We always love a couple in tune with their funny side, so The Huffington Post Australia's lifestyle editor Leigh Campbell and business development manager Richard Gioutsos score major points for their winning combination of wit, charm and silly bedtime games
A chance meeting at an Eastern suburbs pub brought these two Sydneysiders face to face, but like all realistic 21st century love stories, the rest carried out over social media. After a whirlwind 14-month romance that culminated in a proposal (involving baby goats!), Leigh and Richard were married in February last year amid a small circle of close friends and family. While technically still newlyweds, with their two adorable cats Cookie and Monster in tow, we reckon they're pretty much a solid family unit. We quiz the couple on perfect dates, Valentine's Day plans and one fortuitous chair stealing incident...
How did you two meet? Who approached whom?
Leigh: Rich will most likely tell you we met at the pub when I stole his stool, though I was too inebriated to recall.
Rich: Initially at the Golden Sheaf. Leigh tried to steal a chair that I was reserving for a friend. I brought it to her attention that the seat was being used. She just smiled, said, "Please," and took the chair. I had no words and just smiled.
Leigh: For me it was on Facebook. He wrote to me a simple, 'Here she is!' and we conversed for a fortnight, me thinking he was a guy from my gym. Two weeks in, I realised he was a stranger, but the banter was good. After three months of chatting on FB we met up IRL, as the kids say, and now we're married.
How long have you been together?
About two and a half years.
How will you spend Valentine's Day together?
Leigh: Probably watching Netfix or at Redleaf pool. We have regular date nights and our wedding anniversary is a few weeks later, so it's no big deal. We don't do Christmas gifts and traditional stuff like that as we prefer to just do nice stuff when we're feeling it. Still, he knows the type of flowers I like. When we first started dating he asked me to send him a list of florists I liked so I'm lucky that I get gorgeous David Austin's on the regular.
Rich: A night away in Jervis Bay at a venue recommended to me by a close friend.
Have you ever had a terrible date night?
Rich: I'm sure there has been one but I don't recall. I only remember the good ones and there have been plenty of those.
Leigh: It's equal parts terrible and hilarious. On our honeymoon in Tulum we'd start drinking margaritas at 11am, take an arvo nap, and then head for dinner. One day we skipped the nap and drank solidly all day. When we got to our fancy dinner at 8pm I'd somehow forgotten I'm vegetarian so when the waiter rightly brought me the duck I had ordered, I wailed loudly (much to his confusion and horror). I'm told it was quite a sight. (I promise I'm not always too drunk to remember things.)
Describe your ideal Valentine's Day.
Leigh: Some sort of cheese situation (possibly a jaffle), a bottle of rosé and a back tickle.
Rich: Away for a weekend, near the beach with good-quality food and lots of wine, and Leigh doing her silly dance that I beg her to do all the time.
What was it that attracted you to each other?
Rich: Initially her eyes. Then quickly discovered her sharp wit and down-to- earth nature. She's an amazing, intelligent and beautiful person inside and out.
Leigh: We'd been on a couple of dates when a family member of mine passed way. We didn't know each other really, but Rich was the perfect amount of thoughtful and caring without being overfamiliar. It showed me early on that he had a good heart.
Leigh, what do you love about Rich? List 5 qualities.
1. I love Rich's optimism. I'm the opposite by nature so we balance each other out.
2. His curiosity. He's not afraid to have a deep conversation, or to come off as naive if he asks about subjects he's not familiar with. He's always wanting to learn and discuss new things. I love that.
3. His humour (sometimes.) He's very, very funny. Though sometimes it's like laughing at a toddler's joke... they run with it for as long as they can. It's always risky to encourage him.
4. The way he loves my family and friends. He makes such a genuine, heartfelt effort and truly loves all those close to me as if they're his own.
5. The way he adores me. I've been loved before, but never adored. I feel very lucky to have someone like Rich adore me.
Rich, what do you love about Leigh?
1. Her sense of humour.
2. Her intellect - she's very smart and knows a lot about very random topics.
3. Her fun nature, she loves being silly and having a great time.
4. Her smile and laugh. I try to see both as often as I can.
5. I can tell her anything; she's my best friend.
What's your most ridiculous/funniest memory as a couple?
Rich: We play word association. Leigh gets so excited to say a word she just makes them up. Sometimes they're just sounds, or screaming.
Leigh: We do a crossword in bed most nights that always has us in hysterics. We have an in-joke about the dog downstairs who works from home. We are silly and laugh a lot.
Leigh, what's your favourite outfit on Rich?
Anything preppy, much to his resistance. Black, white or navy shirt, sleeves rolled, with jeans and a loafer.
Rich, what's your favourite outfit on Leigh?
Leather pants. Leather anything.
Photography: Michael Naumoff @ Vivien's Creative
Leigh wears jewellery from Swarovski's Valentine's Day collection #sharethelove