Jamie Curry has made a career out of making people laugh. At just 21, the Napier native has amassed a following of nine million people on Facebook, over 65 million views on her YouTube channel and written a best-selling book.
Yet behind the bright smile and funny skits, the social media star felt depressed and confused about life and her sexuality. That's until she met English beauty Laura Nye.
"It sounds cliché, but I just love the way she makes me feel," reveals Jamie.
Last month, she uploaded a candid, heartfelt video announcing that she was not only in love, but also engaged. "I never thought I'd even meet someone I loved, let alone get married. It wasn't until I met Laura that I started thinking about it."
As the couple arrive at our Woman's Day photo shoot, it soon proves difficult to get a serious photo, with both girls dissolving into fits of laughter. But although they look loved-up now, their 16-month romance didn't get off to the best of starts.
"She thought I was annoying at first," recalls Jamie. "She didn't like me at all."
Bristol-born Laura had made her way Down Under to visit a childhood friend living in New Zealand, whose flatmate just happened to be Jamie.
"She came over for a holiday and fell in love!" teases the Kiwi influencer.
Since starting her Facebook page Jamie's World at 15, she's become a well-known face around Aotearoa, getting recognised everywhere she goes, but that wasn't the case with Laura.
"I'm used to people coming up and talking to me, but Laura was avoiding me – she didn't even like my vids!" grins Jamie.
Illustration student Laura, also 21, adds, "No, I didn't even watch your videos! I was just like, 'Why does this weird girl keep following me everywhere?'"
Eventually, when Jamie "calmed down a bit", Laura started to see a different side of her and realised "this girl is really cool". For their first official date, the couple went to breakfast at an Auckland café.
"The waitress recognised me and gave me a free hot chocolate, but Laura thought I had paid her," recalls Jamie.
Laura shakes her head, "I'm still convinced she paid her to impress me!"
After that, the pair quickly fell head over heels for each other. "It wasn't much longer 'til she asked me to be her girlfriend and two days after that, she told me she loved me," says Jamie, adding, "I had a panic attack at first! Obviously, she was pretty impressed by the free hot chocolate after all."
Adds Laura, "It was really fast and we didn't tell anyone for a while because we thought it sounded too crazy."
Seven months later, after travelling back to Cardiff, where Laura is studying, Jamie proposed. She tells, "I had some family in the UK and I'd gone with them to spend a week in Paris. I was sitting in a restaurant by myself and just thought, 'I want to marry that girl.' I wrote it down on a piece of paper and was going to plan something, but when I got back to Cardiff, I ended up just blurting it out one night. I had no rings and she didn't believe me until I showed her that note from Paris."
After Laura said yes, they ordered matching simple gold bands from a local jeweller – "They sent us one woman's band and one man's band at first," laughs Jamie – and when they returned to NZ, Jamie gifted Laura her grandmother's engagement ring. All the while, Jamie's millions of online followers remained clueless. When she finally made her video, it was almost nine months after the engagement.
"I didn't want Laura to have to deal with people recognising her or asking for photos," says Jamie of her decision to keep their romance private. "It also takes a while to get used to people criticising you online. I didn't want people making bad comments about her."
But since sharing her story online, Jamie has been flooded with messages of support from fans.
"I didn't realise how many people would relate to the video about my sexuality," she explains. "If someone else can learn from me or relate to it in some way, there's a purpose now, rather than just posting random videos for views. That was part of my problem before – I was never excited about making content because it wasn't honest. Now I can be honest about everything."
As for the wedding, Jamie assures us it's in the works. "It's tricky because we're going back and forth between New Zealand and Cardiff. She's here in our winter and I'm there in her winter. At the moment, it's looking like sometime next year," tells Jamie.
"Originally, we were like, let's just do it, but then I realised my mum would kill me if I got married and didn't have an actual ceremony!"
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