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Proposal paradise: Siobhan Marshall finally says yes

Third time’s a charm for the lovebirds

Siobhan Marshall and Millen Baird are often described by friends as the male and female version of each other.

The seasoned actors share a hilariously goofy sense of humour, extraordinarily long legs, a passion for writing and a deep-seated fear of being attacked by sharks. And as the lovebirds kiss and canoodle on a tropical getaway, Woman’s Day discovers they are also both pretty rubbish at popping the question – which is why they had to sneak off to Fiji to seal the deal once and for all.

“Proposals aren’t really one of our strengths, are they, darling?” quips Millen, planting a smacker on his fiancée’s cheek. “This would be our third attempt, but we’ve finally done it, so I’d call that a runaway success.” With a pretty purple morganite gem on her finger to prove it, Siobhan, 33, who found fame as Pascalle West on Outrageous Fortune, is all smiles as she and Millen, 43, share their engagement news at our shoot at The Warwick, on Fiji’s Coral Coast.

“It finally feels right. This is what we both want and we couldn’t be happier,” she says. “After a very rocky start, we kept this one nice and simple. We ‘accidentally’ purchased flights to Fiji at a travel expo and we both agreed it could be our engagement holiday. So after landing in the midst of a tropical cyclone, we went to the hotel, dried off and Millsy gave me the ring – and that was that. There was no big surprise or romantic gesture. We just exchanged the ring and both said yes!”

Indeed, neither Fiji’s rain nor winds – which have momentarily cleared for our photo shoot – could derail this couple’s future as husband and wife. But before the couple had Cyclone Xena to contend with, Siobhan and Auckland Daze writer and actor Millen had the very important task of figuring out whether marriage was something they both wanted.

Crunch time

Their engagement story began in September last year, when Siobhan was a contestant on Dancing with the Stars New Zealand. The couple of three years were living apart – Siobhan flaunting her fancy footwork on stage in Auckland and Millen housesitting a pal’s abode in Queenstown.

“I remember having one of those ‘dark night of the soul’ experiences,” recalls Millen. “I was sitting home alone, watching Vorny on TV, when I started thinking, ‘Holy crap, what am I waiting for? I need to marry this woman!’

“At the end of the show, Vorny was going to be joining me and my family on a cruise through the Baltic and I thought, ‘As soon as she boards, I’ll pop the question.’ After pouring most of my money into securing my cabin for the cruise, I was a bit stretched financially and bought a heinous $10 ring with a giraffe on it – both of our nicknames are Giraffe – then proceeded to tell all 2500 odd people on board I was getting engaged.”

By her own admission, Millen’s proposal to Siobhan was every girl’s dream. “We’d spent the day biking around Copenhagen and when we got back to the boat, he’d organised rose petals to be put on the bed and had custom-made M&M’s with our names printed on them.

“Everything was perfect, but I wasn’t ready – I just thought there were a few things we needed to clear up and work on. There was nothing dramatically wrong with us, but I guess you could say the timing was off.”

Despite his unsuccessful attempt, it didn’t deter the couple’s holiday plans. After their Baltic cruise, they toured the English countryside and through Vietnam. But Siobhan and Millen agree they could just as well have been sitting in their living room as there was barely an ounce of sightseeing on the agenda with so much talking to do.

“I don’t think I’ve ever talked so much in my life,” jokes Millen. “There’s never been a lot of drama in our relationship – it’s always super-easy and fun with Vorny. But here we were, travelling through these breathtaking spots, having all these deep and meaningfuls. It was really important for our relationship to figure out that we were on the same page – and we succeeded.”

Less than three months later, Siobhan was finally ready to take the next step. Returning the favour, the blonde beauty decided she would buck tradition and pop the question herself. Enlisting the help of her beloved schnauzer-terrier cross Bentley, Siobhan took a photo of the two together, holding up a sign that read “Marry me, Millsy?” But history repeated itself. What was meant to be a surprise turned into an epic fail as Millen accidentally came across the photo while on Siobhan’s computer at their local café.

“I was like, ‘Oops, no, don’t scroll that way.’ His reaction wasn’t ideal. He said, ‘I’m not feeling too well,’ so we pretended it never happened and brushed it under the carpet as we did the last one.” But with their bad luck now behind them, the couple – who are planning their Fijian wedding before the year is through – feel they’ve well and truly paid their dues. “We deserve a hitch-free wedding day, surely?” jokes Millen, whose celebrant mum will officiate the day.

“It will be super low-key, with as few formalities as possible,” adds Siobhan. “And once the papers are signed, we are off to live in LA. The motivation to get a job is so we can bring Bentley along – and all the Bairds can be together again!”

Third time’s a charm for lovebirds Millen Baird and Siobhan Marshall, who finally became engaged in Fiji (after two false starts!).

“Proposals aren’t really one of our strengths, are they, darling?” quips Millen, planting a smacker on his fiancée’s cheek.

Millen’s first proposal attempt took place in September last year, just after Siobhan finished up on Dancing with the Stars, when the blonde beauty joined him and his family on a cruise.

However, when he popped the question after a romantic day cycling around Copenhagen, Siobhan knew they weren’t ready – and the couple spent the rest of their holiday not only sightseeing, but talking in-depth about their relationship.

“There was nothing dramatically wrong with us, but I guess you could say the timing was off,” Siobhan explains.

Fast forward to less than three months later, and it was Siobhan’s turn. Bucking tradition, she snapped a photo of herself with her beloved schnauzer-terrier cross Bentley, holding a sign that read “Marry me, Millsy?”

What was meant to be a surprise, however, turned into a fail when Millen accidentally found the photo on her computer.

“We pretended it never happened and brushed it under the carpet as we did the last one,” Siobhan laughs.

As it turns out, the simplest approach proved to be the best one. After both ‘accidentally’ purchased flights to Fiji at a travel expo, the couple agreed it could be their engagement holiday.

“So after landing in the midst of a tropical cyclone, we went to the hotel, dried off and Millsy gave me the ring – and that was that. There was no big surprise or romantic gesture. We just exchanged the ring and both said yes!”

“It finally feels right. This is what we both want and we couldn’t be happier,” she says.

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