While the marriage rate is slowly declining, most Australians will still get married at some point in their lives. And chances are they won’t do it on the cheap. There's a boom in big designer weddings, with a day—or several days—inspired by social media, highly themed, highly emotional, and held anywhere from a barn in Ballarat to a beach in Bali.
But now that de facto couples are almost the same as those who marry in the eyes of the law, why put a ring on it at all? And why are marriage rights—and rites—so important for so many in the gay community?
In pursuit of the meaning of marriage, now that it’s not strictly necessary, Fenella Souter asks everyone from a priest to a pair of happy husbands for their views.