Wānaka locals and best friends Elliott Gilchrist and Richie Boyens (32) charmed our screens and hearts when they starred on this year’s Bachelorette New Zealand, so it was hardly a surprise when second bachelorette Lily McManus (23) gave ‘intruder’ Boyens - who entered the competition mid-way through - her final rose during the finale at the end of March.
But what was next for the happy couple?
“It’s been five months now since filming ended, and Lily and I have been dating ever since,” said clothing designer Boyens.
“We had about six weeks once the show finished filming to be free as a couple which was primo. It gave us a chance to really cement our relationship before the show came on TV, which was always going to be hard to watch back.”
After travelling to Australia to meet Lily’s family, Boyens decided to move from his hometown of Wānaka to Auckland.
“I wanted to show Lily how important she was to me and how serious I was about making this relationship work outside of the bubble. Auckland had been on the cards for me for a while and it just made sense to move,” he said. “Lily flew down to Wānaka via Queenstown, helped pack up my house, and we had a mint roadie back to Auckland. It was so epic to see how serious she was about it all too.”
With the coronavirus lockdown forcing their hand, the two decided on a whim to spend the isolation period together in Golden Bay.
“Things were going to be difficult with our living situations in Auckland as we had different flats… We booked flights on Wednesday night, and flew out at 6:30am the next morning,” Boyens told the Wānaka Sun.
But their relationship continues to flourish despite the national state of emergency. Boyens said he “couldn’t be more stoked” with how things were going.
“She’s still the same amazing girl I met on TV. It just gets better and better as each day comes.”
Read the full edition of the Wānaka Sun here: https://issuu.com/