Same-sex marriage: Canberra couple to marry for third and final time

Same-sex marriage: Canberra couple to marry for third and final time

Same-sex marriage: Canberra couple to marry for third and final time

Updated 7 February 2018, 13:05 AEDT

Liz Holcombe and Darlene Cox entered a civil union in 2009, and had their same-sex marriage voided in 2013.

Liz Holcombe and Darlene Cox have been together for a quarter of a century, and next month they'll marry each other for a third — and final — time.

"Once was quite enough." So go the lyrics to the couple's theme song, If You Leave Me Can I Come Too? by Mental As Anything.

Once might have been quite enough, but the couple are planning for a third marriage together, and this time it cannot be voided.

The pair were possibly the first women in Australia to be wed in a civil union in 2009, they wed again in 2013 in the five-day window when marriage was briefly legal in the ACT, and at the start of March they will wed once more, in the backyard of their home.

"We're quite honestly going for simplicity [this time]," Ms Cox said.

Ms Holcombe and Ms Cox are a self-described "no frills" couple. They met at a work Christmas party at the Australian War Memorial 25 years ago, where they quickly fell for each other.

They are a very Canberra couple who enjoy the weekend farmer's market, who cycle to work and "do not stand out in any crowd".

Their marriage in 2013 at the Margaret Whitlam Pavilion overlooking the capital, witnessed by friends and family alongside politicians and the press gallery, was uncharacteristically splashy.

"I think this time we're doing it more for us," Ms Holcombe said.

"Last time we did it for us, but it was also to say to the Government: 'This is really good, we support this, let's make it happen and celebrate it and make a bit of a noise about it as well.'"

'Quickie' wedding to make things official

They might be keeping it simple this time, but there is one element they are carrying over from their previous unions — celebrant Judy Aulich.

"The first couple of times she actually got cross at us because we wanted to keep things really simple," Ms Holcombe said.

"And she said you have to have some ceremony. You have to have some ritual."

But this time, Ms Aulich offered the couple "the quick version".

"It was fun doing their first one as a civil union, then doing the one in that five-day period," Ms Aulich said.

"Of course that was overturned after five days, and that was really miserable for everybody.

"But it was terrific when they rang me again and said how about you do it for the third time — third and last time."

It will be a "quickie", with no rings and no march down the aisle, but the couple are still taking traditional vows and they will dress for the occasion — in the clothes they wore in 2013.

"We're not very fancy, frilly kinds of folk," Ms Holcombe said.

"We might iron them."