A gay wedding at Melbourne Zoo

Llewellyn & Ben’s Wildly Romantic Melbourne Zoo Wedding

We’ve been together for six and a half years. We met through friends at a Miss Transgender beauty pageant in Yarraville! 


Tell us about the proposal.

After being trapped in Melbourne for two years, we escaped to Singapore at our first opportunity. It felt like the most exotic thing we’d ever done! 

On the last night of their trip, Llewellyn proposed to Ben at this gorgeous Peranakan fusion restaurant in Dempsey Hill. 


How long was your engagement?

After a year and a bit – we were still very much in the throes of COVID restrictions, so we wanted to make sure we could have an unrestricted wedding.


Are any stories from the lead-up to the wedding stressful or funny?

Ben sings in the Melbourne Gay and Lesbian Chorus and has a beautiful group of friends from there. He got one of his best mates to arrange How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You) – James Taylor, and they backed him up in four-part harmony while he sang it to Llewellyn. 


What led you to the venue?

To be honest, we went to Dr. Google and found a wedding venue rating site that scored Melbourne Zoo as one of the highest in metro Melbourne. We both love animals, so it was a no-brainer. Ben hadn’t been there since he was five and Lewellyn since he was 12, so it wasn’t a recent memory that brought us there. 


Talk to us about the big day! 

We decided to get married in March, which is peak wedding time in Melbourne, because of the mild weather and low chance of rain. As luck had it, the single day of our wedding was the hottest March day in Melbourne ever—a balmy 38 degrees!

What are your favorite moments?

We can’t narrow it down to moments. The whole vibe of having all the people we love in the same room together is so special. We woke up the next day and looked at each other, and that feeling of love from everyone—it really was something else.


Did you incorporate any family or religious traditions into the day?

We had a traditional Tea Ceremony, which is performed at Chinese weddings, to welcome each person into the other’s family. Here, red packets (of money as part of a wedding gift) and welcoming words are given in exchange for serving tea. The wedding couple serves tea to those older than them in the generational pecking order. Traditionally, in arranged marriages this was important as it gave the couple intel about who everyone was as they had more likely than not never met before the day! 


What does marriage mean to you? 

It means truly being there for each other through all the wonderful and not-so-great times. It’s about sharing that love with all your nearest and dearest through ceremonies and traditions bigger than yourselves. 


Advice for other couples planning a wedding?

Get a DJ or someone else to handle music – and it might seem like overkill, but a wedding organiser on the day is a godsend, which means you can just enjoy yourself and not have to event manage the whole thing yourselves! 


What were your aisle, recessional, and first dance songs?

We didn’t walk down the aisle but started the ceremony with Higher Love – Vitamin String Quartet. Again, we didn’t have a recessional, but we did get announced as a couple to Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now – Starship (so 80s, I know!!) 

Our first dance was a mash-up we had created (and self-choreographed) of Take Me On—A-ha. It started with a great acoustic version that they re-recorded for MTV Unplugged and then led onto the original 80s dance floor hit.  

Photography by White Shutte Photography


Bowties DÉCLIC
Cake What Froggy Bakes
Catering & Venue Melbourne Zoo
Celebrant Married by Bridie
Decorative Elements Bangin Hangins
Engagement & Wedding Rings Franco Jewellers
Entertainment Rutherford Entertainment – DJ Jess Brookes
Florist Heavenly Creations
Planner – Stylist Toko Events
Printer Kwik Kopy
Shoes Florsheim
Signage & Stationery Jess Kent Creative
Suit Designer InStitchu