Married at First Sight fans were left clinging to hope and the edge of their sofa cushions after the Season 10 premiere last week. Bride, Katie Conrad was still in a quandary just minutes before walking down the aisle to meet her groom, Derek Sherman. During the Married at First Sight: Unfiltered pre-show on January 8, the 25-year-old child therapist tried to describe her torn feelings when an ex “casual” boyfriend who never wanted to commit suddenly proclaimed his love. He asked her to pull out of the arranged marriage experiment.
It’s too bad that Katie didn’t get counseling from the expert, Pastor Cal Roberson, right from the start. He wasn’t having any of the nonsense from the ex-beau. Roberson put the kibosh on any hit of sincerity from the former flame, insisting that he was just a “troll.” Especially now that Katie had committed to the show. Jamie Otis was more sympathetic since she had her own experience with a former love trying to enter the picture again prior to her nuptials. Nonetheless, she encouraged Katie to realize that this process of commitment can work out for the best.
The first Married at First Sight wedding did happen
Katie was joined by Mindy Shiben, her Married at First Sight sister in the leap for forever love. Mindy was very confident and outspoken when it came to the tools and toys she preferred in the bedroom, but even the confident bride said that she “couldn’t imagine going through this,” referring to Katie’s situation, during such an already emotional experience.
The anxiety was overtaking Katie in the opening minutes of “Here Comes the Stranger.” “I’m gonna run!” she told her equally-anxious dad. At the last second, though, Katie decided that her chance at true commitment was worth this risk. She walked down the aisle to Derek, and instantly, millions of viewers saw their faces, and much of the worry subsided. Theirs was just the first of three weddings, setting Season 10 sailing from the nation’s capital.
Joy replaces jolts for ‘Married at First Sight’ matches
Even before Katie reached the altar, she and Derek were both beaming, and it wasn’t contrived for the cameras. Relief and joy washed over the tension, and more than the heartfelt words, the most touching thing about Derek’s vows was that he spoke them looking straight into his new bride’s eyes.
“We’re not strangers anymore,” Katie said after the introductions from family and friends, which included disclosure of her diabetes and Derek’s future as a pet parent to her dog, Jax. Of her vows was “to be careful with your heart.” At just 25 and 26, this couple will have to learn how to love and how to be married– two different things—but they seem to be off to a willing start.
The pair were very natural dancing, and frequently kissing, they didn’t need much prompting. “I’m glad you’re leading,” the smiling bride told her groom. Katie reminded her husband again about her diabetes, and he didn’t seem daunted. He described being ready to learn about Katie’s condition, and it was already conditioned about being a “daddy’” to the dog. The bride and groom already made tentative plans to visit Thailand over dinner. The next couple didn’t have quite as natural of a connection.
Another couple tied the knot
Taylor Dunklin’s mom couldn’t have made the nerves on the wedding day any better when she commented that her daughter’s beautiful dress was “too big.” Taylor rolled with it, saying that she wanted enough room to eat and dance. Her groom, Brandon Reid, was taking the edge off by imbibing in liquid courage with his crew.
Neither Taylor nor Brandon seemed to have extreme reservations about walking down the aisle. Taylor described her desire to “hold hands while I walk the dog.” Her dog, Tyson, was included in her family’s description. They credited her devotion to her pet saying it would prepare her to be a wonderful mom. She turned to her guests, inquiring, “He’s good, right?” Taylor’s mother and aunt seemed pleased with Taylor’s match, and on the surface, this pair couldn’t be more beautiful. The question will be if both can get beyond the physical or the resume, and see something worthy from the inside.
The marriage reception
During their first toast being married, Taylor and Brandon were nervous and “awkward,” as Brandon put it. They discussed their careers, and discovered something in common, with him a beer brand ambassador, and she a hostess for a bourbon company. The groom didn’t gush over his bride– he was more ready for grub at their reception. He did, however, have enough trust to explain his teardrop tattoo. He reflected on the loss of his brother to gang violence when he was 8, and Taylor appreciated his vulnerability. Taylor wasn’t so vulnerable to kissing Brandon. He snuck one early at the ceremony, besides the closing kiss, but Taylor brushed aside his affections for the camera.
There was not much to appreciate when it came to Brandon’s dancing skills, though. Taylor was still ready to sway, dip, twirl, and stick to two steps. She told her husband that she never asked the Married at First Sight experts to find her a good dancer. One partner did come through– Brandon’s grandmother. The grandmother strutted out to the hardwood and asked for “something up-tempo” from the band. It was nice to see her being so supportive of the couple despite disapproving of the process.
Third time’s a charm
There were giggles galore in the exchange of vows between Jessica Studer and Austin Hurd. The fun started during the vows when Austin delivered the line. He said, “The first time I saw you, I knew I would marry you.” He declared: “It worked!” to his groomsmen, rolling with laughter.
Laughter came easy for these two. They pretended to be in television commercials as they shared their first champagne. They had an easy rapport during those “first date at the wedding” photographs. The two portrayed a delightful set of the “straight-arm dancers” that sit on top of many wedding cakes. They had no problem getting appropriately closer. They were upfront about strong protectiveness from family. “She’s very protective,” Austin said of his mom, Jill, adding that she only wanted the best for him. During a toast, Jessica’s twin sister, Jennifer, proposed that they cut daily conversations to one before negotiation bumped it up to three.
— Married At 1st Sight (@MAFSLifetime) January 9, 2020
Jessica was clearly the happiest of the first brides, doing her own happy bridal dance. She gushed that Austin was “getting cuter by the minute,” during their first evening as man and wife. Jessica dreamed of a man with a beard and brown hair. Austin is blonde and clean-shaven, but his other qualities certainly may compensate. She admits that she will need some patience, and Austin affirmed that he was ready to give it. Patience and laughter can go a long way in building a happy marriage. The two have already been profiled by Heavy in a January 8 feature.
Next Wednesday, Meka and Michael, and Mindy and Zach will take their fateful walk down the aisle on Married at First Sight. Stay tuned to see if the last two couples will shake the nerves and take the legal dive into wedded life on Lifetime.
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