Are the couples on Married At First Sight legally married?

Are the couples on Married At First Sight legally married?

09/01/2021

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Married At First Sight (MAFS) participants dare to marry a total stranger, only meeting their bride or groom-to-be on the day of their wedding. Naturally, the relationships that begin at marriage often don’t go to plan, with the aftermath of these blind wedding days always proving to be unpredictable on the E4 series. This has led some viewers to wonder if these partnerships are actually legally binding.   

Are the couples on Married At First Sight legally married?

MAFS takes blind dating to the extreme as it sees singletons meet and marry on the same day.

They get to know one another during the wedding reception and then decide if they want to spend the night together.

It makes for an interesting social experiment, as family and friends watch on as these would-be couples play out their relationships in fast-forward.

Marriage is legally binding and is supposed to represent the love two people have for one another.

As such, viewers have called into question the legality of the weddings seen in the series, as many fans find it hard to believe they can actually be real.

It is important to remember that there is a difference between the UK, Australian, and USA versions of the show, and that difference is in the marriages.

In the UK version of the show, the marriages are not legally binding, with a spokesperson for the series explaining the format to the Metro.

Essentially, the UK version sees these couples make a verbal commitment to one another, rather than it being a legal one.

The spokesperson explained: “Following the Australian format, rather than legal marriages, the couples will make a lifelong commitment to one another at a glamorous ceremony, overseen by a wedding celebrant, that includes guests, bridal gowns, dancing, speeches and cake.”

This is different from the USA version of the series, which does see the couples actually have legal weddings on the program.

Naturally, these weddings come with a lot of legal paperwork for the show to deal with, but MAFS US Executive Producer Chis Coelen explained the situation.

Speaking to The Wrap, Coelen revealed that the participants sign the marriage licenses “immediately after the ceremony”.

However, there are clauses in the paperwork which do offer some protection to the participants if the wedding does not work out.

Coelen added: “There is a prenup that is built-in, it’s a very short, brief prenup. It basically says what they walk into [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 into the marriage, everything is completely up to them.”

MAFS UK is still one of the most popular shows on E4, with the recent season premiere smashing records for the broadcaster.

So far fans are loving the new series, with many of them taking to Twitter to share their thoughts on the show.

One fan commented: “Married At First Sight UK it is then lol!” (sic)

Another posted: “Just started watching the new series of Married at First Sight UK and I’m so glad they’ve gone for a format more similar to the Australian version! Tt’s much more enjoyable!”

Married At First Sight UK airs at 9pm from Mondays to Thursdays on E4.

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