Executive Mayor of Knysna, Georlene Wolmarans
To commemorate its 16th anniversary, the annual Pink Loerie Mardi Gras & Arts Festival Knysna will next month host the first-ever mass same-sex wedding in Africa – and the town’s mayor will officiate the ceremony.
Sixteen gay and lesbian couples will be chosen to tie the knot in the wedding of a lifetime at an event at Knysna’s five-star Villa Castollini on Friday 29 April 2016. They’ll win an astonishing wedding package; including dresses and suits, rings, photography, a weekend honeymoon, and much more.
Most exciting of all, the unique ceremony will be officiated by none other than the Honourable Executive Mayor of Knysna, Georlene Wolmarans.
“I am honoured to have been chosen to officiate the marriages/civil unions of the 16 couples,” said Executive Mayor Wolmarans. “The wedding ceremony will add that much more excitement to this year’s Pink Loerie. I am also delighted that Knysna was selected to host the very first LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) mass wedding in the country. I am confident that the couples will enjoy each and every moment of the ceremony at our beautiful venue.”
She went on to say: “I believe that same-sex couples should have access to all the benefits enjoyed by different-sex couples, as the South African Constitution clearly states that all citizens have the same rights and does not provide for any discrimination on any grounds.”
After their historic nuptials, the newlyweds will then have the honour of leading the annual Pink Loerie Parade through the streets of Knysna on Saturday 30 April.
Pink Loerie Co-ordinator John O’Neil, explained: “As we celebrate 16 years of making a mark on the LGBTI community, we felt it would be appropriate to highlight one of our most appreciated and sought-after rights; the right to marriage equality.
“South Africa remains the only nation on the continent to have legalised same-sex marriage, and that’s definitely something to celebrate,” he added.
Each winning couple will:
• Be dressed by either Heinrich Greyling Couturier or Yihan Bronn Couture;
• Receive a titanium ring set to the value of R3000 per couple from Malebooth;
• Receive a brunch buffet for them and 10 friends at Villa Costollini to the value of R5400 per couple;
• Receive a wedding photography package by Vernondo Boshoff Photography to the value of R3500 per couple;
• Take home a Malebooth hamper to the value of R2000 per couple;
• Have their hair styled by Bernard Buys, aka Betty Bangles, to the value of R400 per couple;
• Win a Weekend Honeymoon (arrive Friday depart Monday) at The Getaway Guesthouse Amanzimtoti to the value of R4900 per couple.
Flowers and décor will be provided by ECOTEST and Events and Tents.
To enter the LGBTI wedding competition and for the Terms & Conditions and Rules, click here. For tickets to attend this groundbreaking event, click here.
The Pink Loerie Mardi Gras & Arts Festival Knysna takes place from the 27th of April to the 1st of May 2016. Special accommodation rates are available.