Nitmiluk Gorge tops the list of best places to tie the knot in Katherine, marriage celebrants Nola Sweetman and Mayor Fay Miller say.
With the excitement surrounding the recently announced win a wedding in the Top End competition, the Katherine Times spoke to the marriage celebrants about their top five places to get married in Katherine.
With countless weddings, not only in the Top End, under each of their belts, they can confirm Katherine has more than a few unique and beautiful places perfect for the big day.
"Anything goes in the Top End," Mrs Sweetman said, "it is different from anything down south."
"I once married a couple on the Little Roper Bridge. They were in three boats and they all got into the water despite the possibilities of crocodiles.
"It is such an exciting opportunity for the guests as well to see a wedding in the bush," she said.
The top five places to get married in Katherine
- Nitmiluk Gorge
Nitmiluk Gorge has a more than one amazing spot to get married, Mrs Sweetman said.
"You can either get a helicopter right up to the 13th gorge or opt for the boat, which sometimes has tourists on it. Either option is always going to be spectacular," she said.
"It is millions of years old and it can be very secluded."
- The Katherine Museum
The beautiful garden at the museum alongside the historic aspect makes for a great wedding location.
It is also close to town.
- Low Level Nature Reserve
"Right down by the water is a great spot to have a wedding and if you are looking to have a larger guest list, the grassy area at the top works as well," Mrs Sweetman said.
"A lot of people have a wedding here because it is quiet and it is within easy access to wherever they are going to have their reception."
- A private spot along the Katherine River
According to the marriage celebrant more than a few couples have opted for a secret spot along the Katherine River - most seeking a place near Knotts Crossing.
She said the locations are often a little bit more difficult to find, but worth it in the end.
"It is both private and quiet," Mrs Sweetman said.
- Own property
The popularity of couples having their wedding on a properties has increased over the last few years.
Not only is it a cost effective way of getting married, couple can make decisions on almost every aspect of their big day, Mayor Miller said.
Mrs Sweetman, who has been a marriage celebrant for about 26 years, said couples couldn't go past a wedding at the gorge.
"It is just beautiful. It is so ancient and I love the cliffs," she said.
"The gorge is an adventure. Sometimes there are tourists around or no one at all. And it is extra special when the bride is flown in on a helicopter.
"There is a novelty in getting married in the NT. It is like the last frontier."
She said each wedding location in Katherine was unique in its own special way, the bride and groom just had to decide which one suited them best.
"Up here in the Territory most places are quiet because we don't have the busy population," Mrs Sweetman said.
Both celebrants agreed Springvale Homestead was once at the top of the list of best places to get married, but following the unfortunate closure, was no longer a viable option.
"At Springvale there is a lot of history, and it is just beautiful in the old building and beneath the massive Rain trees. The only issue is that it is no longer open.
"The Low Level Nature Reserve is quiet and usually within easy access to the reception.
"There is so much history at the museum and there are many beautiful spots along the Katherine River that are very private. You just have to look for them. There is a good spot a little way down from Knotts Crossing," Mrs Sweetman said.
Katherine Mayor Fay Miller said during her years of being a marriage celebrant she has seen a rise in people opting for a wedding on their own property.
"Some people go to great lengths to make their celebration special on their property," she said.
"I had one wedding where they put a billabong in just for the big day.
"You can really personalise a wedding in your own space and it is relaxing for the guests and the bridal party."
But a wedding at the gorge was still the Mayor's top location for a couple's special day.
"The gorge is always beautiful, the top of the first gorge is like an outdoor cathedral, you can't help being overwhelmed," she said.
"Some of the weddings I have done, the only people there are the bride and the groom, and all the guests have flown in from down south and it was an exciting holiday for them.
"Something they will never forget."
The Win a Wedding competition was launched on the TODAY Show on Monday, February 11 and runs until March 19.
The lucky winning couple's prize will include a wedding planner, makeup and hair for the bride’s big day, wedding transport for up to six, full wedding ceremony and reception for up to 22 people, wedding celebrant, photographer, venue hire, catering, flowers, music, wedding cake and bus transfers to and from the wedding for up to 22 people.
Working with Tourism NT to make sure the big wedding goes off without a hitch, wedding planner Belinda Nolan said she is "absolutely honoured" to be working on the Win a Wedding competition.
“Gorgeous white sandy beaches with stunning sunsets, tropical-filled garden oases, jaw-dropping gorges and waterfalls, the magical beauty of both desert and bush.
“The Northern Territory is more than just the outback.
“It’s a unique destination, a winter escape for those down south and a chance to plan your dream wedding and celebrate under the stars of the northern skies."
The winning wedding is expected to take place on May 6, 2019, following the Australian release of Top End Wedding on May 2.
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