It’s been a proud tradition for gay marriage activists, in an effort to point out that existing laws let heterosexual complete strangers marry each other but not gays in committed relationships, to get hitched to complete strangers while cameras roll. There was Florida’s Brian Feldman holding an online contest for a bride (Hannah Miller won, though the two have since had an annulment), and New York’s Kitty Lambert, who went to Buffalo’s city hall to marry partner Cheryl and was, predictably, turned down — so five seconds later she applied for a marriage license with a complete stranger named Ed, whom she just met. But in South Africa, where gay marriage was legalized in 2006, marrying complete strangers isn’t an activist stunt, but a radio show ratings gimmick.

Last weekend Cape Town’s morning show on Heart 104.9FM held a contest where 35-year-old Lloyd Kandlin (who went by “Lekker Larry” during the contest) picked one of five potential bachelors to marry. He’d never met any of them. Rather, he interviewed them on air, and only on their wedding day did he meet his new husband, Shane Everts. This sounds, um, responsible. Also: entertaining!

After a lengthy selection process, 35-year-old Lekker Larry was chosen to be the first groom. He had to decide between five potential bachelors who he never met but got to talk to on radio. They were all subjected to polygraph and background checks before Lekker Larry proposed to Hastige Hendrik at the Grand Daddy Hotel in Cape Town. Both guys wore masks the entire time and were not aware of each other’s identities until the wedding day when they exposed themselves at the Altar just before saying “I do”.

Yesterday, Lekker Larry revealed himself as Lloyd Kandlin, while Hastige Hendrik’s real name is Shane Everts. Lloyd is an entertainer, but also designs costumes for props and sets. He admits to being a family man and feels very strongly about the sanctity of marriage. He loves the outdoors and being adventurous. When asked what kind of life partner he was looking for, Lloyd said: “Someone who I can love and trust and enjoy life with, someone who can be a pillar of strength and my confidant.” Shane Everts is 29 years old and works in marketing. He is an extravert, is sensitive and thoughtful. He defines love as a serious business comprising of discussion, understanding, compassion and support. Both guys are ecstatic about their union and can’t wait to start their life together as husband and husband.

As with so many other media-sponsored weddings, their special day was paid for by sponsors — all of whom managed to get listed in a news report.

The couple were spoiled with an R1.8m-wedding day hosted by the V&A Waterfront and Nautilus. The gorgeous and talented ladies of the electric quartet, Sterling EQ, welcomed the couple before they were married by Reverend Daniel Brits from the African Church. Onlookers were difficult to keep back as their demands to catch a glimpse of the couple became overwhelming seeing the grooms were now being considered as Heart 104.9FM celebrities. After an emotional ceremony the couple and their guests were serenaded by singer and solo guitarist, Larry Joe, and entertained by belly dancers from Cslled ‘beverley from London accompanied by Caroline and Friends, and the vivacious performance of Cape Town’s Odidiva.

The couple was presented with a spectacular 7ft high cake made by Simon Orviss before attempting their first dance together as groom and groom by doing the Tango. After just one lesson with Dizzy Feet, the grooms looked like naturals. DJ Didier Moestus and Heart 104.9FM’s The Knob, rocked the dance floor until the coupled said their goodbyes and sailed into the sunset on board the Nautilus. The grooms posed for wedding photos taken by Abigail K Photography while enjoying the soothing sounds of DJ Tess. There were plenty of other extravagant surprises that kept the grooms grinning from ear to ear during their wedding planning process, which are thanks to Glasshouse, Uwe Kloetter Jewellers, Isilumko Staffing, Coffee Right, Toureg Tents, Top Hat, Hildebrand Restaurant, the Oyster King, Blend, Pernod Ricard, 28, Creatus, Rosy’s Décor, Rosemary Florist, and masks encrusted with Shimansky crystals supplied by Cary B.

Of course if American states legalize same-sex marriage, we’re inevitably going to have thousands more couples like Lloyd and Shane, getting married for the free swag. Which is why Al Reynolds married Star Jones.

What are we supposed to say here? Good luck?

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