A recently engaged couple had the surprise of their lives yesterday morning when the Today Show turned up to deliver exciting wedding news.
Lauren Marsh and Steve Wadey were awake and ready at 4am for a live cross to the breakfast show, in the hopes they were the winners of the Top End Wedding giveaway.
"A massive, massive surprise," Mr Wadey said.
"We were contacted on Monday and found out we were in the top three, but we had no idea we had won."
Mr Wadey, a salesman for Coca-Cola and Ms Marsh, who works at a local lettuce farm doing data entry, currently live in East Gippsland, Victoria.
The loved-up couple jumped at the chance to tie the knot in the Territory having visited more than once, but were not expecting to win the competition.
"My mum has lived [in Katherine] for years and I have visited many times," Mr Wadey said.
"Lauren visited last year and absolutely loved it. She was blown away by the scenery, and absolutely loved flying over the gorge."
The couple have won a Top End wedding worth $55,000.
In just six weeks a wedding planner will have organised makeup and hair for the bride's big day, wedding transport for up to six, the full wedding ceremony and reception for up to 22 people, a wedding celebrant, photographer, venue hire, catering, flowers, music, a wedding cake - the works.
The couple met two years ago at a family wedding and not too soon after were engaged at Christmas time (2018).
Mr Wadey is currently going through treatment for melanoma - his prognosis is very good - and his partner has been very supportive as he's received medical treatment.
While the couple are still in the dark about where the special day will take place, they are hoping for a Nitmiluk wedding.
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"We are among the last of our friends to get married," Mr Wadey said, "and for about 12 months we have been thinking about how to do ours differently.
"This has just worked perfectly because the NT really fits the bill for something different.
"The surroundings, the culture, the people are amazing. It is a part of the world we want to show family and friends.
"It is like another country in your own back yard.
"When ever we come up, we have friends asking about where we took a certain photo of a stunning waterfall and when they hear it is so close, within Australia, they are just stunned.
"We would like to get married at the gorge. I have family working and living there and it would just make the whole experience extra special."
While a large portion of Mr Wadey's family already live in the NT, the wedding will bring the bride's family and the couple's closest friends on an adventure of a lifetime.
The wedding is expected to take place on May 6, following the Australian release of the feature film Top End Wedding on May 2.
According to a Department of Tourism, Sport and Culture spokeswoman, the Today Show picked the couple for their "infectious personalities, love of life and their love of the great outdoors - they love adventure.
"Their excitement about the idea of getting married in the NT was also impossible to ignore."
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