Same-sex weddings welcome here

SONIA BEAL
Last updated 07:32 14/01/2014
Kate Robinson
Derek Flynn
Flowers for all: Mayflower Studio Florist floral assistant Kate Robinson with bouquets for an upcoming wedding. Mayflower Studio has arranged flowers for two same-sex marriages since the unions were legalised last August.

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Marlborough is emerging as a popular destination for same-sex weddings, according to wedding-related businesses in the region.

Wedding celebrant Carol Taylor, of Renwick, said she had officiated for three same-sex weddings for couples from overseas since the legislation allowing gay couples to marry came into force in August.

Being part of the ceremony for the couples, all of whom were female, was "wonderful", she said.

"It's just amazing to be a part of it because they've had such a hard time getting to where they have."

The ceremonies usually involved a couple of witnesses and were mostly "small and intimate", she said.

Mayflower Studio Florist owner Jane Robinson said the Blenheim business had organised flower arrangements for two same-sex weddings so far. She believed Marlborough would become a popular destination for same-sex weddings in the future. Already, half the wedding inquiries they dealt with were couples from outside the region.

Blenheim marriage celebrant Yvonne Dasler had also had inquiries from same-sex couples overseas - Australia and the Philippines specifically.

"I believe committed relationships are a healthy basis for society," she said. "I have no qualms about marrying [same-sex] couples."

The scenery in Marlborough appealed to many couples, she said.

"A lot like the combination of the vineyards and the Marlborough Sounds.

Wedding photographer Jacqui Leslie said she had photographed one same-sex marriage for a New Zealand couple at the end of last year.

Nationwide, a total of 177 same-sex marriages occurred in the last few months of 2013, according to provisional quarterly results in September from Statistics New Zealand. Of those couples, 77 were New Zealand residents and 40 were from overseas.

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- The Marlborough Express

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