Christchurch-based ambulance officer Aaron Chisholm, 26, will meet his husband-to-be, Auckland-based insurance consultant Ben Blackwell, also 26, at the altar on Married at First Sight tonight.
As well as marrying a stranger both are acutely aware that they will be seen as role models by many in the LGBTQ community.
“Most of my groomsmen are from Australia, so the fact I can get married legally in New Zealand is a big deal,” Blackwell told Spy. “There is a responsibility with putting myself out there in a gay marriage, but all I can do is put my best foot forward,” said Blackwell.
“It’s a tough one. I don’t associate my personality with being gay, but I am happy for people to view the diversity as I look for love.” said Chisholm, who has a Best Man and Best Woman at his side during the ceremony, screened on Three tonight and kicking off the second week of MAFS.
Both gents have found dating difficult in New Zealand.
Blackwell, who has been living in Melbourne, said the pond was much smaller here and near impossible to find The One. Chisholm is also frustrated by the dating scene — especially being ghosted by people after dates.
Chisholm’s friends and family were over the moon he was taking part in the MAFS’ experiment, although his dad took a little longer to come around to the idea.
Blackwell comes from a strict Catholic family who didn’t attend the ceremony.
What did both grooms tell the experts they were looking for?
“I am tall and like taller guys. I’m also a fan of good teeth and don’t like smokers” said Blackwell.
“I wanted a real go-getter, a DIY type of guy, someone who wants to travel with me and I am definitely after personality over looks,” said Chisholm.
Both men were cool, calm and collected before the ceremony — but when it came time to meeting at the altar both got very nervous and a little freaked out.
Blackwell has no regrets after going on the show and is ready to be recognised when out and about. Here’s hoping the two grooms like what they see tonight.