Married at First Sight premiered its ninth season last week when two prospective “power couples” were forged. Amber Bowles and her 2-feet taller basketball-player husband, Matt Gwynne, made it official and made the most of every kiss they could get. It didn’t matter who was watching. Deonna McNeil and Greg Okotie had a heart-to-heart about Deonna’s decade of self-imposed detachment from dating after their vows. They already seem to have a great connection.
On June 19, the time came for Married at First Sight pair Elizabeth Rice and Jamie Thompson to make their commitment legal. There were definitely some jitters and censor’s bleeps. Elizabeth isn’t shy about saying anything she wants.
The first-ever virgin for Married at First Sight Iris Caldwell was completely welcomed into her husband, Keith Manley’s and his family’s arms. After learning of her new daughter-in-law’s “purity” status, Keith’s mother was compelled to tell her son about his wife.
Some of the sweetest moments transpired between the couples this week. They hopefully look to their honeymoons, and then the hard work of a real marriage begins.
Dancing into love on Married at First Sight
In many arranged marriages through history, the bride and groom at least have some prior knowledge of one another. On Married at First Sight, the wedding day is truly a first date. Once again, Elizabeth proves to be a stuck-like-glue daddy’s girl before her vows. She tearfully gushes that “you were my first love, and you’ll be my last,” in a tearful hug to her dad, Ronnie.
She can’t stop laughing or talking as she’s walking down the aisle, saying: “This is insane,” and still seeming very pleased to see Jamie. Ronnie lets the groom know that his name passes the “J” test because all the men with his daughters have names starting with J. Jamie and Elizabeth don’t hesitate to start being very affectionate. Ronnie chimes in that “I can’t watch this,” during the photos.
Dad’s watchful gaze continues through the reception. He presents Jamie with Elizabeth’s late car registration, and a prepaid Visa to handle the cost and late fees. He lets his new son-in-law know that the time has come for him to start taking care of such matters. “I got you, it’s done,” Jamie assures. Strange that a 30-year-old chief executive can’t manage a car registration, but that seems par for the course for Elizabeth.
The dancing segments portray some of the sweetest moments for the new couples. Each one figures out their own groove. True to form, Amber and Matt, snuggle close and comfortable, oblivious to stature.
An awkward and painful moment comes for Matt when he has to explain that his mother isn’t there for a dance. Amber’s mother exemplifies such grace, coming to him and asking if he would dance with her in the parenting moment. It was tender beyond words. The wounds from his parents’ divorce remain so raw.
Amber assured him of her support when he was ready to talk, relating her own experiences growing up in a separated home situation. Unfortunately, Matt couldn’t avoid being grilled by her bridesmaids.
Elizabeth and Jamie choose dips and classic embraces. Deonna and Greg forgo the slow dance and take on a more upbeat R&B dance. Iris and Keith almost melt perfectly into one another during their dance. Both families seem absolutely smitten with the matched bride and groom, and this approval has to be a source of strength for their future.
Jamie and Elizabeth connect
Jamie’s mom walked him down the aisle as another sweet gesture. She and Elizabeth also had a positive chat about their new roles and understanding that Jamie has enough love for both of them. Jamie already figured out that mayonnaise and salad dressing are no-no’s for Elizabeth, even before the day was done.
Elizabeth and Jamie turned cutting their cake and the first bite into a food fight. She took the first blow, and he went high into her eyelashes with his return. They were covered in icing and crumbs but clearly loved every minute.
— Married At 1st Sight (@MAFSLifetime) June 20, 2019
The truth is out
Elizabeth compared Iris to “a rare fossil” when Iris revealed that she was still a virgin during the Married at First Sight bachelorette party. During a conversation with Keith’s mother during the reception, the mother-in-law complimented Iris on her beautiful dress. Iris made a point to say that for her, the dress was a representation of “purity” like a virgin. Keith’s mother again praised her daughter-in-law for being strong and committed to her virtue. She also thought her son should know.
The mother very gently asked what her son thought of his bride’s dress. Of course, he responded that it was “beautiful.” She asked what the color was, and he said: “Cream.”
“It’s not cream, it’s white. Do you know what that means?” mom asks. She then reminded that it means unspoiled virginity. Keith was slightly shaken. He affirmed to his mother that he understood that extra “patience and compassion” would be required of him, and he was very willing to offer those gifts.
However well-meaning, this very sacred revelation should have been left to Iris to reveal to her husband in her own time.
After their rides back to their hotels, each of the couples seemed to settle into casual interaction very quickly. Keith and Iris were no exception. With the elegant dresses now put away, the pairs embark upon more genuine discovery of one another, with Married at First Sight cameras catching it all. Not easy, but these matches just may find the strength and commitment to last.
Weddings are delightfully easy compared to the big waves to come. Don’t miss the new episodes of Married at First Week on Wednesday nights.
- ‘MAFS’ Celebrates Season 11 with Trifecta of True Love - October 29, 2020
- ‘Married at First Sight’: Amelia Admits Reality TV Allure Was Greater Than True Love Hopes - October 22, 2020
- ‘Married at First Sight’ (Minus One) Couples Retreat Raises Questions Over Lasting Futures - October 15, 2020