‘Married at First Sight’: Do the Couples on the Show Actually Get Married?

Married at First Sightis back for its ninth season on Wednesday, June 12. As in past seasons, eight brave people have agreed to let a team of relationship experts choose a partner for them, sight unseen. The first time each participant will meet their future partner will be at the altar on their wedding day.

The wedding day reveal and subsequent ceremony is one of the most dramatic moments on the Lifetime series. But is it real, or are the “I do’s” just for show?

The couples on Married at First Sight really do get married

While it might be hard to believe, the weddings you see on TV are totally real — though past participants have said that they had to take multiple trips down the aisle and reenact the “first” kiss in order to get things right for TV. However, each couple does get legally married.

“It was 100% real,” Clark, who participated in the U.K. version of the show, told Cosmopolitan.

Sometimes, marrying a complete stranger works out surprisingly well — six couples from the show’s first eight seasons are still married, with a few even having kids together. But often, the marriage ends in disaster. (Case in point: One woman from Season 2 divorced her husband after he threatened to kill her.)

Still, no matter how awkward things get, each couple is required to stick it out for at least eight weeks while the show is being filmed. On Decision Day, they reveal whether they’re going to stay together or file for divorce.  

What happens if things don’t work out?

While the weddings on the show are legally binding, producers have taken some steps to protect participants in case the matchmakers get it wrong and the couple decides not to stay together.

“There is a prenup that is built in,” the show’s executive producer Chris Coelen told The Wrap in 2015. “It’s a very short, brief prenup. It basically says what they walk in to [the marriage with], is what they walk out of the marriage with.” The goal, Coelen went on to say, is to make sure that participants don’t get into “any legal trouble.”

In the event a couple decides to divorce, it’s technically on them to cover the costs. “There is not any money specifically built in for divorce costs, no,” Coelen said. “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.”

Would you be on the show?

Couple on their wedding day
A couple on their wedding day | ragıp ufuk vural / iStock / Getty Images Plus

While the idea of marrying a complete stranger sounds crazy to many people, that doesn’t stop thousands of people from auditioning for Married at First Sight each season. Right now, producers are looking for people who are interested in being on Season 10.

Singles from Washington D.C. who are “ready for the ultimate leap of faith” can throw their hat into the ring. To get started, complete the lengthy online application, which asks for information about your education, occupation, appearance, relationship deal breakers, and what your dating life is like, among other things. If you make it through the initial round, you’ll have to go through additional screening before you make it to the show — and possibly meet your perfect match.

Married at First Sight premieres June 12 at 9/8c on Lifetime.

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