TV

Brett and Angel's first Christmas together

Never mind the North Pole – smitten Santa Brett is taking his Angel home to the South Island!

By: Ashleigh McEnaney

After a whirlwind three months, madly-in-love newlyweds Angel Fulljames and Brett Renall were fooled into thinking their first Christmas would finally be a chance to catch their breath.

Since tying the knot as complete strangers on August 17 for the hit Three TV show Married at First Sight NZ, life has changed irrevocably for the charming Christchurch signmaker and his bubbly bride. They've adjusted to a busy world of fame, fans, interviews and celebrity appearances, all while falling for each other in front of the nation for the reality show.

But MAFS' sole success story will have no such luck unwinding over the silly season now that Angel confirms she's leaving her home in Wellington to start a new chapter with her hubby in Lincoln, Canterbury.

"It's official!" the vivacious 26-year-old reveals during our exclusive interview. "Come December 15, I'll be a proper Lincoln local," she says with her trademark infectious giggle.

"The way I've been welcomed already is so overwhelming. I honestly feel like the Queen.

"Everyone is just so excited! There's been no shortage of Christmas invites. At this stage, we have about 30 Lincoln family Christmases to attend!"

"I'm not surprised everyone wants to kiss the angel on Christmas, but only Santa's allowed to do that," adds her cheeky hubby Brett, 34, who's dressed up as jolly Father Christmas for our fun, festive photo shoot in Lincoln, featuring his beautiful wife as a Christmas angel, of course.

When Woman's Day visits, it's an occasion filled with love, laughter, overwhelming positivity and Brett's famous dad jokes - which is exactly how the happy couple choose to enjoy every day of their married life.

While the experts on the matchmaking reality series warned Brett and Angel their bubble might pop as a marriage in the real world could pose its challenges, life away from the cameras couldn't be better.

"I never knew all that I was missing in my life until I met Angel," beams Brett. "Earlier in the year, I had a funny feeling that the next girl I met would be special, but I didn't know just how special. I went into the show a single man and by Christmas, I'll be waking up to my beautiful wife in the house we share in Lincoln."

Indeed, it really does feel like Brett and Angel's Christmases have all come at once. The smitten sweethearts are even expecting a new addition next year - their long-awaited French bulldog.

"Becoming puppy parents is something we promised we'd do together soon after we met," tells Angel.

"We know it's a massive responsibility, but we are so ready and so excited. It feels like we are birthing a child."

While the couple owe their relationship to MAFS, starting afresh in Lincoln couldn't come soon enough. For over two months, while the series played out on TV, the couple couldn't be seen in public and were forced to be apart, which took a toll on their rock-steady relationship.

"I hated every minute of it," tells Angel. "You get told to marry someone who happens to be the best man in the world and six weeks after spending every waking minute with each other, you get told you can't do that any more. It was unnatural. It physically hurt to not be with him, which is something I've never felt before."

Despite talking and texting every day, Angel felt like she was failing at her duties as a wife.

"I love caring for people - it's what I do - and I felt like I couldn't do that while I was stuck in Wellington," she explains.

"But at the same time, it made me realise how lucky I was. I've never had someone to share a problem with. I've never had someone to look out for me and care for me like Brett does.

"Nothing is an issue for us because now we can tackle everything together."

That would explain why married life is smooth sailing for the pair, who never fight, raise their voices or waste their time with negative thoughts.

"If you're laughing all the time and living in the now, what can possibly go wrong?" declares Brett.

"Angel always says, 'You do you,' which is a motto we live by. My worst habit is that I drink a lot of Pepsi Max, but Angel doesn't try to lecture me on that. The same way, I would never try to change her. And why would I? The world needs more Angels. We love each other as we are - quirks, bad habits and all."

However, there's one thing that Brett is more than happy for Angel to overhaul - the couple's marital home.

"Put it this way, the Sky decoder sits on a cardboard box and there's a table-tennis table which has been sitting in the garage for three years," he says.

"The exciting thing is, the place is no longer my lad's pad - it's my and Angel's family home."