Canadian woman marries New Zealand man on radio show

Friday, September 28, 2007

An Oakville, Ontario woman married a man on New Zealand radio station The Edge after winning reality show Three Strangers and a Wedding.

Chantelle Swanson, 26, had only talked to Paul Court, her husband and who is a 29-year-old horse driver, through the telephone.

Invercargill Mayor and marriage celebrant Tim Shadbolt conducted the ceremony.

"They're great, and I know they will stand by me even if my family won't. It's about him and I, making it work," Swanson said.

Swanson had met with all three families of the three "groom's" prior to making her final decision for who to marry. One was eliminated in an earlier episode leaving Court and 29-year-old Dave Logan, a courier company team leader from Christchurch. They were waiting at Floating Pavilion in Auckland's Viaduct Harbour yesterday, when Swanson chose Court as her husband.

Swanson had moved to New Zealand three years ago to study to become a teacher. She now teaches at a middle school in Auckland.

Swanson's parents, who live in a mansion in Oakville and whose mother is a business executive, told the Toronto Star that they are disappointed towards their daughter entering the reality show.

"Yes, she did tell us she was doing this," her mother Ginny Swanson told the newspaper. "Of course I'm upset...Other than that, I don't really want to talk about it."

"Chantelle is nothing short of stunning and I am very, very lucky," Court said.

Swanson and Court will honeymoon at the Edgewater Resort in Rarotonga.

The competition started just seven weeks ago. Over 100 wannabe brides sign up every year in hopes of becoming the next winner.

Swanson is the third person to win the show. The other two winners from the first and second seasons are Zane Nichol and Paula Stockwell, and Steve Veix and Kersha. The first couple were married in 1999 and have two sons. The second were married in 2003 and have one son, and will be having a second.

The show is second in the "Strangers and a Wedding" series following Australias Two Strangers and a Wedding.

There are similar competitions in the United States and Ireland.

"It's bloody great," Court added.