Bachelor in Paradise

Bachelor In Paradise's Tara on her engagement to Sam: "I"m just so happy!"

The blushing bride can't wait to marry her man.

By Bella Brennan
It was the heartwarming proposal on the Bachelor In Paradise grand finale that had us all crying like newborn babies.
And now the show's stunning bride-to-be Tara Pavlovic can finally talk about her fiancé, Sam Cochrane, out in the open.
Whatever you might think about getting engaged on national television, Sam and Tara are one of the most genuine and in love couples to come out of the Bachelor franchise and determined to turn this holiday romance a lifetime of love.
In this exclusive interview, Tara talks to us about the moment "Uncle Sam" dropped a knee, why she was only just reunited with her engagement ring yesterday, and what kind of wedding they want.

Tara Pavlovic, 28, nanny, Gold Coast

Tara, Congrats! How does it feel to finally share your amazing news?
I'm just so happy it's all out in the open and I can finally celebrate it! It was such an exciting time when it happened, but then we had to stay quiet which was a little bit sad but now we can be proud and happy.
Where have you been keeping your beautiful engagement ring in the months since filming wrapped?
Channel 10 took it off me [to look after it]! I only just got it back yesterday and I'm so happy about it.
It fits so well.
Fans are losing their mind over your engagement, everyone seems so happy for you. What's it been like to be at the receiving end of all that love?
It's so amazing! I wasn't expecting this much love, everyone has been so positive and I'm glad that they could see it for what it was, and just like we felt – it was so real!I thought people would say that it wasn't real, that we were putting it on. It's 100% real and I'm glad everyone was able to see that.

That's one of the most refreshing things about you guys! I don't think we've ever seen such a genuine couple to come out of The Bachelor franchise. Is that how you two feel?
Yeah, we definitely were genuine. We were ourselves and everything just happened so organically.
I can't really speak for other couples because I'm not in their shoes, but we know we're 100% legit and so in love.
Have you thought about if it it will be a long or short engagement and what kind of wedding you want?
Because I only got my ring back yesterday, it has only just started to feel real. So I haven't put too much thought into that.
I think what we've decided is do an engagement party first so Sam can meet everyone and then we'll go from there.
You joked last night about returning to Fiji for the wedding, would you actually consider it?
I'd definitely consider going back to Fiji, I loved it there! It would be nice to go back to the place where it all began.
How did it feel when you saw Sam get down on one knee, were you expecting that?
I was not expecting Sam to get down on one knee! It was a surprise but such a pleasant surprise, it was overwhelming.
They do! Introducing your first Bachelor In Paradise husband and wife-to-be.
How did your family react to the engagement news?
My family were so happy. I waited until they met Sam and then told them, just so they didn't freak out. They're all very supportive and they love him. They're very happy for me.
Both you and Sam are such down-to-earth people. What kind of bride do you think you'll be, a pretty chilled one?
Yeah, I think I'll be pretty chilled. I'm not too much of a stresser so I think I'll be right. I have a good group of girls too to help me, so I'll be fine.
What about making some beautiful, blonde Bachie babies, is that on the cards?
Eventually, yeah! We'd love to do that.
What is it about Sam that you love?
Sam has a lot of amazing qualities. He's a lot deeper than any other man I've met. He's very in touch with his emotional side, so I was able to travel to a really deep level with him which I haven't really been able to do with any other guys I've met.
After Sam popped the question, Channel 10 took back Tara's engagement ring until the finale aired.
What's life been like for you and Sam in the months since the show wrapped? Is someone going to move interstate as Sam is based in Sydney and you're on the Gold Coast?
We've just been having lots of visits but we haven't been able to do much together because we've had to hide.
There's been a lot of Uber Eats and video games.
Eventually do you think you'll move to Sydney, or he'll move up to the Gold Coast?
We're still working all of that out.
A year ago you were about to embark on your Bachelor journey and now you're engaged to Sam, does that blow your mind?
It just blows my mind! It's just crazy.
I was talking to my friend about it last night. Back in the day we were having drinks with the girls, getting loose and now I'm here with a ring on my finger and hardly doing that anymore! [I'm] really tame.
"He's a lot deeper than any other man I've met."
Your romance with Sam might not have ever happened if Keira Maguire didn't ask your original flame Michael Turnbull out on a date. Have you thanked Keira for doing that?
Yeah, I've thanked Keira many times! I owe a lot to her.
What about Michael, have you heard from him?
Umm, we've seen Michael. We all had a big catch up with me, Michael, Jake Ellis and Megan Marx but Michael's happy for us I think.
That was never going anywhere and Michael knew that.
One of the best things about you two is just how much you misjudged Sam and thought he was someone totally different - can you talk me through why you thought he was a bit of a drop kick?
I went off what I saw on The Bachelorette and his edit wasn't great. I just pre-judged him when I shouldn't have. As soon as I had a conversation with him I was like, 'You're actually really great!'
They might have fallen in love on a reality show, but these two insist they're the real deal.
Not all the couples have been as lucky as you two - last night it was confirmed Grant and Ali have since split. Do you know what happened there?
I have no idea what happened! I wasn't as close with Ali and Grant as other couples so I don't really know.
What are your thoughts on Ali as the Bachelorette?
How fun, it should be good.
There's lots of speculation about this fake love letter to Elora. There's claims you and Sam helped Eden write it, is that true?
Yeah, we were all involved with that and it was a really disappointing prank that went totally wrong.
We apologised, it just wasn't ever meant to be a harmful thing. A lot of people knew about it and thought it was funny at the time but it was just [bad] timing.
I guess I looked at it from my shoes but I forgot to look at it from Elora's point of view. If I received a letter like that, I probably would have laughed and not believed it.
It was given to the wrong person at the wrong time and I was so upset the whole next day and in my room crying.
Tara has confirmed she and Sam were involved in the fake love letter scandal.
What about sex in Paradise, we heard Sam on the radio this morning confirming you two did the deed?
Oh look, how could you not? You're falling in love in such a beautiful setting and stuff happens. You'd do it anyway, you know? You'd do it if you were on a holiday, so what's the difference?
Exactly! And he's your husband to-be anyway…
That's it! I wasn't just being a floozy, I'm going to marry the guy.
Would you consider your own Newlyweds-style reality show and letting the cameras film your wedding?
I don't know, we'll have to see. It's a good idea but I don't want people to think I'm trying to cash in on our really special day.
Everyone is so invested now so I'd kind of feel bad not to.
What's next for you?
I've just been taking every day as it comes, everything has just been so crazy so we'll just wait and see.
Dancing into the future, congrats you two!