Have you been flooded with dating stories?
Yeah! It’s been pretty amazing, actually. Because of my surname and being on The Bachelorette, people are always associating me with love, but here I am telling stories about people’s breakups and the most horrible times in their lives!
It’s been really fascinating.
It must be a nice change from the hard news you report on day-to-day …
Yeah, it is. The great thing about TV news is that every day is different. You could have the worst work day in the world and then the next day is literally the best.
But it’s a really nice change to be able to choose the stories with the podcast and put some extra time into it.
I’m someone who works well to a deadline, so it’s nice to stop and breathe and take my time with something.
Let’s talk wedding plans – are the Italian nuptials going ahead?
No, it’s not happening.
We were meant to be heading over in eight days’ time to visit the venue and meet all the vendors and book everything in. If I think about it too much, I might cry!
It was going to be in Sicily.
We feel so lucky that we hadn’t locked something in and sent out our invitations, though, and had everyone book their flights. We just have to change our plans.
I feel so sad for everyone that had to cancel their actual wedding days. For us, it was our dream, but it was only that, it wasn’t reality yet.
If the worst thing that happens to us – touch wood – in this pandemic is that we have to cancel our plans to marry in Italy, then how bloody lucky are we?
Was a destination wedding always on the cards for you and Lee?
It’s always been our dream to have a destination wedding. Travelling has always been such a huge thing to both us.
It’s a huge part of our relationship and it brings us so much joy, and it’s what we spend all our money on. We work to be able to travel, and we’ve been to a few destination weddings and they’ve been wonderful. You’re on holidays with your favourite people.
It’s all we’d ever spoken about doing, which in hindsight is very silly. That’s what hurts the most, we’ve never actually talked about doing anything else.
We always said we’d get married in Italy because it’s our favourite country. But we had to stop and think realistically.
At the end of the day, the main reason we chose to pull the pin on those plans was because we don’t know what financial state everyone is going to be in because of COVID-19, and we weren’t going to make people travel.
People might have lost their jobs.
What’s important is celebrating with our family and friends and we don’t want to be selfish and expect people to travel to Italy.
You didn’t have your dress yet, did you?
I’d started dress shopping. I was actually in a bridal boutique when my sister read out on her phone that Scott Morrison was holding a press conference announcing that all restaurants were shutting down. I thought, “Oh s--t.” And also, “Um, can you concentrate on me in the beautiful white dress?” [Laughs]
You were hoping for a 2021 wedding – is that still the plan?
We’ve realised that we don’t need to rush on planning because it’s not going to be until sometime next year anyway. But now it’s like, hold on, a lot of people are going to be looking at next year, too! All of 2021, everyone will have weddings and holidays coming out of their ears.
Being in the public eye, what’s the most frustrating question you get asked about your personal life?
Probably the main one is, “Oh, you are still together?” I mean, if this was a fake relationship, we’ve gotten really deep into it! We always get people who are surprised that we’re still together and that we’re actually engaged from The Bachelorette.
Bachie is such a success story – so many weddings and babies!
It is! Sam and Snezana [Wood], and now Tim [Robards] and Anna [Heinrich]! It’s so nice.
Whenever anyone from the show announces something really exciting like a pregnancy or an engagement, we feel extra excited for them, because the show worked for them, too.
These things validate the whole thing. People still think the whole Bachie thing is fake, or don’t think you can fall in love in that kind of environment. You just have to look at the couples who have worked!
Does the baby question annoy you?
You know what’s funny? The baby question has slowed down since we got engaged.
What bothers me is that it’s no-one else’s business. It’s incredibly personal.
But, at the same time, there is something really nice about people being invested in our relationship, because they think we’re great and that we’d make nice parents.
It comes from a good place, but it’s a frustrating question that every woman gets.
Do you feel pressure to be a mum?
God, no! If anything it makes me want to put the brakes on more because I’m not going to let anyone have a say in how I live my life or what I put my body through.
I’ve never let any public pressure play on me, or be a decision maker.
I’m not ready for kids at all!
You shared a gorgeous photo to Instagram of your mum recently – what was she like?
She was just the best person. I know that sounds so clichéd and that everyone says that about people once they’ve passed, but she genuinely was. She was my best friend and an absolute hoot. She always had a glass of champers in her hand! We spent our whole life laughing.
She was great with advice and was good at being a mum. She was tough when she needed to be. I loved being her friend and I loved being an adult child.
That’s half of what I grieve, not actually being her child, but being her friend. I only got a few years of that adult friendship with her, so I feel really robbed.
It’s heartbreaking …
We were such a close family and her death has changed everything. Family events are not the same anymore, people act differently, people grieve differently.
I just feel like I’ve lost that family unit in the way that I had before. Christmas was my favourite day of the whole calendar because we got to hang out with our family and laugh and drink and open presents and eat, and just have that uninterrupted time with people who had become your friends as you’ve gotten older.
That’s all changed now because it’s surrounded by grief.
Even though she won’t be at your wedding, you must find peace in the fact that she got to meet Lee?
I feel so grateful that he got to meet her and she got to meet him.
I’m not religious and I’m not really spiritual, but I do think there is a lot of solace in that she knows that I’m happy.
She was OK to go when she did because she knew I was happy with Lee.
I’ve spoken to people who have lost loved ones and one thing that really hits me is when people say their mum or their dad didn’t get to meet their husband or wife, and I find that really sad.
My mum was such a big personality, so we tell stories about her all the time and her personality was so strong, that Lee feels like he knows her really well.
He makes little comments like, “God, you sound like your mum”, and that is so beautiful.
He didn’t know her, but he does because of our stories. I’m so glad that he can at least say that he met her and that he had a conversation with her.
He was able to say, “I’ve got your girl”.