WATCH: Private screening for this historic wedding

19th November 2017 4:59 PM
UPDATED 20th November 3:31 AM

JASON Connell and his new wife Sherry Wicken made Grafton history on Saturday when they became the first couple to be married on the Saraton Theatre stage.

"It's definitely something different, as the Saraton is such an historical venue," Mr Connell said. "I was born here (in Grafton) and I think it's something very special for my wife and I, to be part of local history."

However, to make the event even more significant, the couple decided to keep the venue a secret from family and friends until moments before the ceremony.

"We sent the invites out about a year ago which simply said to turn up on this date, meet at 2.45pm at the Clocktower Hotel and, from there, we will take them to the venue," Mr Connell said.

"All this time, only three people have known about it - me, my wife-to-be and her Mum."

Within days of the invitations going out, Mr Connell and Ms Wicken started receiving messages and calls from friends and family wanting to know the venue.

HAPPY DAY: Jason Connell and Sherry Wicken made history when they tied the knot at the Saraton Theatre on Saturday afternoon.
HAPPY DAY: Jason Connell and Sherry Wicken made history when they tied the knot at the Saraton Theatre on Saturday afternoon. Sarah Hughes

"I've been getting all these theories as to where it is, like the fire station, Grafton jail, and our farm in Nymboida, but we've kept tight-lipped the whole time," Mr Connell said. "Only one guy guessed correctly and he still doesn't know."

While waiting at the Clocktower Hotel, the anticipation was becoming next to unbearable for some wedding guests.

"I have no idea where we're going and the suspense is killing me!" Aunty Bev from Wyong said. "I've been throwing out little hints to Jason for weeks but he won't give anything away.

"My grandson Googled places around Grafton to see if that could tip us off, but I'm still just as confused."

Ms Wicken and Mr Connell had attended a concert at the theatre.

"Last year we saw Jimmy Barnes live at the Saraton and afterwards I thought, why not get married on the same stage?" Mr Connell said. "Luckily Sherry agreed it was a good idea."

Guests were handed custom movie tickets for the "private screening" before being ushered into the historic theatre to watch a trailer of the bride and groom's life together projected onto the screen.

"I started crying," Mr Connell said. "All the memories came flooding back. There was a lot of emotion in the movie, so it was quite a good opening before we said our vows."