How our models met… True story!

Have you seen the wonderful picture of the couple snorkelling on our home page? We’re proud to say our Valentine’s models are our own – RedBalloon Corporate Account Executive James Rudd and his lovely girlfriend, Sammy.

The great thing about James and Sammy (apart from the fact that they are awesome, natural models and didn’t mind bouncing around the beach in front of the camera) is they are perfect examples of how sharing an experience can be, well, romantic and the best way to create memories. This being the case, and so you could get to know a bit more about our wonderful couple, I cornered James in the kitchen and asked him a few questions:

Me: James, can you tell us the story of how you and Sammy met?

James: It was the week after Valentine’s last year and I’d been getting the same ferry every morning at 730am and I’d started noticing this girl who was always sitting in the same spot on the ferry with a coffee and sometimes a friend and thought, ‘She’s alright!’ So I started talking about it amongst work colleagues because she seemed really nice so I wanted to ask her out properly. Instead of just approaching her and asking her to go for drinks or something I decided to give her a gift of some kind, and my colleague Emma came up the idea of giving her a RedBalloon voucher. The three-course lunch at Sydney’s revolving restaurant seemed like a good idea, so I chose that. I actually had the voucher in my bag for a few days before approaching her – because I thought, if it goes downhill I’m going to see her every single day on the same boat or I’m going to have to seriously rearrange my time schedule! One morning I just got my act together and as she got off the ferry I walked over and grabbed her by the arm, because she had headphones on and couldn’t hear me calling out. I don’t remember how the conversation went and neither does she because we were both so nervous, but I presented the RedBalloon voucher and said, “This is for you. I’d really like to take you out and my number’s inside if you’d like to give me a call.” She texted me and we got talking and we went on the date and it’s now nearly a year later and here we are!

Reenacting the day?

Me: So in that year, apart from the 3 course lunch, how many RedBalloon experiences have you been on together?

James: Five or six, I think. The most memorable ones have been horse riding – we went horse riding in Ballina on the beach, just the two of us. A few weeks ago we went horse riding up on the Central Coast again. It was fantastic. We’ve also done skydiving, kayaking and some surfing. We like to get out and do things together and it’s great fun.

And kayaking with us makes one more.

Me: How important do you think shared experiences are for a relationship?

James: For us shared experiences are pretty much the basis of our relationship because we’re both very similar in that we like to get outdoors and we love doing things together. Going on experiences that we don’t do every day makes it a lot more special because we can reflect on times and we have the pictures up on the wall and we tell our friends about it.

Me: Awesome! And last question, Valentine’s Day is coming up – do you have any plans?

James: I’ve organised for us to go back to the original restaurant where we had our first date, and for our one-year anniversary we might be going horse riding again! I’m definitely going to line up another RedBalloon experience for our anniversary also, something overnight at a place we haven’t been together.

Aww, such a great story. We love that he works here and that he won her over with a RedBalloon voucher – WIN!

We’ll leave you with one more outtake from our photo shoot below.

Thanks, James and Sammy!

James and Sammy - simply awesome models. Thanks, guys!

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