A couple from the region are finally able to call each other “wife” and “wife” after they exchanged vows at Easter time, more than 20 years into their relationship.
Jacki Galvin and Annette Easey were married along the Gwydir River at Bingara under the shade of a plane tree, in front of about 160 guests.
They said their vows after arriving to the song A Thousand Years, which features the lyrics I have died every day, waiting for you … I have loved you for a thousand years, I'll love you for a thousand more.
Ms Galvin said that, like any wedding, it was an unforgettable moment – but made even more poignant by the fact they’d had to wait so long to experience it.
“It was just perfect; the day was just beautiful and very emotional,” she said.
“It was just so touching, people were just so supportive and happy.
“To finally seal the deal, so to speak – to think that people have voted to say that we can get married – it was just very nice … there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.”
A very short engagement
The couple were engaged on New Year’s Eve – “like nearly half of Australia, probably”, Ms Galvin joked – after the same-sex marriage plebiscite returned a yes vote in November and the Marriage Equality Bill passed the next month.
“I honestly didn’t think it would ever come in,” she said.
“When the survey was brought in, I thought, ‘It won’t happen in my lifetime’ and I was really quite amazed when it did.”
One of the happiest people there on the day was the couple’s eight-year-old son.
“Zac was so proud,” Ms Galvin said.
“He was so excited he hardly slept the night before, and on the day he said, ‘My parents are finally married’, which was really sweet.
“And we feel we are now a family; we can say that we are a solid, complete family.
“To share it with our families and dear friends from years ago, who’ve been with us through thick and thin, was pretty special.”