- Tara Baker, 29, and Arlia Hassell, 30, published first issue of Dancing With Her
- Has coincidentally coincided with the postal vote results coming out Wednesday
- Issue features 8 weddings, plus articles about everything from plants to visas
- Couple started the magazine after finding none that catered to LGBTQ women
On Wednesday morning same-sex couples across Australia will receive the world’s first lesbian wedding magazine in their mailbox.
And the same afternoon it’s expected that they will legally be able to get married in their own country.
The release of Dancing With Her was not planned to coincide with the controversial postal vote, but the couple who launched the magazine finds it perfectly fitting.
Tara Baker and Arlia Hassell came up with the idea for the magazine when they got engaged and couldn’t find LGBTQ women in any wedding publications.
Gold Coast couple Tara Baker, 29, and Arlia Hassell, 30, have launched Australia’s first ever wedding magazine for LGBTQ women
The release of Dancing With Her has ironically coincided with the results of the controversial postal vote
All they saw were pages and pages that talked about brides and grooms, and photos after photos of a man with a woman.
‘We couldn’t really find anything we felt we were represented in,’ Tara, 29, told Daily Mail Australia. ‘A lot of the wedding material out there is really heteronormative.’
‘It’s women and men and everything’s focused on the bride. We were like, hang on a minute, there’s two of us!’
Dancing With Her began as an Instagram account and then, after receiving hundreds of submissions from couples all over the world, turned into a website.
Then Tara and Arlia, 30, launched their first-ever digital issue of the magazine, which was downloaded thousands of time from around the world.
The couple was shocked to see just how long the LGBTQ community had waited for something like this.
Tara Baker and her partner Arlia Hassell came up with the idea for the magazine when they got engaged and couldn’t see themselves in any wedding publications
Dancing With Her began as an Instagram account and then, after receiving hundreds of submissions from couples all over the world
‘We anticipated that there would be a need for this in Australia, where we couldn’t get married legally, but we didn’t anticipate a worldwide audience,’ Tara said.
‘We’ve even got a large audience in the Netherlands, who’ve had marriage equality for a very long time.’
It took six months for Tara and Arlia – neither of whom have a background in publishing – to get the first print edition of Dancing With Her together.
They officially launched the publication last week, mailing off copies of the magazine to 20 different countries across the globe.
The first issue features stories from eight weddings, six that took place in Australia and one in the UK and the US.
There are also articles from vendors about everything from using potted plants instead of single-use flowers to legal advice regarding visas for couples who haven’t gotten married in Australia.
Then Tara and Arlia, 30, launched their first-ever digital issue of the magazine (pictured), which was downloaded thousands of time across the world
The first official issue features stories about eight real weddings, six in Australia and one in the UK and the US. All the pictures of women seen here are from those weddings
Dozens of couple reached out to Tara and Arlia to share their wedding stories, as did photographers who had snapped many a happy couple
‘We did feature a wedding that happened in South Africa, one bride was from Australia and one was from South Africa, and they are finding it quite hard to move to Australia together,’ Tara said.
Dozens of couple reached out to Tara and Arlia to share their wedding stories, as did photographers who had snapped many happy brides.
Tara said the response to the magazine has been ‘overwhelming’.
‘It’s been really positive, everyone’s really excited about what we’ve done and put together,’ she said.
‘We don’t have a lot of time to sit back and reflect as we’ve already started putting together volume two, which is due in February.’
Tara said one of the most rewarding things about putting Dancing With Her together has been bringing the LGBTQ community together on the heels of such a historic vote.
‘We’ve been able to build a really supportive and engaged community together, they really want this magazine just as much as we do,’ she said.
Tara said one of the most rewarding things about putting Dancing With Her together has been bringing the LGBTQ community together on the heels of such a historic vote
And Tara hope the magazine will bring about change as well, especially in a wedding industry that she said still often doesn’t recognise same-sex couples
‘It gives people hope. It shows their love, and it shows that their love is okay and deserves to be celebrated.’
And Tara hope the magazine will bring about change as well, especially in a wedding industry that she said still often doesn’t recognise same-sex couples.
‘I hope that it will bring a lot more diversity and lot more inclusion into the wedding industry,’ she said.
‘It’s still quite a traditional industry, and we hope we can open that conversation up and show people it’s a celebration of love and also teach some of the vendors how to be inclusive.’
Tara and Arlia are no strangers to feeling excluded. They recently went to a wedding fair, where they were immediately asked which of them was getting married.
Little did the vendor now that Tara and Arlia have a love story that could rival any of those in the pages of their magazine.
It was three years ago when the Gold Coast couple first decided to elope. Just hours later Arlia was in a bicycle accident and had to have emergency brain surgery.
Tara and Arlia are already beginning preparation for volume two, which will be released in February. Dancing With Her is a quarterly magazine
Tara said the response to the magazine has been ‘overwhelming’ and ‘really positive’
The couple have sent out issues to more than 20 different countries across the globe
She laid in a medically induced coma for a week. When she woke up, there was no memory of their talk of marriage.
Two years later, Tara would pop the question again on a trip to Melbourne.
The couple have been so consumed with launching Dancing With Her they’ve done little wedding planning in recent months.
But they hope to have a small intimate ceremony, with just 20 of their closest family and friends, in August of next year.
And tomorrow they will find out if that union will be considered legal under Australian law.
‘It’s not something that we had anticipated, we thought it was going to be years away and we were going to choose to have a wedding regardless,’ Tara said.
‘But with everything that has happened it’s become something that is really important to us. We have our fingers crossed.’
The couple have been so consumed with launching Dancing With Her they’ve done little wedding planning in recent months