Justin, who is also a radio announcer alongside Christie at i98FM, admitted that keeping his proposal plans from Christie was “a challenge”.
“Christie, to put it bluntly, is a snoop and would literally go looking for clues and grill me for information,” the 45-year-old laughs.
The bushfire-affected conditions also threatened to derail his grand plan.
“I kept asking, ‘Should we cancel?’ But he kept saying, ‘No, we’re going – it really means a lot to me to see in the new year with you’.”
For the big moment, Justin reveals he tucked the ring inside an old antique book titled Reach for the Sky – a favourite saying of the couple.
“I wrote on the front page: ‘Ma belle âme soeur Christie, Veux-tu m’épouser,’ which translates from French: ‘My beautiful soulmate Christie, Will you marry me?’.”
The proposal caps off a whirlwind romance for the couple, who have technically only been dating since mid-last year.
But in reality, their relationship has been blossoming for quite some time, with the pair forging a tight-knit friendship during their years working alongside one another at the radio station.
“We were drawn to each other and we were friends and then we were really close friends and kind of really started to gravitate towards each other outside of work,” Christie reveals. “And then BANG! It just happened.”
The watershed moment happened one night after a late business meeting.
“We just looked at each other and he held my hand and we kissed. We told each other we loved each other on that same night – and have never looked back.” Christie says.
Finding love again was something the mother of two always hoped was in her future – despite having two past marriages under her belt.
“The first time I got married, I was a kid. The second time I got married was solely for the kids,” Christie states matter-of-factly. “I always believed in marriage – even though I had two short ones that didn’t work out. But I knew I was ready to meet the person I truly wanted to be with and I knew I had finally become my best self.”
“I was a mother and empowered and working – and I knew I wanted to find someone I truly loved. This time’s the real one – third time lucky!” Christie smiles.
Meanwhile, Christie speaks glowingly about her talented fiancé – and even credits him for helping her land her most recent gig as Ebony on Neighbours by running lines and filming scenes together. The pair have also formed their own production company and are currently writing a comedic scripted project.
Meanwhile, the two other important men in Christie’s life – her young sons, Hendrix, 5, and Harley, 4, – have also given Justin the tick of approval.
“They absolutely love him and he is a wonderful step-father,” Christie gushes.
“And they see how happy he makes their mum and how well their mum is treated … so that makes me really happy, knowing the boys will grow up in a happy, loving, stable home.”
Christie admits that adding to their brood is also on the cards, saying numerous psychics have predicted they’d one day have a baby girl!
But for now, Christie says her focus is finding the time to plan a wedding in between their radio schedules and other work projects. Should the opportunity arise, she is also hopeful of a return to Neighbours.
“And between all that – kids!” she beams.
Christie says she and Justin are hoping to tie the knot right before Christmas.
“That would be nice because we feel like every day together feels like Christmas. I know, we’re lame!” Christie smiles.
For more, see this week’s New Idea – out now!