How Much Are the Couples on ‘Married at First Sight’ Paid For Being on the Show?

Would you marry a person you just met? Most people would say no, but the couples on Married at First Sight aren’t most people. These brave souls have agreed to take a shot at love with a complete stranger and have the entire experience filmed for our viewing entertainment.

Whether you think the concept is romantic or nuts, there’s no denying the show is popular. But is it possible that some couples are in it for money, not love? Here’s how much couples are paid for appearing on Married at First Sight.

‘Married at First Sight’ cast salaries

 Doug Hehner (L) and Jamie Otis of Married At First Sight,
Doug Hehner and Jamie Otis appeared on the first season of Married At First Sight and are still married today. | Mike Coppola/Getty Images for FYI Network

After an exhaustive selection process that involves psychological screening and a home visit, the couples marry. They then spend the first eight weeks of their lives together being followed around by cameras. On Decision Day, they make a choice whether to stay married or divorce.

Obviously, it’s a pretty intense experience. And at least in the beginning, the compensation was basically nonexistent. After the first season aired, producer Chris Coelen told Reality Blurred that cast members received “a nothing stipend. We did not want people who were motivated by the wrong things.” A man who appeared on the New Zealand version of the show said he received a stipend of just $60 per day.

Radar Online later claimed the season 1 cast received $15,000 each for their participation. But it seems that as the show’s popularity has grown, so have the cast salaries. By season 3, Married at First Sight participants were reportedly earning between $20,000 and $25,000 per season.

Who pays for ‘Married at First Sight’ weddings?

While the salaries might not be large, the early Married at First Sight cast members did get the perk of a free wedding. “The three of us had the luxury of not having to pay for our weddings,” season 1 cast member Monet Bell said when explaining to The Knot why she and her fellow brides were auctioning off their dresses for charity

However, since then, it’s become unclear just how much money production contributes to the contestants’ weddings. Someone who appeared on the U.K. version of the show confirmed that producers provide some money for wedding expenses, but not much.

“There’s [a] budget for things — her wedding dress, a small budget for the suits,” Clark from season 2 told Cosmopolitan U.K. “There’s some money for hen-do and stag-dos, but it was mainly out of my pocket. I think they put money towards travel or something. But there was genuinely no monetary gain.”

Who pays for the ‘Married at First Sight’ divorces?

As fans know, not every couple on Married at First Sight gets a happy ending. Most couples divorce. Who foots the bill for the divorce attorney if things go up in smoke? Apparently, the producers will step in and cover some of those costs.

“There is not any money specifically built in for divorce costs, no,” Coelen told The Wrap. “We will contribute within a certain period of time if they get divorced. We will help them cover the costs of an attorney if they choose to do that. I don’t know what the amount is. It’s nominal.”

Coelen also noted that each couple signs a prenup that protects their assets should the marriage not work out. That’s probably a relief to cast members like season 7’s Bobby Dodd, who found that his new wife Danielle Bergman brought $15,000 of credit card debt into their marriage.  

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