“We formed a strong alliance in the game, which was obviously seen as a threat to others.”
Fast forward to 2022 and the pair have celebrated a slew of milestones, including welcoming their first child, Harry, in 2018.
"We love being parents," Samantha and Mark revealed previously to Now to Love.
"He's very chilled, he just goes along for the ride," added Samantha.
"He's got such a calm personality, he's even calmed me down a lot," she continued.
The Survivor sweethearts then went on to tie the knot at the Log Cabin Ranch at Monbulk in Victoria in December 2019, two years after meeting on the Channel 10 reality show.
“We had such a magical weekend," the pair told New Idea following the nuptials.
"The ceremony was in the stables and it had a candlelit-style vibe with exposed panelling; really simple with native gum leaves and mismatched chairs.
“I walked down the aisle to Matt Corby’s song ‘Resolution’, which we love. It was the song that was playing a lot before Mark proposed to me.”
The newlyweds wanted to make sure their special day paid tribute to their Australian Survivor roots, after the pair met and fell in love in Samoa.
Officiating the ceremony was fellow contestant and on-screen rival Jacqui Patterson, and Jarrad Seng – another Survivor cast member – was the wedding photographer.
Other tribe members were also invited, including Aaron ‘AK’ Knight, Luke Toki, Jericho Malabonga and Aimee Stanton.
“[The contestants] have played such a big part in our relationship, and the entire cast have been incredibly supportive of the two of us and our relationship from day one,” Sam said.
WATCH: First Look At Australian Survivor: Blood V Water (Article continues after video)
“They’ve known us for the shortest period of our lives, but they were there when we got together, so they hold a special part in our lives.
"There were references to how we met through Survivor, it was brought up in a lot of the speeches.
"During Jacqui’s speech, she pulled up a piece of cardboard and said:
‘I might have voted these guys out, but today I’m voting for Sam and Mark’.”
Sam’s floor-length gown was designed by Rachel Gilbert, with long-sleeves and intricate beading throughout the fabric. Mark wore a cream-coloured suit by M. J. Bale.
“A lot of the focus of our wedding, particularly during the reception time, was on the speeches,” Sam said.
“We wanted for all our guests to know how meaningful they are in our lives.”
Of course, Harry stole the show when he walked down the aisle before his mum, with the proud parents saying it was important for their boy to play a part in his mum and dad’s wedding
“Harry walked down the aisle, and being a toddler, they don’t act on cue! [But] we didn’t want to have too much curation. It was going to flow however it would flow. Whatever happens in-between, we let it be,” Sam added.
Even though neither of them won Survivor the first time around, the bride and groom agree they gained something much more special – love. It was a unique experience that took Sam and Mark from alliances and tribal councils to having a baby and marrying each other in front of their nearest and dearest.
“I never thought [it would happen]. I was living in New York, I was going to do the show and go home,” Mark remembered.
Sam added: “It was unique but what was unique about it was it completely transformed our personal lives.”
With their family life as happy as ever, the pair are sure to be elated after Mark won over the jury and was dubbed Sole Survivor on Australian Survivor: Blood V Water, meaning the pair now have a cool $500,000 in prize money.
“Sam and I are both self-employed... this money will put us ahead by a good decade or so, and give us more freedom to spend time with (son) Harry,” he told news.com.au.
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