28 Things You Didn’t Know About Married At First Sight

We decided to investigate what really goes on behind the scenes...

mafs secrets

by Kayleigh Dray |
Updated on

If you've watched Married at First Sight, we're sure you switched off with countless questions. How many couples are still together? Do they get paid? And, if you're brave, how do you apply to take the plunge with a person you've never met.

Well, we've done the research for you because it can be difficult to believe that the show is real. But Married at First Sight (hereby known as MAFS) is precisely what it says on the tin.

After meticulous analysis by a team of specialists, two strangers are thrust together to meet for the first time at the altar, matched based on things like their family values, IQ and long term ambitions (as well as more sciency stuff, like pheremones).

So what have several series of this bizarre show (not to mention a wildly successful Aussie spin-off) taught us about love by numbers?

Well,essentially that it doesn't work. None of theUK couples from seasons 1, 2, 3 or have made it past the year mark. The Aussie couples on the other hand... let's just say there are some little MAFS babies toddling around.

But what else didn't you know about MAFS? Read on to find out.

CHECK OUT: 28 things you didn't know about Married at First Sight


28 things you didn't know about MAFS

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**A LOT of people applied to take part in Married at First Sight 2016.**Over 1,500 people applied to take part in the first series, but experts whittled them down to just three couples.

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**HOWEVER over in Australia, not everyone who appears on the show actually applied.**Yep, season six groom Sam Ball revealed in a BTS exposé on his Instagram that his 'on-screen' wife, Elizabeth Sobinoff, didn't actually apply for the show and was in fact, scouted.

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**AND the first UK series was pushed back because a LOT of people got cold feet.**According to reports, Channel 4 was forced to push back Married At First Sight UK twice because candidates kept getting cold feet.

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**They take their matchmaking VERY seriously.**Married At First Sight sees a panel of experts – including evolutionary anthropologist Anna Machin, psycho-sexual therapist and psychologist Jo Coker, psychology professor Dr Mark Coulson and priest Reverend Nick Devenish – working together to pair up singletons. They genuinely want this experiment to work.

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**Which means that the application process is INTENSE.**The experts put candidates through workshops, interviews, background checks, various tests and personality questionnaires (some of which can take over 12 hours to complete) until they had 15 candidates with particularly strong matches. They narrowed this down even further when they took dealbreakers into account, such as smoking. In the end, for the first series, three strong couples were identified and matched - although only two of them ever made it down the aisle!

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**BUT, in Australia, some of the cast have claimed the matching isn't quite so, err, thought through...**Indeed, single hopeful Lauren Huntriss took to her Instagram to tell fans, "God MAFS is so full of s--t. Lol OK John [Robertson - one of the love experts] we all know you did not spend months finding the perfect match."Producers pulled ppl (like me) off the street just weeks before lol."

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**The wedding is a CIVIL CEREMONY.**To avoid criticism from religious groups, all of the marriages on Married At First Sight begin with a civil ceremony. You can find out more about the legalities and requirements of a civil ceremony here.

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**Are Weddings on Married at first sight real?**Yes they are legit. A legal wedding requires a marriage license, containing vital information of the spouse - and couples do sign one immediately after the ceremony.

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**But they ARE given legal protection if it all goes wrong.**Speaking to The Wrap, Chris Coelen - who works on the US version of the show - explained, "There is a prenup that is built in. 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."We want to give them some protection walking in. If for some reason it does not work out, at least you are protected with this basic form. You are not going to get yourself into any legal trouble. Once they are in to the marriage, everything is completely up to them."

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**Meanwhile, in the land down under, the weddings AREN'T real.**Yup, the Aussie cast merely 'promise' their love to one another at a faux wedding (complete with all their family and friends), before then attending commitment ceremonies to assess the progress of their relationships.

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**Couples DON'T get paid to take part.**As Jessie J would say, it's not about the money, money, money.

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**But they DO get an all-expenses paid honeymoon.**So that's something, eh?

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**However, in Australia, they do get paid a flat day rate.**Season six's resident drama queen, Jessika Power, revealed that while the Aussie cast do, in fact, get paid, it's not a huge amount at £83 a day (or $150 Australian dollars).

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**They DO have to live together for six weeks.**Yup, couples spend six weeks living together as man and wife – at the end of which they decide whether to stay together or call it a day. You can imagine the former doesn't usually happen.

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But, if they fall out, the couples can **ask for a separate apartment. Well, in Australia, at least.**In MAFS Australia season six, several of the couples ended up needing separate apartments, with Ines and Bronson getting the ball rolling and, further down the line, Tamara and Dan following suit.

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**Some of the couples DIDN'T know it would be televised.**Wait, what?Participant Emma Rathbone - who married James Ord-Hume for the first series of the show, told This Morning, "Initially I didn't know it would be televised. I'm finding the television part very difficult."

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**The first UK season ended entirely in divorce.**Yes, all of the couples ended up splitting after the six weeks. One couple, Jason and Kate, split just two weeks after their wedding after Jason was found on Tinder. Another couple (Sam and Jack) pulled out before the wedding but, in a bizarre twist, were seeing each other secretly after the show finished filming... but then broke up. And the final couple, James and Emma, stayed together til the November after the February wedding but broke up after saying it "didn't feel natural". And a bit forced. Funny, that.

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**The show WILL help pay for a divorce - but there's a catch.**According to the executive producer of the US show, if the couples decide to go for divorce, Married At First Sight does not bear the divorce costs. He added that they provide assistance only "within a certain period" to cover the legal costs, although the amount provided is very nominal.

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**You CAN apply to take part in it.**To apply, send your name, phone number, age, location and email address to: marriedatfirstsight@cplproductions.co.uk.

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**But you CAN'T have been married before.**According to the Channel 4 website, you are only allowed to apply if you do not have any children and have never been married. They're very traditional, clearly.

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**And they WILL need to know your physical data.**Yup, they need to do a DNA test, and they'll ask for your physical data, such as hip to waist ratio in women and hip to shoulder in men.

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The show originated in DENMARK.… where none of those couples who initially walked down the aisle stayed married, we'd like to point out.

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**There are a LOT of other versions of Married At First Sight.**In addition to UK and Australia, the show has German, Finnish, and Bulgarian editions - all of which have produced successful unions.

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**However it HAS sparked controversy.**The show particularly irked the folk of Australia, with the public starting up a petition to get it taken off the air. They said, "This television show is a disgrace. It is morally unsound and should not be aired on Australian television."

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Couples are contractually obliged to stay married for the duration of filming.So 2019 couple Jonathan and Stephanie breaking up literally days after their nuptials made media circulations a little awkward.

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**And, in Australia, they can't resume their day jobs until the show finishes airing...**Season six's Jessika Power spilled the tea, claiming, "You can't work until the show finishes airing, and you've done all your publicity and that's like a month. Probably about a six-seven month process [overall]."

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**There are a few success stories.**But sadly not from this side of the pond. The US series' Jamie Otis and Doug Hehner are still going strong and have welcomed a daughter, and their series co-stars Cortney Hendrix and Jason Carrion are still married, too.

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Plenty of MAFS stars have gone onto cash in on their experience. MAFS 2016 star Clark Sherwood has gone onto write about his marriage for a number of publications, and of course, Ben Jardine has become a bonafide celebrity Z lister in his own right.

READ MORE: Married At First Sight Australia: What Happened To The Couples From Season Six?

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