Fans hoping for a happy ending to the sweet courtship between nanny Tara Pavlovic and voiceover artist Sam Cochrane got their wish when Sam proposed to Tara in Fiji on the April 30 finale of Bachelor in Paradise.
“I love you,” stammered Sam on bended knee to an emotional Tara. “It might seem crazy but it’s not. And I’ve said it to you a thousand times in my sleep—I want to spend the rest of my life with you. You’re incredible. Will you marry me?” Before he could finish, Tara nodded quickly and replied, “Yeah. I love you.”
After four months spent sneaking around in public lest they give anything away, Tara and Sam confirmed their engagement news exclusively to WHO in an interview and photo shoot ahead of the show’s finale earlier this week. “We’ve had to keep it a secret for so long,” Tara says. “It’s actually nice to talk about it.”
In fact, Sam, 34, has already moved in with Tara, 28, and they’ve started discussing their upcoming engagement party and eventual wedding. “It’s a risky thing, getting engaged after a short amount of time,” says Tara, who said ‘Yes’ to Sam after just three and a half weeks filming. “But we have been living together since the show finished, so for over four months now. And, actually, it’s going really well—we’re both really happy.”
Tara convinced Sydney-based Sam to head to the Gold Coast by emphasising the couple’s love for privacy. “Bondi does not suit me,” she says. “When he was living there he was like, ‘I can’t even do the groceries without having a selfie. I just have to put my hood on.’ I just said, ‘That doesn’t happen here. It’s so chilled.’” She adds, “It’s the perfect environment for us at this time. And maybe there aren’t as many work opportunities for us here, but we can always travel. This could be our halfway house if we want to do travelling.”
Sam says he didn’t need too much convincing—after the couple returned to Australia from Paradise in the first week of December, he says, “She went back to the Gold Coast, and I flew back to my pad in Bondi. And we just really, really missed each other. It was like, ‘I need to see you. I need to see you now.’”
So he packed up his superhero collectables— including Batman artwork—to move into a tiny Queensland apartment with Tara, no mean feat since paparazzi had been tracking them since rumours of their engagement surfaced. “I have only had [Bachelor in Paradise co-star and friend] Nina Rolleston around, whom I really trust, and my brother and sisters,” Tara explains. “They are the only people who know where I live.”
Nina, to whom Tara became close during her time in Fiji, was entrusted with the news of the engagement. “Tara and Sam are that couple you see walking down the street hand-in-hand and it instantly makes your heart explode,” she tells WHO. “You couldn’t meet a more deserving couple of this fairy tale ending and I feel so honoured to be a part of that journey.”
Although they have not set a date, both are thinking of marrying within a year’s time. “Sam wants to have a wedding at Disneyland,” Tara says with a laugh. “I said, ‘I don’t know about that—that’s a bit full on for me. Seriously, he is such a kid. And then we negotiated. And I was like ‘What about somewhere tropical? Why don't we do our honeymoon at Disneyland, maybe?’”
That’s fine with Sam, if he can also organise an epic engagement party. “We would find somewhere beautiful with the Bachie peeps there, and make that a really big event,” he says, “because we want to be able to share that.”
How do they respond to rumours that Tara is about to become a mum? “No, I’m not pregnant,” she says with a laugh. “But when we get to that stage, I would love to have kids with Sam.”
Sam shares her enthusiasm. “Tara is a professional nanny,” he says, “but I have grown up with babies around me all the time, and toddlers, because my siblings keep breeding! We are both so in tune with kids - so absolutely. She is going to be a beautiful mum.”
For more exclusive photos and details from Tara and Sam about their moving in with each other, how their families have responded to their engagement, their wedding guest list, and their reflections on finding love on TV, pick up the latest issue of WHO on newsstands Thursday.