“My Kitchen Rules” contestants Carly Saunders and Tresne Middleton are now married for real. The NSW couple flew to New Zealand to make their union legal, changing both of their last names to Hart.
Carly and Tresne were introduced as best friends when they joined the show in January 2014, but soon revealed that they were actually married.
As same-sex marriage is not legally recognised in Australia, the loved up couple, who met eight years ago, only had an intimate commitment ceremony in March 2012.
But now they can truly say that their marriage is legal.
The vivacious blondes have had a secret wedding in New Zealand over the weekend. The two exchanged I Do’s in a legal ceremony on the Waiheke Island.
“The wording is different at a commitment ceremony. You’re not even called brides,” Carly told Woman’s Day of their wedding.
“You want it to feel real but you know it’s not. It’s like someone’s telling you you can’t feel a certain way. It’s so unbelievably sh*tty we can’t get officially married in our own country. It’s a real downer,” Tresne added.
“But today it’s only about us – no drama and no distractions. The way it should be.”
Instead of being pronounced as Mrs Middleton or Saunders, the beautiful brides chose to be named both Mrs Hart.
The name is a derivative of the word heart, which represents their love and passion for one another.
“We both have family who don’t support us, so we thought, ‘Stuffed them, let’s decide on a new name that’s true to us,” Carly explained.
“Heart is the one thing that’s constant in our lives,” Tresne said. “It’s love, romance, passion and being – and it’s the reason we’re here today.”
Mrs and Mrs Hart, as they are now called, had told the producers of the hit reality show to keep mum about the real status of their relationship before they went on air. They feared that by revealing they were lovers, the Australian public would not take kindly to them.
New Zealand’s Department of Internal Affairs customer services team leader Carl Nordstrand worked late on Friday to make sure the duo’s paperwork were ready for their big day.
He told the NZ Herald that he was willing to stay three hours after the end of his shift to help the couple with their marriage certificate, which was lodged in Australia, but was only fixed on Friday night when they arrived in person.
Carly and Tresne arrived straight from the airport at the Auckland office at 8 pm, three hours after the closing time.
“They thanked me profusely. They were a very, very appreciative couple and got married the next day.”