Love Party. An intro…

‘Can you make a certificate for us Jen?’

‘What, like a wedding certificate?’
‘Yeah, exactly. But a Love Party certificate. And can you make a little thank you card for the bonbonniere? Heart shaped or something. To tie around it.’
‘Wow! So you’re really going the whole wedding thing?’
Bear bought me a dress this time last year. That’s when we started planning. This dress is from the same store

‘Totally! I’m wearing a veil, we’re having a garden ceremony with rows of white seats and red carpet. Bear is designing rings with Cass, we’ve got a Love Party cake made by my Gunna Talia, a sit down dinner for 100, catered by La Luna Bistro full on flowers by Babylon who specialise in weddings. We’re even having flower girls and boys. Our vows are going to be super traditional too. Our ‘celebrants’ are two mates of our’s who we adore and who know a lot about love. They’re not straight and not even celebrants. Just people.’

That’s the beauty of us having a  Love Party and not getting married.

We can embrace the traditional parts of a wedding that we really like seeing as though we are not getting married and don’t feel the need to explain ourselves or qualify our decisions like the ‘we had a wedding but we are so unconventional’ people. Most progressives who marry are so fast and breathless to attempt to dilute their conservative decision to marry. ‘No one gave me away, my best man was a woman, our celebrant was an Elvis impersonator, we were married under water, we didn’t do a bridal waltz, we did a magic trick, we didn’t have a cake we had brownies…’ yeah but you still got married. Why? When you can have it all without getting married. Unless, like Elizabeth Gilbert you had to so you could live in the same country.

2Q==-4You can just have the party. You don’t have to get married. You can have the fancy cars, the bridesmaids, the presents, your dad give you away, the confetti, you can even change your name. You do not have to get married. But you can have a wedding. We are calling our a Love Party.

Jim, a guy who came to my Gunnas Writing Masterclass told me this story.

Jim said “Like you I am totally against marriage. I’m in my 40s now and not even into relationships really let alone marriage. I met Momoko at a conference. I feel madly in love and suddenly not only was I in a relationship but she was pregnant. She too is totally anti-marriage. She called her parents in Japan to tell them and assumed it would be the last time she ever spoke to them seeing as though she knew they would expect her to marry. So she told them she was pregnant. Her mum asked when they were getting married. She said “we’re not”. Her mum paused for a moment and then said “Mmm okay. Can I throw you a party then?”

They agreed to the party.
So Pete and Momoko turned up in her hometown in Japan and her mother had organised a full blown Japanese wedding for them. Buy it wasn’t a marriage. Totally fake. No one will ever know apart from Pete, Momoko and Momokos mum. And you mob.
Point being it can look exactly like a wedding. The difference indiscernible to the naked eye. You do not have to get married. You can still have a wedding.
9k=-2Bear and I were in love when we were 18. We went off with other people and had children and lives. In 2010 when we were 42 we crossed paths and immediately fell back in love. In the first few week of our relationship Bear asked me if I wanted to get married. Like almost all men he had no interest in getting married. He just wanted to let me know he was up for whatever it took to show his commitment. “No, I’ve never married. I’m against marriage. Better dead than wed.”
“Well can we wear rings then?” he asked.
“For sure” I responded
“And we should have a party to celebrate with our friends”
“Lets do that. A Love Party.”
So we have been talking about it for the last five years. We don’t have the money for it and thought we’d do it for our joint 50th in September 2018 (our birthdays are a few days apart).
But then one of my Gunnas, Fiona, went for a run and never came home. She died at the age of 49.
Both of us thought, “We can’t wait. Let’s do it now.” People don’t regret the risks they took that didn’t work out they regret they didn’t take. So we need to raise funds. I came up with a concept after giving my life advice to my 17 year old and Jen Clark Designs designed these Love Party posters which we’re selling to raise the money as well as supporting Asylum Seeker Resource Centre and Domestic Violence Victoria.
2Q==-5In the lead up to the Love Party I am doing a lot of reading and thinking about love, marriage and relationships. I even have a god damn Pinterest board! Bear wants to have the Love Party to make a public declaration and celebrate our luck and love with our friends. For me it’s half that but half very very political.
I want people to see you don’t have to get married but you can have the party, the celebration, the public declaration without god or government.

My life looks so different to the women in my family who have come before me. The only way they could have sex or move out was basically to marry. The social critique, religious oppression and financial restrictions they were under, let alone the lack of fertility control severely restricted their choices. I love that I have been able to live a life not needing anyone else’s permission or approval. The Love Party for me is a celebration of that. I love being never married. Many in the QLBTIQ community want to get married because they can. As a cis born straight woman I love not being married. Because I can.

Z-2So we’re having a Love Party on Sunday March 6. It’s like a wedding but no god no government. No Spanx, no fake tan, no seating plan, no name changing, no bridal registry, no gifts, no hens night. But there will be a ceremony, rose petals, practice hair, a sit down dinner for 100, a veil, Love Party cake, speeches, exchanging of rings, vows and fairy lights. It will be more wedding than a wedding.

But no god, no government. Because they have no place in peoples hearts, relationships or bedrooms.

Marriage was invented. Love wasn’t. And love conquers all.
Buy Love Party posters here.
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