In the dark and cloudless skies above California City, a million stars wink their approval as armor-clad lovers stroll through scrub and tire fires. Nearby, while zombie hunters complete their rounds and nuclear fallout victims tend their gaping sores, strains of death metal waft in over a brisk and chilling desert breeze that prompts the lovers to snuggle closer together under jury-rigged shelters of camo netting and rebar.

Okay, maybe the zombies and fallout aren't real. But the love? Oh yeah.

See also: Our gallery “Post-Apocalyptic Cosplay: The Women of Wasteland Weekend”

Wasteland Weekend is the romantic-est place on the pretend post-apocalyptic earth. This Road Warrior-inspired festival/fan con/car show/cosplay event, now in its fourth year, had its first on-stage marriage proposal in 2012, and its first wedding this year, presided over by the Reverend Lord Humongous.

High school sweethearts Tim Cottage and Megan Lemos had their first vacation as a couple at Wasteland Weekend 2011, where they volunteered for setup and tear down at the event. In 2012, they returned, and Tim proposed to Megan onstage while his band played, changing the chanted lyric “they dropped a bomb on us” to “I hope that she says yes” as he got down on one knee.

Tim and Megan begged the favor of Wasteland's Weekend's Lord Humongous to perform the ceremony at the 2013 event, to which Humongous replied that he'd be honored to. Lord Humongous, by day a New Jersey pool guy known as “The Tank,” immediately proceeded to become ordained and write the vows — most of which were modified quotes from The Road Warrior.

“Last night we kept being accused of getting lost in each other 's eyes,” said Megan, the blushing (or was that a sunburn?) bride, after the ceremony. “Out here, even though we're pretending, it's a semi traumatic experience out in the heat and the elements, and what comes out of people is the best. People band together, so out here it just reaffirms our love.”

“You can find romance anywhere…we're happy enough just spending time together,” said Tim, adding, “Thank god we have the RV, because it's soundproof.”

The happy couple; Credit: L.J. Williamson

The happy couple; Credit: L.J. Williamson

But isn't a post-apocalyptic desertscape filled with weaponry, exhaust fumes, and miscreants a counterintuitive place to go searching for enchantment and love?

No way, said Lord Humongous. “I brought my wife here for the first time, and let me tell you, once the stars come out, it's all about the romance.”

See also: Our gallery “Post-Apocalyptic Cosplay: The Women of Wasteland Weekend”

Follow Public Spectacle, L.A. Weekly's arts & culture blog, on Facebook and Twitter:

Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.