Top End cou­ples pre­fer to make their vows away from re­li­gion

NT News - - NEWS - JU­DITH AISTHORPE ju­[email protected]

“A lot more peo­ple are want­ing out­door cer­e­monies these days” CAIT­LYN DAVEY

TER­RI­TO­RI­ANS are the least likely in the na­tion to get hitched.

On av­er­age there were just 3.1 marriages per 1000 peo­ple in 2017.

If you were go­ing to get hitched though you are more likely to be wed by a civil cel­e­brant than by a re­li­gious in­sti­tu­tion.

In the past decade the num­ber of marriages in the NT has risen and fallen with the cur­rent fig­ure of 769 just 17 less than a decade ago in 2007.

Over the past 10 years the num­ber of marriages spiked in 2013 with 893 cou­ples ty­ing the knot. The lat­est Aus­tralian Bureau of Sta­tis­tics in­di­cate 78 per cent of marriages across Aus­tralia are now com­pleted by a civil cel­e­brant.

Lo­cal wed­ding cel­e­brant Cait­lyn Davey has been mar­ry­ing peo­ple for the past two years.

She runs Cer­e­monies by Cee­jay and said cou­ples opted for a civil cer­e­mony be­cause their views weren’t aligned to a re­li­gion and/or they wanted to have a more per­son­alised event.

“A lot more peo­ple are want­ing out­door cer­e­monies these days, which priests nor­mally won’t do, and peo­ple want more of a re­laxed cer­e­mony,” she said.

She also said cou­ples were more keen to get mar­ried in the great out­doors than in a func­tion room. She said the Dry was the busiest time of the year, with dates booked out as early as 18 months in ad­vance.

Jes­sica and Tom Mooney wed on July 13 at the Ge­orge Brown Dar­win Botanic Gar­dens with the help of Ms Davey. They opted for a civil cer­e­mony as re­li­gion wasn’t a big part of their lives.

“Tom and I de­cided on a civil cer­e­mony be­cause re­li­gion has not been a big part of our lives and we felt the prom­ises we made to each other needed to be rel­e­vant,” she said.

“We just wanted to keep it sim­ple and make sure the em­pha­sis was on what we were com­mit­ting to each other.

“We both wanted there to be an em­pha­sis on be­ing in this com­mit­ment com­pletely equally and we did not ask for me to be ‘given’ to Tom, but rather for both sets of our par­ents to bless our mar­riage.”

Pic­ture: HAN­NAH MILLERICK PHO­TOG­RA­PHY

Jes­sica and Tom Mooney opted for a civil cer­e­mony and were wed by Cait­lyn Davey at the Ge­orge Brown Dar­win Botanic Gar­dens

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