If, like us, you’ve spent lockdown bingeing on season six of E4’s hit reality show, Married At First Sight Australia, you’ll have been hooked on the love story of Cameron and Jules Merchant.
When the two strangers took part in a radical experiment that saw them meet for the first time on their wedding day back in 2018, they never imagined three years later they’d be more in love than ever with a family of their own.
At the end of the series, cricketer Cam, 37, got down on one knee to give Jules, 38, the romantic proposal she’d always dreamt of. The pair went on to make their vows for real in their own wedding ceremony a year later, and in September 2020 welcomed a beautiful baby boy, Oliver Chase.
In new’s exclusive at-home shoot with Cam and businesswoman Jules at their stunning family home in Sydney, the pair giggle like loved-up teens as they try to remember their two wedding anniversaries.
“For me, the first time we met felt like a real wedding,” Cam says. “So I remember that date more than the second.”
“Our real wedding was beautiful – it was so lovely to have all our friends and family there,” Jules adds. “It’s all been such a whirlwind.”
Here, the couple open up about the touching reason they chose their son’s name, how Cam has taken to fatherhood and the key to their happy marriage…
Hey guys! Congratulations on welcoming Ollie last year. How does it feel to have a son?
Cam: It’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever experienced. I don’t think I’ve felt a love like it.
Jules: Cheers! [Laughs] I did not get a look in at all – Ollie looks nothing like me. But I always wanted a little mini version of Cam. How amazing to have another version of your husband?!
Cam: At the moment I’m trying to be an example of a modern-day dad. I’m at home doing the cooking and cleaning while Jules does other things.
How did you feel when you found out that you were expecting?
Jules: We got married in the most unorthodox way and then we got married again. So we wanted to be traditional and started trying for a baby on our honeymoon. It was so old school! Then we conceived within two months. I’m very lucky. I was told that I was a bit older and we thought it might be coming with a fight. We both couldn’t believe it and cried.
You were very open on the show about wanting children. Do you feel your dreams have come true?
Cam: Sometimes you wonder if it will ever happen for you. Getting married twice was special, but having a little one made me so proud. Everyone thinks everything is rosy, but we’ve had bumps in the road. We’ve both been at rock bottom. We did all the hard graft to be ready.
Did you have a smooth pregnancy, Jules?
Jules: No, there were a few scars, including a haemorrhage. But the baby was fine and I loved being pregnant. I did my sexiest photoshoot when I was [pregnant]. I felt so strong! You’re literally a superwoman.
Cam: She was such a trouper.
Jules: The first night we brought Oliver home was the first night in our new house. We were on a mattress on the floor!
The name Oliver Chase is adorable – how did you decide on it?
Jules: We had this app called Kinder where you swipe for baby names. We had our daughter’s name decided but we couldn’t find a boy’s name. Then I saw that the name Oliver was about an olive branch and forgiveness, and I loved it. Which is why we planted my placenta with an olive tree over the top. It’s all about grounding him to the earth and watching him grow. His middle name is Chase which means a hunter. I felt with that name he’d be a little go-getter, a beautiful soul that forgives and is nurturing.
Aw! Are you planning to have more children?
Jules: Yeah, we will probably try in a year’s time. I’d love to have three. [To Cam] You’d like three as well, wouldn’t you?!
Cam: Yeah, no problem! [Laughs]
Jules: We’d like a little army of them, but it is so hard.
Cam, what’s it been like watching Jules become a mother?
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