Buderim couple prove marriage TV show could work
IN 1966, a young man approached a woman who was playing in the rain on Bondi Beach.
"My name is Bill. Where would you like me to take you tonight?" he asked her.
She was not interested, but he followed her home and knocked on her door three days in a row, asking the same question.
Eventually, she relented. He took her ten-pin bowling, as she requested, and within five weeks they had decided to get married.
"We had a wonderful 32 years together before she passed away," Bill Scurry said.
The Buderim-based marriage celebrant's own experience tells him that a strong marriage can grow from the slightest of beginnings.
The young couple barely knew each other but a new reality television show is stripping that "get to know you" time back even further.
Married at First Sight will see four couples who have never met "marry" and then spend the next three months working out if they want to stay together.
Mr Scurry has some concerns about the show but does not dismiss the chances of couples suddenly thrown together developing solid relationships.
"We do weddings for people who have met on the internet and they seem to work things out," he said.
Reverend Jeremy Greaves, of St Mark's Anglican parish, Buderim, was more critical of the show.
"It really makes a bit of a mockery of what marriage could and should be about," he said.
"Marriage is a serious thing between people who love each other and this really cheapens that," he said. "People say if gay and lesbian people get married, that will cheapen what marriage is about, but here we have a show that sets people up in this way - it's just very sad."
Although the title Married at First Sight implies its contestants are married, the truth is that the couples, who have been matched by experts, first go through commitment ceremonies and at the end of the four weeks, decide whether they want to formalise those agreements.
The idea of throwing two people together and see if they click has some people fascinated and others horrified.
A petition has begun against Married at First Sight before Channel Nine has even screened the first episode.
Mr Greaves said the show was a sign of how "low" reality television could go.
Relationships counsellor Natalie Westera said the three ingredients for a successful relationship were friendship, passion and commitment.
She said Marriage at First Sight rejigged the normal order of those ingredients by "marrying" the couple first.
"It's interesting because they're putting the commitment first, and it's not really there. They are looking at whether you can develop a friendship over time."
"I guess my view is that they are making a mockery of marriage. There's so much more to it," she said.