VIRAL VIDEO: Millions Watch Hawaii Tourism Officials Surprise Gay Military Couple With Wedding

Go Hawaii! Also: Kleenex alert! Civil Beat reports:

Despite its longtime leadership on issues such as anti-discrimination laws, civil unions and marriage equality, Hawaii has been shy about using that street cred to leverage more same-sex destination wedding tourism. Until now.

The Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau — the private, nonprofit marketing organization for the tourism industry — released an emotional video on Monday featuring the surprise wedding of Christian Alarid and Shayne Barnes, an Oahu couple whose family and friends traveled to Honolulu to see the two men tie the knot. The video and teasers for it quickly went viral, with more than 6.5 million total views on social media by Tuesday afternoon.

Now known as the Alarids, the two had gotten engaged last June. They had been planning a 2016 wedding and had agreed to be models in an HVCB wedding photo shoot last August on the Big Island, after which HVCB staffers had a brainstorm. What if the bureau surprised the couple by organizing a picture-perfect surprise ceremony in Honolulu?

Christian serves in the Air Force and Shayne just completed his enlistment with the Marine Corps. Watch below and have the tissues ready.

(Tipped by JMG reader Todd)

  • Hal Watts

    Congratulations to the handsome couple!

  • MikeBx2


  • pickypecker
  • mazel tov, guys!

  • Andy Lykus

    I’m a sucker for gay boys hitching. So much love in their families. Almost as good as this one:

    • Todd Allis

      Aww, lovely!

  • Robincho

    Koko Head — cool backdrop for The Kiss. That little clambake cost some dough, starting with the Kahala Mandarin Oriental… Best of everything to Shayne and Christian!…

    • radiofreerome

      The Navy and the Marine Corps are just fuck buddies.

  • joe ho

    and this is giving bob mcdermott a hard on, making him hate himself even more than he usually does.

  • MDB

    Two beautiful men, MAKING AMERICA GREAT !!!
    Aloha, boys !!!

  • Gustav2

    Air Force and Marine Corps intermarriages are an abomination!!!!!11!!!

  • billbear1961
    • SilasMarner

      One of my favorite pieces. Love it!!!

      • billbear1961

        Very nice to see you, Silas!


      • Roger

        also one of my all time favorites!! Beautiful!!

        • billbear1961

          Haven’t seen you in a long time, Roger!

          • Roger

            Yep, been busy a bit, but trying to keep up with the news around here. Always good to see you too Bill!

    • radiofreerome

      Lesbians will remember the piece from this scene:
      Thanks for thinking of the Lesbians.

  • Ninja0980

    Congrats to the happy couple!

  • Ninja0980

    Please show this video to Mike Gabbard, Bob McDermott, Sharon Har, Karen Awana, Gene Ward and the rest of the bigots and watch their bigoted heads explode at the fact marriage equality is now two years old in Hawaii despite all of their attempts to stop it.
    I also hope Jo Jordan sees it to be reminded of the happiness she’ll hopefully never have.
    Once again, congrats to the happy couple!

    • zhera

      Wait, it’s been two years? I can still remember the seething rage from that night. MY seething rage, brought on by the haters and their amazing ability to dig up more hate when you think they’re all out.

      • Cuberly

        Those few days of religiously coerced “testimony” will stick with me for the rest of my life.

        • Yup….watching it drone on day after day but now on this end looking back very rewarding. They were desperate to derail it and I wish every single one of them could be shown this video and then after asked….so this is what you were so determined to stop?

        • Ninja0980

          Not as much as the legislators, who were even more vile then the crowd were.
          Karen Awana’s bigotry still rings in my ears.

      • Ninja0980

        I remember it too.
        Truly among the worst displays of bigotry I’ve ever seen.

  • Todd20036

    Wedding, schmedding. I want to see the wedding night. Film that!

    • Hardley

      That’s what I thought the kleenex was for!

    • Claude Jacques Bonhomme

      Well, you saw them get Lei’d.

    • Phillip in L.A.

      methinks thou knowest already how to find those particular fil-ums on the interwebz

    • AJA

      Dang you for being perverted before *I* had the chance to do it! 😛

  • billbear1961
    • David Walker

      FSM love you, Mr. Bear.

      • billbear1961

        I haven’t forgotten you love this piece, dear David!


        • pickypecker

          Is one of my favorites as well!

          • billbear1961


            I hope the happy couple will like it, too, IF they should happen to look in!

        • David Walker

          Have you seen this, Mr. Bear?

          • Raybob

            Cracks me up every time 🙂

  • LonelyLiberal

    If there were any doubt the bigots were losing at jig speed, this would dispel it.

    Also, Hawaii just regained some points lost during the marriage hearings.

