HARD: The unmarried Emily Sexton (left), Karlie Dicker of Lismore, to marry this Saturday, and Nardia Pidcock, also of Lismore who married two years ago, swap views on vows.
HARD: The unmarried Emily Sexton (left), Karlie Dicker of Lismore, to marry this Saturday, and Nardia Pidcock, also of Lismore who married two years ago, swap views on vows. Jacklyn Wagner

A walk down the aisle is back in style

MORE Northern Rivers couples are saying 'Why not?' to tying the knot, triggering the biggest surge in weddings for 20 years.

Speaking after the release yesterday of Australian Bureau of Statistics figures showing a 2.1 per cent increase in marriages during 2008, Lismore Bridal owner Michael Gates said his business was booming.

But the modern bride, he said, was 'doing it all backwards.'

“Before you used to get married, buy the house, and then have the kids. These days it's reversed - kids, house, marriage,” Gates said.

Bride-to-be Karlie Dicker, who will marry her partner of six years, Ricky Forrest, on Saturday in a South Lismore Catholic church, is a case in point.

The couple had their first child when Ms Dicker was 16 and have since had another son, bought a house and a dog. Marriage is the 'next step', Ms Dicker said.

Marriage, according to Ms Dicker, is a 'celebration of our love and what we've been through together'.

“I know it's not going to be easy but the secret is compromise and making time for the little things,” Ms Dicker said.

Nardia Pidcock, who has been married for two years, says she strongly opposed long-term de facto relationships.

“You have to have that public display of commitment. I also think that a woman should take her husband's name,” she said.

In response to the scandal that yesterday cost NSW Health Minister John Della Bosca his job, Ms Pidcock said adultery was unacceptable.

“I take a hard line and take my vows very literally,” she said.

Lismore Bridal's wedding gown co-designer Emily Sexton is unmarried, but had no delusions about marriage.

“It's hard. You see a few brides come in here with that the unobtainable fantasy. They are probably the ones who won't last,” she said.



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