Burlesque performer’s wedding surprise

It came as a surprise to everyone in attendance when Townsville burlesque performer Vivienne Starr said "I do" to her partner of 16 years Diane Brown.

The couple tied the knot last month in a surprise ceremony at Ms Starr's VaVoom Room burlesque dancing student showcase at the Herbert Hotel.

The couple met online in 2004 and were "friends for a really long time" before the friendship developed into a relationship.

Vivienne Starr married her partner of 16 years Diane Brown, in front of friends and family at a surprise ceremony before the coronavirus restrictions. Picture: Alix Sweeney
Vivienne Starr married her partner of 16 years Diane Brown, in front of friends and family at a surprise ceremony before the coronavirus restrictions. Picture: Alix Sweeney

Ms Brown said the idea for the wedding took six months of preparation.

"Originally Viv said we needed to have a big party but I said, no I just want to go down and sign the forms," she said.

"But we were sitting around and thought it would be really funny if we got up on stage and just do it and it was really funny for us to see everyone's reaction."

The duo secretly invited their friends and family to the student showcase saying it was for VaVoom Room's third birthday celebrations.

Ms Brown and Ms Starr said it was a "big deal" they were able to keep the wedding under wraps and had to both secretly get changed in a separate room at the showcase.

Ms Starr's two teenage sons acted as ring bearers at the wedding with the couple exchanging matching handmade Alaskan gold nuggets black-eyed burl timber titanium bands.

Friends and family had a "delicious feast" the following night at Shorehouse to celebrate the occasion with honeymoon plans put on hold for the foreseeable future.

The pair could not be happier to be married after 16 years together saying they are just a normal couple.

"There is nothing abnormal about our relationship. We have raised two kids together and we have a house and mortgage and dogs and being married is just a continuation of our friendship," they said.

Originally published as Burlesque performer's wedding surprise