Sara and Melanie's wedding features on Together Journal's October cover. (Photo: Charlotte Sowman)

Same-sex nuptials on the cover of a Kiwi magazine – a wedding world first?

Here come the brides! Together Journal’s latest cover features a same-sex couple in what might just be a mainstream wedding world first, reports Maria Slade. 

A New Zealand-based magazine believes it’s the first mainstream wedding publication to feature a same-sex couple on the cover. Together Journal is a quarterly magazine founded by Kiwi businesswoman Greta Kenyon depicting real weddings from around the world.

The cover of its latest edition shows the Christchurch nuptials of Melbourne couple Sara and Melanie, who began planning their big day before same-sex marriage was legalised in Australia. The pictures were taken by New Zealand photographer Charlotte Sowman.

As far as she’s aware, Together Journal’s same-sex cover is a wedding magazine world first, Kenyon says.

It comes as popular Australian wedding publication White is under fire for reportedly refusing to publish pictures of same-sex unions.

Together Journal is believed to be the first mainstream wedding magazine to feature a same sex cover. (Photo: supplied)

“It’s almost my responsibility, I think, to show same sex weddings and diversity in general in my magazine because if I keep doing this, it’ll become more normalised and people will get used to the idea,” Kenyon told The Spinoff in this week’s Business is Boring podcast.

Since it was founded three years ago, Together Journal has aimed to show same sex weddings in every issue. But it’s not always been able to get the content, so it’s very pleased to have achieved a cover, says Kenyon.

“I’ve wanted to do it for a long time but we have to have the right wedding on the cover to sell the magazine. Obviously, it’s a commercial business.”

“[Sara and Melanie’s] wedding is beautiful, it ticks all the boxes for me. There are certain things that we look for in terms of the image being really emotive and making you feel something, [and] obviously, Together Journal has an aesthetic. It needs to suit the aesthetic styling-wise.”

“I’m really excited about getting it out there especially given that Australia has only recently passed the same-sex [marriage] law.”

Greta Kenyon, founder of Together Journal. (Photo: supplied)

New Zealand Weddings features same-sex weddings in the magazine and on its website, editor Pamela McIntosh says. “But we haven’t published a same-sex wedding image on the cover yet. If we found an image that was the ideal cover shot, then we would absolutely consider it.”

Bride and Groom also feature same-sex weddings inside the magazine, but its covers are images of models wearing advertisers’ gowns, so it would have to pose a same-sex wedding picture, editor Simone Groves says. “It’s not out of the question.”

Oliver Hall, editor of gay magazine Express, says without inclusion, true equality can’t be achieved. “It’s important for Kiwi youth, particularly those based outside of our cities, to see same-sex relationships treated equally.

“At Express, we distribute to the likes of libraries, youth centres and educational institutions nationally to help ensure this visibility, so it’s great to see Together Journal taking this step.”


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