Gay wedding magazine launches in Australia, despite a lack of marriage equality

The country's first LGBTQ wedding magazine

Hitting newsagents around the country
Inaction is the best way to describe the Australian government's attitude to marriage equality, with legalisation still yet to happen, lagging behind many other countries.

That certainly hasn't stopped Melbourne-based Matty Bulger, who has founded a gay wedding magazine called Groom + Guy, which hit newsagents around the country Thursday.

It's Bulger's first magazine. He made the switch from his career in design after noticing the lack of LGBTQ options in a magazine store's bridal section 18 months ago.

"I thought to myself, there's nothing for gay weddings at all that I know of," he told Mashable Australia. "I've people in my own circle having celebrations, and there was no-one for them to help share it with the world."

"So three months later I decided: 'Why isn't this happening? We should be celebrating it.' I then decided to create the business from scratch."

Working alongside partner Tony Smith who looks after clients and advertising, and administration manager Rachel Matters, it's certainly the country's first LGBTQ wedding magazine, but Bulger believes it's the first wedding magazine for gay males in the world.

Bulger said Groom + Guy aims for a luxury market, particularly couples with incomes over A$100,000, but he ensures there is something for everyone.

"I decided: Why isn't this happening? We should be celebrating it."

"On one of our shoots, there's a tuxedo in there that's worth A$14,000 — but there is also one that's worth A$1,000. The magazine is somewhat aspirational, but people can tailor it down to their specific needs," he said.

From learning about distribution, down to knowing what an ISSN is, launching a magazine is no easy feat, Bulger said. Surprisingly, he even experienced some resistance by some people within his community.

"People within our own community were saying that politically this isn't a good idea, because we're proving to the government why we don't need marriage equality," he said.

The reasoning from these people was that because gay couples were already celebrating and having weddings, there was no need for legislators to ensure marriage equality was legal.

"I completely disagree, I think it's quite the opposite. I didn't [create this magazine] as a political statement... but some people see it that way, as proof and reason to why it should be legal."

In the first issue of the magazine, half of it is dedicated to real weddings. Eight of those are Australian couples, while the rest are a mix of ones from New Zealand and around the world. In other sections, one can read about event and home styling, as well as travel, grooming and editorials.

Above all, Bulger said that the magazine is all about bringing light to those weddings already happening locally and around the world, irrespective of where it stands legally in Australia.

"For me it was more about celebrating things that are already out there, and celebrating things that should be celebrated," he said. "People can take it how they want. If it's going to be a political statement for marriage equality, then I'm all for that."


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