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EXCLUSIVE: Christie Hayes: ‘Inside my intimate elopement’

Third time’s the charm for the former Home and Away actress
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Surrounded by candlelight as the sun set, former Home and Away star Christie Hayes married her soulmate, Justin Coombes-Pearce, in a romantic ceremony near Byron Bay, NSW on May 12.

WATCH: Christie Hayes shares video on set of Neighbours

“We are still getting used to calling each other husband and wife,” Christie exclusively tells New Idea. “But we couldn’t be happier.”

While the big day went off without a hitch, the lead-up didn’t go quite as smoothly.

With the pandemic forcing Christie, 34, and Justin, 47, to keep postponing their original dreams of marrying in Paris, they finally made the decision to elope. And, just three months later, the pair said their “I dos” at the French chateau-inspired estate, Deux Belettes, outside Byron Bay.

Christie Hayes
Her big day! Christie Hayes was every bit the glowing bride. (Credit: Poppy Peterson Weddings)

“Once we decided we were eloping, we hit the ground running,” recalls Christie. “Working with our wedding planner, Kate O’Shea from The Wedding Series Agency, we were able to bring it together last minute without feeling rushed.”

While it was just the two of them attending their ceremony, Christie and Justin, a TV and radio host and producer, ensured their family and friends didn’t miss out by live-streaming the day.

“We still invited everyone to watch virtually, so they could pop a glass of champagne and watch from the comfort of their couch,” says Christie.

Christie Hayes
Christie Hayes married her soulmate, Justin Coombes-Pearce, in a romantic ceremony near Byron Bay, NSW on May 12. (Credit: Poppy Peterson Weddings)

But the moment the actress walked down the aisle to Etta James’ ‘At Last!’, the pair could only think of one another.

“I have to admit I cried,” reveals Justin.

Christie, who has officially taken her new husband’s surname, has been married twice before to actor Greg Hatton and also Daniel White – with whom she shares two sons, Hendrix, 6, and Harley, 5. Yet, she reveals that she approached her third wedding with “more life experience and wisdom”.

“I knew I was absolutely doing the right thing,” she says. “I was young the first time, the second time I only got married because we had kids, and I don’t mean to negate those relationships, but this one is what I truly believe and know is the real one.”

Christie Hayes
“I have to admit I cried,” reveals Justin. (Credit: Poppy Peterson Weddings)
Christie Hayes
“We couldn’t be happier,” says Christie. (Credit: Poppy Peterson Weddings)

Now ensconced in their wedding bliss, the couple are already talking babies!

“I love Christie’s boys like they are my own,” says Justin. “So, that’s probably our next step – grow our little family.”

“Hopefully we have some good news soon,” adds Christie.

For more, pick up a copy of New Idea. On sale now!

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