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Saying ‘I do’ country-style


Perched on top of a hill, overlooking the township of Kapunda and with the beautiful vista of the Barossa Valley beyond, there is little wonder that St Rose of Lima Catholic Church is proving popular for ‘destination’ weddings.

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Fr Mark Sexton from the St Mary of the Cross MacKillop – Northern Light parish said over the years he had married couples from all over Australia and even Singapore, with them drawn to the “wedding church” for its beautiful interior and exterior – and close proximity to several excellent reception venues.

“They usually find out about St Rose’s through the web page. Part of the appeal is quite simply the geography – because it’s close to the Barossa Valley and they’ll have the wedding reception there.

“The guests all stay in the Barossa and they organise buses to pick them up for the church and then take them to the meal and bring them home.

“Part of the attraction too is that it is less hassle. In the city there are all these other weddings going on at the same time…so you are competing with other people for venues. And here it’s rural and there is not so much traffic.”

Which, according to Fr Mark, should mean that the bride arrives on time, however in 19 years of celebrating weddings he said that had happened on only three occasions!

At St Rose of Lima there is a beautiful piazza and the gardens are well maintained making it a perfect location for photographs.

With the wedding season now in full swing, Fr Mark officiated at the nuptials of a couple from Brisbane last month, highlighting the interest shown from interstate Catholics. However, the majority of couples being married in Kapunda come from Adelaide or are local parishioners.

Fr Mark said the out of town couples did their marriage preparation in their local parish and the paperwork was then forwarded to him.

“But I do like to meet with them first for a coffee and a chat and get to know them,” he said.

As a country priest Fr Mark said he loved being able to marry the children who had grown up in the parish and although they may have moved away for work, wanted to return for their wedding.

Officiating at the weddings of three sisters from the local area were particularly “joyous occasions”, he said.

And always keen to keep up with the technology of the day, Fr Mark is happy about a growing trend that sees couples now requesting a ‘silent’ wedding.

“They tell the guests that iPads, iPods, iPhones, cameras are to be all put away in their bags so they can be ‘present to the liturgy’.

“I really like that trend.”



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