Simon Duffy and husband Wally Murphy.
The Family Guys
Simon Duffy + Wally Murphy
Words: Damien Woolnough
Photography: Amanda Everett
17th May 2018
After 15 years together, Simon Duffy and Wally Murphy celebrated their commitment in the hidden oasis of Wendy Whiteley’s Secret Garden, in the shadows of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, in Lavender Bay.
New Zealand expat Simon and Irishman Wally had traversed the Tasman Sea to legally marry in Wellington but wanted an event that included their Australian friends and family, including sons Corey and Val. As a family they had campaigned for equality in last year’s same sex marriage plebiscite.
For Simon, the director of conservation and science at Taronga Zoo, and Wally, director of Westpac's digital strategy, the December union was as much about their precious boys as becoming husbands.
"It was amazing to have them there and for them to be such a big part of the day," Murphy says.
Wally and Simon with sons Corey and Val.
"They were the invitees on our invitation and they made the most amazing speech. It was story about our Saturdays and how they are always the same…
"We always start the day in bed together, our two boys, two dogs and us. We always have lots of cuddles and always fight over who has the most space. We always go to our local markets for breakfast, and we are always late getting out the door to soccer. We always have take away for dinner…. They then finished the speech with 'we will always, always be there for you and always, always love you'. There was not a dry eye in the room."
Grab a handkerchief and share in the details of a day that Simon, Wally, Corey and Val will always remember.
They then finished the speech with 'we will always, always be there for you and always, always love you'. There was not a dry eye in the room.
Calibre black tuxedos and tailored white shirts. Wally wore a Calibre bow tie and Simon wore a Versace neck tie.
Both grooms wore Duke patent leather lace-up shoes
Simon: two gold bands to represent the couple’s commitment and their two boys.
Wally: a tantalum ring that is black on the outside and gold on the inside.
Wally: Chanel Platinum Egoiste.
Simon: Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille
As young men growing up and at times being bullied for ‘being gay’ and coming out to our families and friends, we never thought that we would be Dads.
The couple's nieces and nephews shared in the day's activities.
"We both had four in our wedding party. They were our siblings and our best friends. They all wore whatever they liked but it had to be black," Simon.
"Our niece, who travelled from Ireland, sang as we walked down the aisle," Simon.
"We were able to ask two of our close family members to officiate the wedding. They did an amazing job. It was so personal and special. They know us so well so were able to reflect what is important to us. Wally is Irish. They surprised us with a traditional Irish blessing that involved Wally’s Mum.
Our nieces and nephews were all there too. It is so wonderful to know that this is their 'normal'. They don’t see any difference between our wedding and any others – how it should be.
Reception: Aqua Dining at North Sydney Pool
They surprised us with a traditional Irish blessing that involved Wally’s Mum.
Wally and Simon exchanging rings.
"We could not get past the White Peach Bellinis," Simon.
Wally's sister and our fathers all made loving, heartfelt speeches that made us proud and made us cry. We know that all wedding speeches are special but these felt particularly amazing. As young men growing up and at times being bullied for ‘being gay’ and coming out to our families and friends, we never thought that we would be Dads or be able to get married. All this changed in our lifetime and so much changed in our parent’s lifetimes. There was a lot of emotion and love in the speeches and the room.
"We have two boys so a honeymoon with just the two of us was not really ever an option," Simon says. "They really wanted to come. So we went with this and invited our family and close friends to join us at Noosa. We rented a beautiful house where we relaxed for a few weeks."
Wedding: December 2016.
We have two boys so a honeymoon with just the two of us was not really ever an option