With a bit of planning, it worked out perfectly that I was in Australia for the wedding of my dear friend Portia (from Australian Perfume Junkies) to the adorable Jin. The Big Day came on the 28th July, towards the end of my stay, but I wanted to start with it and then post about the rest of the trip.
It was an emotional day, maybe more so because I was there for the run-up to the event and attended a planning meeting the day after I arrived in Sydney. It was held at a local Italian restaurant and the dress code was casual. The informal vibe suited the happy couple perfectly, however a string quartet kept it classy.
Eleven of Jin’s South Korean family had flown in and he was given away by his father. Considering being gay isn’t even acknowledged in South Korea this was a big deal and a testament to what an exceptional person Jin is.
Portia was given away by his cousin, Mark, who flew in just for the day. They all walked down the aisle to Amazing Grace which is Jin’s mother’s favourite hymn. I understand she shed a tear. The Celebrant was a fellow drag queen and long time friend of Portia’s, Sandy Bottom, which made proceedings more personal.
We were very firmly – and understandably – asked to put our phones on silent and not to take photos during the ceremony. A funny thing happened when Jin realised he had not in fact switched his own phone off. This may have been Portia’s faovurite moment of the whole day.
The couple said their own vows to each other and exchanged Tiffany diamond earrings. This was harder than they expected because their hands were shaking. It was extremely touching. These two are such a great match.
Speeches took place after the starters. Portia’s BFF Kath gave a moving speech and read out messages from those who were unable to attend. The words from Val the Cookie Queen and her family were received with “aaaahs” around the room.
Portia’s wedding day scent was Rahele by Neela Verneire Creations. Jin, entirely coincidentally, wore Bombay Bling! also by NVC. I went for vintage Miss Dior Parfum which I fell in love with after Portia introduced me it to.
After the cake was cut, Portia and Jin invited us all to have a photo taken with them.
Below is the Aussie crew I hung out with in Paris earlier this year.
It was interesting to learn that one gentlemen told Portia he expected the “gay wedding” to be over-the-top and showy. It was the exact opposite, being intimate, warm and relaxed. A Turbo Trivia regular summed it up for me when she said to Portia that she told her mum “You could cut the love in the room with a knife”.
Huge congratulations to Portia and Jin who I know will continue to share lots of laughs and exciting journeys for many, many years to come. I love them to bits.
Thanks to Portia, Anna Maria and others for some of these photos.