Getting the bride, groom and ring all to the altar for a Shortland Street wedding has posed problems in the past, but the Valentine's day civil union of Maia Jeffries (Anna Jullienne) and Jay Copeland (Jaime Passier-Armstrong) has one less problem - there is no groom to worry about!
The show's popular 'lipstick lesbian' couple are set to tie the knot in a fittingly gorgeous ceremony in Auckland's Parnell Rose Gardens, surrounded by friends and family as well as co-workers from Shortland Street hospital.
The episode will be a landmark in New Zealand television drama as the first civil union, emphasising the show's talent for creating topical storylines while still displaying all the drama and glamour that we expect from a Ferndale wedding. Like any loving, committed couple, Maia and Jay see getting married as the next logical step in their relationship.
"It really is about them acknowledging the fact they are committed to each other and want the world to know it just like any other couple," explains Jullienne. "No doubt there will be the honeymoon period and then things will settle down and it will be about the car, the house, the mortgage. All that stuff. They've already tackled the baby issue and though that didn't umm, go sooo well& it is definitely a possibility for the future. It would be great if they had a child."
Shortland Street producer Jason Daniel points out that same sex weddings may not be the norm for a soap opera, but having two brides does have its benefits. "Lets face it, TV weddings are about the frock. So we thought; let's have two! Twice the glamour, twice the tears, twice the resentment from bitter bridesmaids. Fantastic television. After Jay and Maia's wedding the days of the groom may be numbered."
Actress Jaime Passier-Armstrong says the characters' big day is a point after which the couple can put the difficulties of the past year behind them, no matter what other people may think. "There were a lot of ups and downs last year for Maia and Jay, and also a lot of other people that were mixed up in their relationship too. Mark (Tim Foley) was hanging around Maia, Jay and Norman (Jacob Tomuri) had their whole baby deal thing going on - there was Yvonne and her refusal to accept Maia and Jay. They've been through a lot and the wedding is a good chance to show they came through it, they love each other and they want to be together; forever hopefully, fingers crossed."
Don't be late for the wedding; Valentines Day, February 14th - and check back on the site for all the wedding photos February 15th.
Rainbow Youth is an Auckland-based organisation providing support, contact, information, advocacy and education for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Takataapui and Fa'afafine young people and their families/whanau. If this storyline on Shortland Street raises any questions for you, contact Rainbow Youth.
How do you want your news
Choose the news you want when you want it, all in one personalised daily e-mail.
TVNZ is available on mobile phones: Text TVNZ to 8869.
See when TVNZ have added new content. You can get the latest headlines anywhere.
Enjoy TVNZ on the move - a wide range of programmes and highlights are available.