Tia and Jamie Cunninghame were married on January 14 2017 at their family's home in Benaraby, 24km south of Gladstone, central Queensland.
Tia and Jamie Cunninghame were married on January 14 2017 at their family's home in Benaraby, 24km south of Gladstone, central Queensland. Samantha Murray Centre Stage Pho

Young lovers looking forward to a long future together

WHEN she first laid eyes on her husband, she thought he was goofy. Little did she know what the future held for them.

Soon to relax on the white shores of Hamilton Island, Tia Russell, 20, did not think when she met Jamie Cunninghame, 22, in Year 9 they would honeymoon in paradise or expect their first child, a boy due in May, together.

With the help of Spike, the high-school sweethearts' first dog as a couple, Jamie popped the question in a meaningful way.

"He put the ring on our dog's collar,” Tia said.

"To start off with I didn't know what was going on. It was a normal night with the dog inside and then he took the ring off and proposed to me.”

Having their husky help propose is a fond memory, even more so now after Spike's recent death.

"We'd just moved into our first place together and had been together for long enough. It was a bit lonely just two of us, so we rescued Spike from the RSPCA,” Tia said.

Tia and Jamie Cunninghame were married on January 14 2017 at their family's home in Benaraby, 24km south of Gladstone, central Queensland.
Tia and Jamie Cunninghame were married on January 14 2017 at their family's home in Benaraby, 24km south of Gladstone, central Queensland. Samantha Murray Centre Stage Pho

The couple keeps their young love alive by spending time together when they can, which Tia said could be difficult with Jamie busy working as a carpenter.

"We go fishing, hang out, go to the beach and Jamie plays football so I like to go and watch him play football,” Tia said.

"Any time I get to spend with him is good, especially with a baby on the way.”

Tia knew Jamie was the man she wanted to marry two years into the relationship. Although she was young, Tia said he was everything she had ever wanted.

"My parents have been married for 22 years so I want to be married for a long time and be happy,” she said.

"They keep telling us it's hard at times, to work at it all the time, to trust each other, to talk to each other and be able to rely on each other, to be best friends as well as love each other.”

The high-school sweethearts decided to tie the knot on January 14 at Jamie's aunty and uncle's home in a country town, 25km south of Gladstone, in an intimate wedding surrounded by family.

"We had my nan and Jamie's nanna sign the marriage certificates,” Tia said.

"It's more personal having it there and involving the family.”

Tia and Jamie Cunninghame were married on January 14 2017 at their family's home in Benaraby, 24km south of Gladstone, central Queensland.
Tia and Jamie Cunninghame were married on January 14 2017 at their family's home in Benaraby, 24km south of Gladstone, central Queensland. Samantha Murray Centre Stage Pho

The new bride said she did not wish for anything more on the day.

"It was nerve-racking. Afterwards dad told me he had started to cry ... Jamie told me I looked beautiful,” Tia said.

"Instead of the garter toss, we put the garter on a footy and Jamie threw the footy to incorporate his love of footy,” Tia said.



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