Raglan surfer turned ‘funny guy’ says on-screen wedding no joke

Former Raglan pro surfer Luke Cederman may be better known around town these days for posting hilarious online clips but insists he’s deadly serious about giving his marriage – which screened on primetime television last weekend – a good go.

And despite joking his way through his wedding to Lacey Swanepoel on the first episode of TV Three’s  ‘Married at First Sight NZ’ series last Sunday night, the 34-year-old reckons it all went pretty well.

Sure it was “different”, he told the Chronicle of meeting his bride for the first time at the altar. “But that’s an understatement I guess.”

The wedding – at a venue in Bombay, South Auckland – was also a lot of fun, he added. “I felt like I handled it pretty well and enjoyed myself.”

Luke is one of 12 singles, chosen from more than 4000 applicants looking to find true love, who are matched up in the new series.

He and Lacey were the first pairing to get legally hitched on screen during the six-week social experiment in which psychology expert Dr Pani Farvid and relationship counsellor Tony Jones “guide the journey that is marriage”.

Luke told the Chronicle that, having experienced a few failed relationships, he saw his participation in the reality series as an opportunity to be matched successfully by qualified experts.

“I realise I am making a massive commitment,” he said.  He genuinely wanted to find someone to spend the rest of his life with, and was just hoping his match would want to do the same.

So far so good. Quizzed on TVNZ 1’s ‘Breakfast’ programme on Monday morning –  just 12 or so hours after his wedding was screened, but in reality several weeks after the big event – Luke confirmed “we got each other, we understood each other”.

Not that he was divulging anything more. “I am a gentleman,” insisted the bearded, beanie-wearing Luke with an impish grin.

And the beard “doesn’t matter”, he added – which is just as well as 30-year-old Lacey, a business consultant in Wellington, had made clear before meeting Luke at the altar she wasn’t keen on her ideal man having one but that it “can always be shaved (off)”.

Luke – who lives in Auckland but returns to his hometown whenever possible – told the Chronicle he definitely had no regrets about his very public wedding on a show which bares all the highs and lows as couples progress from wedding to honeymoon to visiting the in-laws and married life.

“It’s been amazing,” he said of the experience. “Surreal is the best way to describe it.”

Although obviously a bit nervous on his wedding day the laid-back Luke reckoned he generally didn’t believe in stress. He revealed that, before filming for the show began, he’d quit his job as a warehouse manager in Auckland to go walking 650 kilometres through the south of France with his father Brent.

“That sorted me out,” he said of the hum-drum state he’d been stuck in at the time.

Luke – who’s variously described in programme publicity material as something of a funny guy and comedian – has earned quite a reputation in Raglan for his off-the-wall surf reports and other clips posted online.

That includes a fake application for ‘The Bachelor’ television series which perhaps predetermined the real thing for ‘Marriage at First Sight’.

He passed ‘The Bachelor’ clip off as just an entertaining Saturday activity, whereas with ‘The Raglan Surf Report’ he simply liked to inform people of surf culture in a light-hearted kind of way.

Then what about the recent piece on a supposedly deadly ocean-dwelling creature that was actually a plastic bag washed ashore on the rocks? ”I like to dabble in a few social issues,” he laughed.

But Luke made clear nothing matched getting hitched on television. “Honestly this is one of the craziest things I’ve ever done!”       

Edith Symes