Rainbow Beach one of Gympie's top spots to tie the knot
WITH its rolling hills, impressive history, winding Mary River and white sand beaches, the Gympie region is a picturesque backdrop for all types of weddings.
Queensland Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages figures reveal that 113 couples tied the knot in the region last year, down on the 153 weddings in 2014 and 189 in 2013.
There were 60 weddings in Gympie itself with Rainbow Beach hosting 40 couples and marriage celebrant Virginia Juster says while those numbers are certainly large enough to keep her busy, she is surprised more couples are not taking advantage of the value for money the region offers.
"The trend in Gympie is for couples to opt for more rural settings, beautiful outdoor spaces under trees, next to creeks and there are a number of purpose-built wedding properties and private holdings that offer a great venue," Ms Juster said.
"Lawrie Hanson Park and Phil Rogers Park in Rainbow Beach are very popular as well as on the beach itself but one of my favourites is the terraces at Plantation Resort. I have married many couples there, it is relaxed and the ocean view is stunning."
The average Australian wedding costs more than $36,000 but there has been a noticeable shift to smaller, more intimate occasions.
"The weddings tend to be on the smaller side now with 30-40 people," Ms Juster said.
"Sometimes it is around 50-70 for the bigger ones but not more than that. Couples seem to be more budget conscious and brides seem to be doing a lot of do-it-yourself decorations.
"The weddings are still beautiful though. We can tailor the ceremony to a couple's needs and it is always beautiful when they write some of their own vows, especially if they keep it a secret from their partner until the ceremony."
LOCATIONS WE LOVE
Top Gympie wedding locations last year:
* Gympie - 60
* Rainbow Beach - 40
* Tin Can Bay - 8
* Wolvi - 5
Study finds special wedding dates more likely to end in divorce
CHOOSING Valentine's Day or a special number date for your wedding might seem quirky and romantic but a new study suggests it can spell doom for your marriage.
University of Melbourne economists discovered weddings celebrated on gimmick dates were 18-36% more likely to end in divorce than weddings on ordinary dates.
The report, Not Your Lucky Day: Romantically and Numerically Special Wedding Date Divorce Risks, revealed February 14 and same number dates such as 9/9/99 were up to five times more popular for nuptials than ordinary dates.
Report authors Dr Jan Kabatek and Professor David Ribar found differences in characteristics of couples who married on special dates explained some of the higher divorce risks.
These factors included they were more likely to have been married before and have children already, and were less alike in terms of education and age than spouses who married on ordinary dates.
The researchers said it was not the date that increased a couple's vulnerability but rather what the choice of date revealed about them.
"Couples who marry on ordinary dates may be more strongly influenced by characteristics of their relationships and their compatibility than couples who marry on special dates," Prof Ribar said.
The study used Dutch registries that covered all marriages and divorces in that country between 1999 and 2013.