Fresh from the show’s grand finale and now a proud fiancé (ICYMI: he proposed to Tara), Sam took time out from planning their upcoming wedding to talk to marie claire about why he proposed, the producers’ input and their plans to move in together asap (Tara is relocating from Queensland).
What’s your relationship with Tara been like since you left Paradise?
Beautiful. We had to be a little bit more quiet until the show finished, but that’s actually been a joy. She’s a really great person to hide away with and we’re really, really solid, we’re super in love – re-watching the show , watching our love story unfold, it’s left me feeling very lucky.
Did you watch the show together?
We actually watched the finale with both our mums and my brother last night, all together. Everyone was crying. Her family’s just like my family, it’s like being in a sitcom. We’ve been spending a lot of time with each other’s families.
Have you set a wedding date?
The first thing we ‘re planning is an engagement party, so we’re getting the ball rolling on that. But for the wedding, it’s figuring out the time of year - spring feels good but that’s coming up quite quickly, but then can we wait until spring next year? I don’t know.
When did you decide to propose?
Tara actually mentioned it in her sleep quite a bit, that she wanted to marry me. She talks in her sleep. So it never felt like a crazy idea, but it wasn’t something I really decided until the eleventh hour. Everything felt right, nothing felt forced, I never felt any pressure.
Did the producers first float the idea?
I think they said to every couple, you’ve got a few options here. You can skip the commitment ceremony altogether. We can give you a commitment ring. And when the option to propose was given it didn’t sound alien. I’m seven years older than Tara, I’ve declined relationships for the last four years, no one had stacked up to where I was, I wasn’t even ready to commit to a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship, but what I felt with Tara was like an anvil, it was so strong, we have so much chemistry.
What do you say to people who think it’s too rushed?
I was given the opportunity to talk to mum and dad before I proposed, but I declined it because I didn’t want anyone to jump to the conclusion that it was rushed. If you look at when you’re trying to date in Sydney in units of time, I’d spent more time with Tara than I would dating someone for six or seven months. I didn’t want us to fly out from Fiji to different states and not be clear on where we stand. It was really a seal of the deal.
Will you televise the wedding?
I would have completely ruled that out, but seeing the outpouring of support and love, we’re getting the most beautiful messages, that I think yeah, the public deserves to be part of it.