'Couple' fakes engagement, relationship in elaborate April fools prank

It's not your average April Fool's Day prank - this "couple" pretended to date for months and held a fake engagement shoot to convince people they were getting married.
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      We don't know if they can commit to a relationship, but they can definitely commit to a joke.

      Hamilton's Kevin Patrick Robbins and his good friend Shelagh Moore pulled off an extremely elaborate April fools prank this year, when they faked a months-long relationship and an engagement.

      They capped it all off with professional photos from a wedding photographer to seal the deal, and help trick friends into thinking they were actually going to walk down the aisle together.

      For the most part, people were pretty receptive to the fact that we were being jerks.- Shelagh Moore, fake fiancée

      "For me, it was kind of like being onstage again and seeing it all play out," said Robbins, a former improv comedian turned photographer. "It was fun."

      Robbins and Moore met a couple of years back, and quickly became close friends. They have absolutely no romantic interest in each other – but that didn't stop friends from constantly berating them about when they'd start dating.

      That got old, fast. So back in January, they decided to have some fun with it. Moore came up with the original idea to just change their respective Facebook statuses to "in a relationship" on April Fools' Day – but the two quickly decided that would be too transparent.

      A well planned prank

      So they decided to commit to the long game, and immediately start telling people they were dating (and had been in secret, for months) all leading up to April Fools' Day and a fake engagement announcement.

      "It was pretty extensive," Moore laughed. Some people were a little skeptical, but they kept pushing through. Some people said the two didn't seem very "cuddly," but that was explained away by saying they just weren't the kind of couple that enjoyed public displays of affection.

      Then, not long before April 1, the happy couple and wedding photographer Lauren Valvasori headed to Bayfront Park for an engagement shoot. Moore was even sporting a brand new engagement ring – a beautiful plastic and glass number that cost a whopping $4 at Old Navy.

      Late in the evening on March 31, Valvasori (who was in on the whole thing) posted the shoot on her website and Facebook page to "let the cat out of the bag." There were lots of congratulations, and plenty of "oohs and ahhs" over that plastic ring.

      Some friends were still on the skeptical side though – and apparently with good reason. But for the most part, people bought it.

      What will your mom say?

      Robbins had managed to hide the "relationship" from his family – but Moore wasn't so lucky. Both her mother and her sister found out earlier on, and would constantly grill her about how things were going. There were a lot of, "How's Kevin?" from her mother.

      After the engagement shoot went up on Facebook, Moore got an extremely annoyed call from her sister, livid that she had to find out online that her sister was getting married.

      "I told her to think about what day it was, and it dawned on her," Moore laughed. She still hasn't talked to her mom, though. "I have no idea what she's thinking."

      "But for the most part, people were pretty receptive to the fact that we were being jerks." Most of the reaction online was positive, though one person did complain about these sorts of pranks being not funny.

      The two held a gathering and told friends the whole thing was a sham, and Robbins posted a blog post outlining the months-long joke. "Now I can go back to complaining about OK Cupid," Robbins said.

      "So, just let everyone know that I'm back on the market?"

      adam.carter@cbc.ca | AdamCarterCBC