Sadly, for Chris, no amount of paddle boarding with his mother or one-on-one time with his dad was ever going to get his parents to his wedding to Grant in Monday night’s finale of Bride & Prejudice on Channel 7.
For those who missed the series, it follows five couples who allowed the audience into one of the most intimate and emotional moments of their lives: their weddings.
Each of the couples had an obstacle. One Russian mother had a problem with Indian men and her daughter was marrying one. She relented and all was well.
Another was furious that her 20-year-old son was marrying an 18-year-old with whom he constantly argued and we saw some monster scraps on screen, which, ultimately, saw the wedding cancelled.
Another couple, 40-year-old Liz and Garrad, 24, copped flak from Liz’s sister who decided to boycott the wedding because of the age gap.
She changed her mind after Liz begged her to come in an emotional letter two days before the wedding.
But it was the stories of two gay couples who each had parents hogtied by their own personal beliefs and couldn’t see past them to come to their weddings that provided the most emotional moments of the series.
Most moving was the story of Chris and Grant. Their story began with an ecstatic response on Skype from Grant’s parents in the US. They were clearly delighted their son had found someone he loved and wanted to commit to.
By contrast, when Chris went to tell his Queensland parents, devout Jehovah’s Witness mum Yvonne and traditional father Geoff the happy news, their disgust at their son’s decision was palpable.
They made it clear they wouldn’t be at his wedding because his homosexuality offended them.
He even gave them air tickets for their travel to the US. But, to no avail. Instead, his mother Pam delivered a shocking video via her sister to Chris on his wedding day.
“It’s just mum talking to you today because dad has found this a little bit overwhelming,” she said in the video.
“Just as you are hurting, so are we. I’m really sorry if you thought you weren’t loved or that we weren’t proud of you as a young boy. I thought I knew you. I felt very close to you at that time.
“I know a lot of people today think [our views] are outdated and old-fashioned, but they are something that we value and hold dearly.
“I hold marriage very sacred so I can’t give you that acceptance or be part of that. That part of your life is just not compatible with us but your life is your life to live as you see fit. We want you to know that we love you and keep well.”
Chris, unsurprisingly, was furious.
“I didn’t need to see that,” he said, though he managed to thank them during his wedding speech.
“I will never cut myself off from mum and dad. I will always be there. But I’m not going to allow myself to be hurt anymore.”
Chris didn’t win this one, but perhaps, other parents in the same situation may watch this series and decide that their children’s happiness should override their personal convictions, even just for one day.