Reality TV stars Bryce Ruthven and Melissa Rawson, both aged 32, have confounded the critics by revealing they’re engaged and expecting twins in December.
Life seems to be smooth sailing for the couple who experienced nothing but drama on Married at First Sight, with Bryce losing his temper on the Nine Network show as contestants claimed he had a secret relationship in Canberra.
However, the duo wasted no time after the show, moving in together in Melbourne and spending plenty of time together as the city plunged into COVID-19 lockdown.
Bryce tells Region Media that Melissa discovered she was pregnant while they were away at a publicity event in Darwin about a month and a half after the show finished airing.
“We’re really excited,” he says.
“When we found out we are expecting a baby, we assumed it was going to be one. But we’d spoken about the possibility of having a second one down the track so when we found out it was twins, we just saw it as happening all at once.
“I’m happy for Liss [Melissa], too, because I know it’s not easy for women to go through pregnancy so to do it once is a good thing for her.”
Bryce says he considered proposing to Melissa straight after the show, but delayed popping the question when they found out about the pregnancy.
“I wanted to focus on that bit of news first and make sure everything was OK,” he says.
“When things eased off there for a bit, it was a good time to organise a date and pop the question.”
Bryce told Melissa he had planned a special date, but didn’t say where they were going or what they were doing.
It wasn’t until they arrived on a bridge over the Yarra River, in the heart of Melbourne, that Melissa saw a helicopter waiting for them.
Bryce surprised Melissa with the proposal mid-air, but she already knew about the ring.
“We picked it together,” he says. “I know that wouldn’t be what some women would want, but I figured if she’s going to be wearing the ring for the rest of her life, then I want her to be happy with it.
“It’s a very Melissa ring.”
The ring has a black diamond set in the centre, surrounded by small white diamonds.
The smitten couple hasn’t yet picked a date to say ‘I do’, but has earmarked late next year.
“We’re in no rush and Liss is adamant she wants to lose all the baby weight before the wedding,” says Bryce.
“I’d say it will be more of an outdoor/lifestyle wedding. It won’t be in a farm barn like on the show. That’s not who we are.”
The couple is planning a joint gender reveal and engagement party with close friends and family soon.
While Bryce’s family lives on the Gold Coast, in Queensland, Melissa’s family is just 10 minutes away from the couple in Melbourne, and her sister will hold onto the gender results until the party.
“I’d be very tempted to look so it’s good they won’t be in our house,” says Bryce.
He says Jason, Jake and Cameron from Married at First Sight will be invited to the wedding.
“We don’t have anything against the other contestants, but we only want people there who have genuinely been our friends since the show wrapped up,” says Bryce.
“Jason and I are still best mates – we speak multiple times per day. I dare say he’s got a good chance of being one of my groomsmen.”
Bryce had been working as a radio announcer with Canberra’s hit104.7 before entering the show, but has taken a backseat since then due to his mental health.
“I’d never had any issues with mental health prior to the show, but I guess when we spoke about how things on the show and behind the scenes affected us, it was a lot more than we thought,” he says.
Bryce stopped working and the couple sought professional help.
“I’m at a stage where I’m going to try to handle it myself now,” he says. “We’ve been busy with a podcast, but I’ll start looking for full-time work soon – something that works for all of us because I don’t want to be away from Liss and the twins.”