.
Where did you spend your honeymoon?
We spent 5 nights at the gorgeous Orpheus Island on The Great Barrier Reef (it was AMAZING) and then 7 nights on beautiful tropical Tadrai Island in Fiji.
Any advice for other same-sex couples planning their day and finding it difficult to navigate the journey?
Hire a stylist! We made this decision early on as we are both very busy and we wanted to enjoy this experience. Once we shared our dreams of the day, Branka created a ‘Style Guide’ and then guided us through every decision. It is easy to get a little overwhelmed, but Branka kept us on track and did all of the hard work. Our day was perfect, our event was flawless, and we will remember our wedding with the fondest of memories.