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Linda Dalton’s first career love was practising law in small regional firms. Three years ago, however, she committed to another: helping couples to marry. She tells us why she said “I do” to becoming a part-time celebrant. 

Bellingen solicitor Linda Dalton grew up as part of a generation that spurned marriage. She isn’t married – she and her partner live in a residential co-operative of five houses on 72 hectares – but three years ago, in a surprise twist, she added “marriage celebrant” to her CV. 

“One reason was the changes to the Marriage Act [that legalised same-sex marriage] that came about at the end of 2017,” says the associate solicitor at Carty & Cox Solicitors in the NSW North Coast town (population 2,600 people) that’s half an hour’s drive south-west of Coffs Harbour. “My youngest son and I encouraged people to vote in the plebiscite. 

“The second reason is … I didn’t get married because I didn’t find the whole thing appealing, but then my oldest son got married about 10 years ago and it was such a revelation. They cherry-picked all the good bits that were meaningful and that they liked from the ceremony and I was like, ‘Oh, there’s a third option’.  Curiously, I think people are actually getting married again for romantic reasons. Romance is back and it’s nice to be part of it.”

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