Samantha Armytage is set to marry her fiancee Richard Lavender tomorrow, it can be revealed.
The ceremony will be an intimate gathering with a small number of guests, held at his 40-hectare property in the picturesque Southern Highlands in NSW, later to retreat to a restaurant nearby, sources tell news.com.au.
Armytage has kept the ceremony and reception a closely guarded secret and Sydney’s social scene spies largely missed any clues due to the city’s coronavirus outbreak.
It’s understood the wedding was always going to be held at Lavender’s property – a fortuitous decision, as it turned out.
Rather than a star-studded affair, Armytage opted for a small event – partly due to COVID-19 concerns but also out of preference.
The couple will ring in 2021 as husband and wife, in the company of an intimate group of loved ones.
Armytage, 44, and Lavender, 60, were introduced by a mutual friend around Easter last year and hit it off.
At the time, Lavender had no idea who Armytage even was or what she did for a living.
It wasn’t until they’d been dating for a few weeks that Armytage made him watch an episode of Sunrise so he could see what she does.
Lavender popped the question to Armytage on June 21.
“What a year …” Armytage wrote on Instagram, showing off her sparkly diamond ring while she and Lavender were on his property.
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The Instagram post received more than 50,000 likes with her fellow Sunrise stars leaving messages of congratulations.
“Wow that’s such wonderful news,” wrote David Koch. “Congratulations to you and Rich from Libby and I.”
Co-star Edwina Bartholomew wrote, “Well, this is hands down the best thing to happen this year.”
Weather presenter Sam Mac wrote, “Well bloody done. So great to see some happy news!”
Mac also mentioned Armytage’s dog, Banjo, writing, “Banjo for ring bearer duties, calling it early.”
Armytage later showed off her ring while back to her hosting duties.
“I’m very happy, very happy,” Armytage said on air.
When Koch grilled her for more details, she divulged.
“He said, ‘Darling, do you want to marry me?’” she revealed. “It was just private and lovely. It was very romantic.”
Armytage said that Lavender asked her dad Mac for permission before popping the question.
“My parents love him. Both our families get on very well – it’s a very happy union.”
The couple seem to be a perfect match, who also share a lot of similar interests. Armytage told Who Magazine last year, “We both enjoy horses, skiing, architecture, art.”
The TV host also discussed everything that the couple liked about each other.
“He doesn’t care what people think of him, which I admire greatly,” she said. “He’s very decent, very honest. I love that he’s so modest.”
As for Lavender, he loves that Armytage is “very natural” and not at all like the celebrities he has encountered in the past.
“I think a lot of the people who are in show business are a bit flouncy,” he told Who. “I’ve seen a few celebrities in public – it’s not always attractive.
“She has a quick wit, a terrific sense of humour,” he continued.
It is said that the pair hope to start a family, with Lavender already being the father to two grown-up daughters.
While Lavender is Armytage’s perfect match, her path to love hasn’t always been easy.
Before meeting Lavender, she dated a slew of high-profile men.
“I’ve always dated dangerous guys, maybe — but I don’t need that now,” she told Sunday Life in 2014.
“The types of blokes who ask me out are overly confident types, always good looking and sometimes footballers — the badly behaved ones.”
In 2011, when Armytage was hosting Channel 7’s 4.30pm news bulletin and was the co-host of Weekend Sunrise alongside Andrew O’Keefe, she was dating and living with her long-term boyfriend, Sean.
Sean, who was a builder, kept a very low-profile, and reportedly split from Armytage in 2011.
Not long after her break up with Sean, Armytage started dating pub baron Peter De Angelis.
Sam confirmed her relationship with Peter on-air on Sunrise, saying that the pair were “very happy thank you”.
In 2014, rumours that Armytage was linked to both Russell Crowe and Modern Family actor Eric Stonestreet came out. She denied both.
Come 2015 and Sam was dating her Channel 7 colleague, Michael Usher. They were on-again, off-again until 2017.
The match was excellent news for network executives, however in 2017, the relationship ended.
Following Usher, Armytage dated private jet tycoon Paul O’Brien.
The pair were first linked in 2018, and came to an end after they had a fight at Skye Leckie’s 60th birthday party in May 2019. This was the same party where Sam met her now fiance.
Friends of Sam were happy about the split, one telling The Daily Telegraph, “Paul has gone and we couldn’t be happier about it.”
“He wasn’t good for her and all her close friends knew it.”
Another source added, “Paul absolutely loved the social scene and wanted to make the most of Sam’s social status.”