Married At First Sight NZ's James Hardy and Carmen Stimpson celebrate their six-month anniversary today. And the smitten couple, who moved in together in James' home town of Christchurch as soon as the reality TV show wrapped last year, has revealed they're taking their marriage to the next level and buying a house together.
Both took to social media today to wish one another a happy six-month anniversary. James wrote on Instagram:
"It's pretty nuts at this time 6 months ago you were a stranger, but yet so awesome that 6 months on your still my wife. I'm a gambling man and finally nailed the jackpot!! ❤️ #happysixmonths"
Meanwhile Carmen posted on her page, "6 months ago today I got ready with my family and friends and my dad walked me down the aisle to marry a complete stranger (you) on national television. And I couldn't be a happier human feels like I've known ya forever!
"It's been a crazy 6 months - making bets and getting tattoos on tv, living with eachother every day since the day we met, being on the radio (and tv obv), travelling places, moving places, the list goes on. Definitely not normal hahaha!
"I'm so happy to be by your side and wake up next to you every day," she concluded.
"Fate or what? 😂 SO EXCITED FOR WHAT OUR LIVES HAVE IN STORE AND TO GROW WITH YOU AND SHARE THE NEXT 60 YEARS 🥰❤️ cheers to you babe, I love you x"
Speaking on the phone with Now To Love, James revealed that he and Carmen couldn't be happier.
"The past six months have gone pretty quick but at the same time it feels like I've known Carmen for ages," he gushes.
And so while six months might not sound like a long time to be with someone before you commit to taking on a mortgage together, for Carmen and James, it simply felt like the next step.
"The living arrangements are good," James explains. "We don't know any other way except to be with one another every day. So we're looking at buying a house this year. What's the point in paying someone else's mortgage when we could be paying our own?"
The couple, who plan to have a second wedding in the not-too-distant future, has already been to the bank and begun spending weekends looking at open homes. They're looking for a do-up that gives them room to grow a family.
"There's nothing in the pipeline for now," James clarifies, "but we are looking for a project that we can work on together and somewhere that would have room for a family in the future."
Carmen is currently in Dunedin for work, where she'll be spending the next three weeks.
It's the longest amount of time the couple has ever spent apart, James laments, and neither of them had been relishing the thought. "We'll get through it by spending weekends together though," James shares. "I'm going down there the first weekend and then the second, she'll come up."
James still can't quite believe he "hit the jackpot" with Carmen.
"Right from the start we just clicked," he says. "Carmen is so down to earth. We're both real laid back, in that sense, and nothing is ever a drama. We're both of the mindset, if it's not going to matter in a week then what's the point in arguing about it?"
It's also a bonus that they both like fishing.
"Carmen comes across quite girly... but behind that there's a bit of a tomboy in there," her husband reveals. "All the things I like doing, like going outside and fishing and getting out on the boat, is quite often suggested by her. It's not very often you wake up and your wife says 'let's go fishing today' so that's a big tick."
As the only couple from MAFS season three to have stayed together, and one of only two couples in the show's history (Brett and Angel Renall, from season one, also remain together) the genetically blessed pair will likely continue to captivate New Zealanders.
James also got viewers talking when he declared in episode one that his wife would have to get used to the idea that "Saturday nights were for the boys".
So how's that going? I have to ask.
"Nah, Saturday nights are no longer for the boys," James replies. ... "Yeah, Fridays are now because Carmen works on Friday nights, so it's worked out quite well."
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