Traditional wedding dream comes true for same-sex couple
MIKAYLA Glossop never thought she would walk down the aisle.
But on January 20, she will say 'I do' to her partner of 13 years, Emillie, and become one of the first same-sex couples to legally marry on the Fraser Coast.
"We can't believe it," Mikayla said. "When we found out the majority of Australians who voted in the same-sex plebiscite voted yes, I was in shock."
From Tuesday, January 9, same-sex couples will officially be able to legalise their union in Australia after the law was passed last month.
The Gladstone couple, who fell in love with Hervey Bay on a previous visit, will return to the region for the ceremony at Kondari Hotel in Urangan.
Both will be in white with Mikayla wearing a dress and Emillie a suit.
Their two daughters Ella, 5 and Thea, 3 will be flower girls.
Despite being pleased with the outcome of the postal vote, the path to the altar wasn't easy.
"I didn't realise how brutal the whole process (of the plebiscite) would be," she said. "We'd never really been exposed to negativity because we're surrounded by such accepting people so to see all the hate was very hard."
After years of discussing plans for the future, the couple was convinced they would never be able to legally marry.
"As time went on it got to the point where we thought it's not going to happen so on our five year anniversary in 2010 we had a commitment ceremony instead," Mikayla said.
"We decided that if same-sex marriage were to be legal, we'd just sign the papers to make it official."
Their plan quickly changed when their daughters came into their lives.
"Emillie was deployed in 2015, she's in the army, and when I visited her for a reunion trip we had a discussion and decided marriage was something we wanted to do," Mikayla said.
"We decided we wanted to have a traditional wedding ceremony for the girls."
For other same-sex couples dreaming of tying the knot, Mikayla had some advice.
"If you feel like it's right, just do it," she said.
"It took me a while to realise but it doesn't matter what anyone else says, do what makes you happy."