    • billbear1961

      The haters, even if they win the election next year, are NOT going to be able to turn the clock back without TEARING this nation apart!

      I refuse to believe that Americans have become such SHEEP that they would STAND BY and watch the marriages and families of over ONE MILLION people–and that’s the number only at this moment–DESTROYED for no reason but the very VILEST ignorance, political hatred and fanatical religious HYPOCRISY!!

      All those couples and families, all those legal contracts entered into as couples and parents–mortgages, wills, trust funds–SUNDERED by nothing but outright, baldfaced FASCISM; I cannot believe it will come to pass in ANY circumstances, unless the people of this country have truly lost their SPINES, and this democratic republic COLLAPSES into a despotic OBSCENITY!!

    • Phillip in L.A.

      yes, and it’s good to see that the Tourism & Convention Bureau realize what side of the toast their poha jam is on

  • David Walker

    A tissue alert is MOST welcome, Joe. Thank you.

  • Roger

    Good thing Joe warned us! The onion ninjas showed no mercy at all!!

  • bambinoitaliano

    Damn! Should have spring for the quality Kleenex instead of the generic sandpapers I got.

    • zhera

      Just let the tears run. It’s good for the soul to leak once in a while. 🙂

      • bambinoitaliano

        Can’t be diluting my wine with such great celebration on a lovely couple’s wedding.

  • LovesIrony

    Love wins. Congratulations Gentlemen and thank you for your service.

    • billbear1961

      Hear, hear!

  • bambinoitaliano

    The popping you hear are not just champaign corks, a few fundies heads explode at the thought of a gay man name Christian having a gay old wedding. Mazel Tov!

  • Jake

    Now I’m crying at my desk at work

    • KCMC

      please pass tissues. Thank you.

  • Paul Forsyth

    Very sweet!

  • billbear1961
    • yetanotherLaura

      A beautiful choice, Billbear! Such perfect music for a beautiful wedding!

      • billbear1961

        Hello, Laura!

        I hope you’re having the most marvellous holidays!

        • yetanotherLaura

          We are, billbear! Our present to ourselves was adopting a beautiful black greyhound named Melody, who is entertaining us nonstop (particularly at 3:00 a.m., unfortunately) with her total silliness. I hope your holidays are equally delightful!

  • buzzbeard

    damn dust in my eyes

  • Phillip in L.A.

    Thank you so much for this, Joe & Todd! Incredible

    This warmed my cockles–and I did shed a tear or two, too

  • zeddy303

    Could not finish without bawling.

  • We’ve all been to weddings. We’ve seen things set up so beautifully. But there’s nothing like that first glimpse of flowers, family and friends when you realize they are there for you.

    People sometimes say the world is getting worse. But then there’s this.

    • Phillip in L.A.

      viva vincitor!

    • billbear1961

      Lovely post, RV!

  • Rex

    Beautiful, just beautiful.
    Why would anyone want to stand in the way of a loving couple’s happiness?

    • billbear1961

      Because there’s no shortage of smug, pus-hearted BULLIES in the world whose lives mean little to them if they don’t have someone to feel superior to, especially if they can PLAY GOD while doing it.

      They’re what is commonly referred to as EVIL.

      Vicious FRAUDS, they naturally hide their TWO FACES behind BIBLES, insisting that those they hate be punished for violating primitive rules written millennia ago by ignorant semi-SAVAGES, while THEY break ANY commandment they please, whenever they please, with absolute IMPUNITY, even those most insisted upon by their Lord and Saviour.

  • Lindoro Almaviva

    OK< where do I get that shirt? i am a sucker for a great print

  • Princess Lardass

    It’s been said before and I’ll say it again: What an adorable couple!!!!!!”

  • TheSpinMonkey


  • William

    No fancy destination wedding for us. Apparently we have been common lawed in. No cake, no guests, no tears, no blender.

    Congrats on your wedding and life together.

  • Johnjon


  • kanehau

    God our media in Hawaii sucks.

    Why do I have to get a great local story like this from JMG? Why was it not in our local papers?

    Hawaii Tribune Herald – you should be ashamed!

    (Thanks Joe)

  • RanBro

    My husband and I are absolutely thrilled for you guys. Congratulations to you both.

  • I have to say this was especially special to watch after sitting through all the anti-gay testimony that happened before Hawaii got same sex marriage. It is great to see the result now that couples can marry

  • JCF

    Mazel Tov!

  • justmeeeee

    The dude on the right looks like he has a green mohawk.

  • GanymedeRenard

    Oh, I hate you, Joe! I told myself that this wasn’t going to affect me and that I wasn’t going to need a Kleenex!

    But I love you, Joe! Thank you.

  • noni

    Maybe in my next life.