• Civil celebrant Cassilda Parkinson has set out to change the way Australians get married. (Supplied)
"When you look in the wedding magazines, you just see the same old white dresses, and that's fine, but where are the colourful dresses, where are the crazy coloured suits, where are the same-sex couples?"
By
Samuel Leighton-Dore

21 Feb 2020 - 3:44 PM  UPDATED 21 Feb 2020 - 3:44 PM

"I saw a massive, massive problem with the wedding industry," says Sydney-based wedding celebrant Cassilda Parkinson.

Sitting down with SBS Voices, Parkinson, who focuses on alternative and LGBTIQ+ weddings, says she's on a mission to re-educate people on what a wedding can be.

"When you look in the wedding magazines, you just see the same old white dresses, and that's fine, but where are the colourful dresses, where are the crazy coloured suits, where are the same-sex couples?"

She continues: "In the case of a lot of queer couples, they're still told by society that you have to do it [get married] in a certain way, and so it's our job as celebrants to teach them that they can actually do whatever they want.

"Two brides might both want to wear suits. I know a trans lesbian couple, and it was very important for both of them to wear dresses."

Parkinson, who got married in Las Vegas to avoid a "big white wedding", says that some members of the LGBTIQ+ community still believe in various restrictions that don't actually exist.

"You can have a female as your best man, a man as your maid of honour," she says. "You can do whatever the heck you want."

We asked whether - in her experience - same-sex weddings are much different to opposite-sex weddings.

"There's a lot more rainbow and a lot more colours," she says. "Everyone is normally in tears because they've waited so long for this and they fought so hard for this right."

"I normally end up in tears... 100 per cent of the time," she adds.

"There's that added element of celebration from the guests because a lot of the people they have at their weddings are straight couples. The LGBTIQ+ community have sat through all their weddings, watching them be able to do this thing that they didn't have the right to do. And now it's their turn to sit back and celebrate with them. 

"It's just about teaching society that you can have whatever kind of wedding you want, no matter who you are."

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