The Perfect Fit
Suzie and Samantha Day-Davies were married on April 2, 2016, celebrating their love with family, friends, and all things nerdy.
Ian Burgess, 2016
A wedding brings together a multitude of family and friends to celebrate the love and unity between two people. Many decisions have to be made before the day including location, outfits, decorations, and incorporating aspects representative of the brides to truly make the day a special event.
Suzie and Samantha Day-Davies met through a mutual friend four years ago and instantly felt a connection. Samantha recalls loving Suzie’s impeccable bookshelf complete with spine labels and call numbers; Suzie was impressed with Samantha’s extensive knowledge of computer gaming, even while drunk. After an evening of bonding over videogames, books, disability, and faith, the two were planning a date.
On a camping trip a few weeks later Suzie was struck with the thought, “I am going to marry this girl.” Knowing this with absolute certainty, the two were engaged four and a half months after meeting. “We just fit.” Suzie says.
The engagement lasted three and a half years while the two waited to see if marriage equality would be legalised before deciding to marry in the British Consulate two days after the ceremony, which was held on April 2, 2016. Suzie says that all she wanted “was to be married in the Sight of God.”
Ian Burgess, 2016
Both women had never dated someone that shared the other’s faith. Suzie quotes Anthony Venn-Brown to describe the experience of being a queer Christian as “walking between two worlds” adding, “The bulk of the Christian community reject us, and a lot of the queer community can’t understand why we wish to be part of organised religion.”
Suzie is a member of the Salvation Army, which doesn’t recognise marriage equality, but Samantha attends an Anglican church that was thrilled to marry the two. In fact, the church displays the rainbow pride flag on the alter for every Sunday evening service. Although the Salvation Army doesn’t recognise marriage equality, Suzie’s ministers were willing to attend the ceremony and did so in full uniform as Salvation Army Officers.
When planning the ceremony, the couple wanted to have a traditional formal wedding that would also reflect “our love of all things geeky.” Samantha left the colour coordination to Suzie who chose green and purple, pairing a purple paisley tie to accent the green on her wheelchair. Invitations were decorated with a flower-covered Stargate by local artist Naomi Ward, wedding programs had Han Solo’s Millennium Falcon from Star Wars flying through a pair of wedding rings and borders made from Pac-Man chasing Ghosts.
“While it was still a quite traditional wedding, it was scattered with nerd wherever we could.” Suzie says.
Suzie even found a collectable Star Trek pocket watch from the 90s to include in her outfit! “Suzie is quite a dapper butch, and often wears pocket watches on a waistcoat...” Samantha says with Suzie adding, “Wristwatches tend to get scratched and broken on my chair rims.”
The cake topper had to be custom ordered because there are no generic wheelchair cake toppers on the market. Suzie is only a part-time chair user but says, “having something that is so closely linked to my identity reflected in that topper was important to me.”
Mandy Cain, 2016
Having seen a custom 3D printed cake-topper for a nerdy wedding online, Suzie contacted the artist who agreed to create something similar. Suzie’s figure holds items from the game Mass Effect, a carnifex and an omnitool, and Samantha’s holds a phaser and tricorder from Star Trek. Perth artist Transient Brush painted the model.
It was a given that the rainbow flag would be displayed during the wedding but Samantha says “I wanted to also incorporate the trans* flag, because I believe strongly that gender identity is a separate issue from sexuality. It meant a lot to me as a transwoman to stand proudly before my friends and family and be married in a big poofy dress, and I wanted that to show.”
Suzie’s mum, an avid scrapbooker and paper crafts aficionado, made both bride’s paper hearts that had a small message of best wishes and good luck. She gifted these to Samantha and Suzie after the ceremony where Samantha tied hers to the mass of ribbons on her bouquet and Suzie tied hers to her backpack so the ribbon and heart wouldn’t tangle with her wheelchair.
The priest at St. Andrew’s Anglican Church is a long-time advocate and ally to the LGBT community and very outspoken about it. As a symbol of thanks for marrying the two, Suzie and Samantha gifted him the rainbow stole he wore during the wedding.
Ian Burgess, 2016
A friend of the brides, Ian Burgess, took the unique and memorable photos before the reception. Half of the photos were taken at Tomato Lake, a park the couple frequented when they first started dating.
The other half were taken in a very urban setting, Elizabeth Quay, Perth’s new waterfront precinct. “In the end, most of the best photos came from the Quay!” Suzie says.
Both women agree that one of the best aspects of being married is the feeling of security for the future. Suzie notes that she is extremely grateful for the support she received from the Pinnacle Foundation during her time studying to be a librarian. She was afforded the opportunity to present a paper in Amsterdam on providing services to the queer community through public and school libraries. She says, “This was even more important when I met Samantha, who is unable to work due to her disability, because my success at university is a major factor in how well I will be able to support Samantha throughout our lives.”
Despite having lived together for the majority of their relationship, Suzie says she feels more settled and grounded since getting married. Like a good fit.
Learn more about The Pinnacle Foundation.