Love at first sight? Celeb couples dish about their first date

Anna Murray,
Spy News,
Publish Date
Wednesday, 20 September 2017, 10:00PM
Holly Shervey and Emmett Skilton. Photo / Norrie Montgomery
Holly Shervey and Emmett Skilton. Photo / Norrie Montgomery

Is there anything more exciting – or more nerve-wracking – than a first date?

While there might be the inevitable anxiety over what to wear, what to do and what to say, there's also that little frisson of excitement that a first date might eventually lead to a happily ever after.

And that was certainly the case with these Kiwi stars. We check out what happened during their first date with the person who'd go on to be 'the one'.

Emmett Skilton and Holly Shervey

The co-creators of hit web series Auckward Love, Emmett Skilton and Holly Shervey, are the first to admit their first "date" was not big on romance.

The loved-up duo met on Shervey's birthday in 2013 when they unexpectedly wound up having brunch together.

"I was living with New Zealand's favourite moustachioed actor, Will Hall, at the time and he had planned a brunch with me for my birthday," Shervey told Spy.

"What he failed to tell me was that he was bringing four of his mates along too, Em included."

And Shervey made quite the impression on Skilton when he did lock eyes on her that day.

"So there we all were, trotting off to Bread & Butter Cafe in Grey Lynn and up from the table stands the most gorgeous blonde I had ever bloody seen," Skilton said.

"From there the group of us went to see The Hobbit, which had just been released, and the rest is history."

Shervey said she loved Skilton's energy and confidence from the get-go.

"We got on like a house on fire, I think because both of us are smartasses who love to put ourselves on the line to make the people around us laugh," she said.

The couple, who've just celebrated the release of the third season of Auckward Love, got engaged one year after their fateful brunch, knowing straight away that they’d found something special.

"The 'romance factor' was pretty low on that first date, considering we were with a group of middle aged men arguing about the real heights of all the dwarves in The Hobbit," Shervey said. "But the 'attraction factor' was through the roof."


He had me at hi... vis 🍊 #safetyfirst #hivisvest #auckwardlove #season3

A post shared by HollyShervey (@hollyshervey) on May 29, 2017 at 4:15pm PDT


Matilda Rice and Art Green

If you think first dates are mildly terrifying, then how about a first date under the watchful eye of a reality TV camera crew?

That's the scenario that befell New Zealand's original Bachelor winners Art Green and Matilda Rice when they went on their first single date on the nationally televised quest for love.

Rice met Green at Auckland's Harbour Bridge, where she learned she was to be hurled off it in a "romantic" bungy-jumping date.

As Green presented Rice with a rose following their death-defying leap, audiences knew then and there the Bachelor had met his match. And he had, with the couple taking another big leap – getting engaged - during a trip to Rarotonga last week. 



Stacey and Scotty Morrison

It's been 13 years since The Hits broadcaster Stacey Morrison and her husband, Te Karere presenter Scotty Morrison, went on their first date, although the couple had known each other for a few years before that.

"Technically, our first date sort of started when we co-hosted an awards event together the weekend before," Stacey told Spy.

"We realised that although we had known each other a long time, we were now both single and maybe could be more than friends. So we arranged a dinner date at Mission Bay and then went for a moonlit walk."

Stacey said that first date – a 10 out of 10 on the romance scale - was "like seeing each other through new eyes".

"I was thinking, 'Sheesh, I'm dumb. How could I have missed this dream guy right in front of me?'"

The couple have been making up for lost time ever since, with a wedding, three kids and a vow renewal in Vegas now under their belts.


See a chapel, decide to do a double remarriage #thatswhatyougetforwakingupinvegas #MorriBeilsOnTour kids are like.. Our parents are weird

A post shared by Stacey Morrison (nee Daniels) (@stacedotcom) on Aug 25, 2017 at 3:46pm PDT


Anna and Jay Reeve

Broadcaster Jay Reeve and his wife, former model turned blogger Anna, also knew each other for a few years before getting together.

In her own version of an 'Ask Me Anything' blog post this year, Anna said she and her future hubby initially saw each other at various events whilst she was working for ALT TV and he for MTV.

"It wasn’t until a random night out on the town where I bumped into him that the sparks really flew," she wrote.

"We danced all night until the wee hours and he never left my side after that. So it wasn't really a date, but the beginning of everything, as we were hooked on each other from that moment."

The couple wed in a romantic ceremony in Auckland's Parnell two and a half years later and now have identical twin sons.


A post shared by Anna Reeve (@annareeve_) on Aug 21, 2017 at 2:15am PDT


Lucinda Hare and Alex Tarrant

Lucinda Hare and Alex Tarrant's love story began eight years ago when the actors hit Burger Fuel for their first official date.

Hare, who's starred in Step Dave and The Brokenwood Mysteries and is a core cast member of Auckward Love, told Spy the date took a rather unconventional turn after their burger stop.

"We went and jumped in the ocean in the middle of winter in Wellington, fully clothed and in all the seaweed ... we had the best time," she said.

Hare and Filthy Rich star Tarrant say they remember laughing a lot on that first date - "and we haven't stopped since".


8 years with my #bbfidhww @aggytarrant love you more than you know ❤️#lovehearts #bestfriends

A post shared by Lucinda Jane Hare (@lucindajanehare) on Sep 8, 2017 at 2:16pm PDT


Megan Sellers and Andrew Papas

ZM breakfast host Megan Sellers may have offended her fiance, musician Andrew Papas, with her dinner choice during their first date nearly five years ago, but sparks flew nonetheless.

Being South African, Papas asked Sellers to dinner at a South African restaurant, hoping for her to try cuisine from his homeland.

"I ended up having vegetarian cannelloni, which I found out is quite upsetting to someone of South African descent," Sellers told Spy.

"But despite his opposition to my choice of dinner, he was actually very gentlemanly. We ended up sharing our dinner, and he opened the car door for me. I seriously don't think anyone had ever done that for me before!"

Sellers and Papas, who got engaged during a holiday in Rarotonga last year, rounded off that first dinner with a bit of "pretty gross and soppy" star gazing at the beach – and have had eyes only for each other ever since.