He missed out on winning megabucks on The Block NZ: Girls vs Boys, but less than a year on, Dylan “Big Dyls” Cossey has landed the best prize of all – a wife and a baby!
Just two weeks before the Mount Maunganui builder married his girlfriend of eight months, Napier police detective Libby Bradford, in a tropical beach ceremony in Honolulu, the besotted couple were surprised and delighted to discover they were expecting a child.
“I’m the happiest man in the whole bloody universe,” Dyls tells Woman’s Day. “I didn’t take top prize on The Block, but you can’t put a price on meeting the love of your life – and we’re so excited about adding a little one to the mix.”
It was August 2016, while Dyls, 29, was starring on the Three reality series, that Block fan Libby, 32, first contacted him on Facebook. “He’d screwed up the insulation in his house and I was just taking the piss out of him,” she confesses.
Grinning, Dyls continues, “She was slinging some pretty heavy stuff at me, telling me I was bad-tempered. I was like, ‘Woah, this girl just put me in my place,’ and weirdly, I loved it.”
Shortly after The Block finished, Dyls – suddenly single after his girlfriend decided to return to her native UK – accepted an invitation to visit Libby in Hawke’s Bay.
“I had no expectations, but as soon as I saw his thighs in person, I fell in love,” she jokes. “We went out for dinner, and it was just good banter and sweet laughs. Because I’d watched him on telly, I felt like I’d known him for ages.”
Nodding, Dyls adds, “It was kind of weird that she knew everything about me from The Block, but it was like going out with an old chum that you hadn’t seen for ages.” He ended up staying the entire weekend and a romance blossomed.
Soon, they were taking turns visiting each other twice every week, despite the three hours and 45 minutes between them. “It was dedication, but I was completely taken by her – I’d fallen hard,” explains Dyls.
“She’s a straight-shooter like me and obviously, she’s a massive babe. Our relationship was effortless from the start.”
On their third weekend together, the pair shared that they both wanted children and in February, while planning a holiday in Hawaii with friends, Dyls suggested they elope – and Libby agreed “to save us having to organise a big ceremony”.
However, it still came as a shock when her husband-to-be pulled out a diamond engagement ring while they were horse riding in the Bay of Plenty in April. “I wasn’t expecting it,” recalls Libby.
“And I’ve got no idea what he said as I’d only had three hours’ sleep after finishing a night shift, so I was grumpy, tired and hungry, but I think I said yes!”
Two weeks later, Libby found out she was pregnant. She smiles, “We were going to be trying at the end of this year, but this was a nice little surprise.”
The pair married in May 2017 in a casual, 30-minute ceremony by Waikiki Beach with a small group of friends, including the groom’s Block teammate Dylan “Little Dylz” Guitink, who acted as best man, and Libby’s sister Jo Bradford, who was bridesmaid.
The bride wore a $50 dress she’d bought from Cotton On a year earlier, a ukulele player strummed Over the Rainbow and the celebrant blew on a conch shell. Libby recalls, “There was no aisle – just a palm tree and some sand. We rocked up together holding hands and walked out on to the beach. It was really informal.”
Dyls told her, “I’ll never be above you. I’ll never be below you. I’ll always be with you.” She replied, “Ditto!” and promised to love him forever, then the celebrant put leis around their necks, and pronounced them husband and wife.
The newlyweds celebrated with fresh fish and shrimp tacos from food trucks at surfing hot spot Waimea Bay, then treated their mates to a beachside dinner at flash Turtle Bay Resort. “It was the best holiday I’ve ever had,” grins Dyls. “I got to swim with turtles, eat amazing seafood and marry my best friend!”
After living together at the Mount, he and Libby have now moved to Napier, where they’re looking to buy a house. “It’s everything and more,” Dyls says of married life. “I’m pretty proud that I get to call Libby my wife.”
They won’t find out the sex of their baby, due in November, and although they’ve discussed names, nothing is certain. “We’ll wait to see what it looks like,” says Dyls. “We could name it Gertrude now, but if it looks like a Jethro ...” Laughing, Libby teases, “We can’t get worse than Dylan!”
As well as becoming parents, they’re looking forward to the new season of The Block, which starts on June 25. The builder has plenty of advice for the latest lot of contestants, but Libby reckons she has the top tip: “Always check your messages on Facebook because you might find the love of your life!”