‘My Married At First Sight UK wedding was planned in 2 weeks – here’s how I did it’

WithMarried At First Sight back on our screens,a whole new host of singletons are set to walk down the aisle and say “I do” to a person that they’ve never even met.

And one person who knows the experience of marrying a stranger all too well is 2021 contestant Marilyse Corrigan who tied the knot with Franky Spencer on last year’s show.

Although the couple called time on their relationship six months after the experiment, the pair have remained good friends andwere spotted together on a ‘reunion date’ at the end of last year.

With the popular show back on our screens, Marilyse reveals all about her own big day…

The brides have just weeks to find a dress

After landing her spot on the show, Marilyse says that she was given just two weeks warning before her wedding day. As a result, the bride-to-be was left on a last minute search for a dress.

“When I went to the dress shop for filming, I didn’t like any of the dresses so I had two weeks to find a dress,” she explains.

With lockdown closing bridal shops, Marilyse ended up contacting a shop in York about the show and they were able to open and allow her to say yes to the dress.

"My friend suggested a shop for me so I took a look at their Instagram page and liked what I saw. As soon as I walked in, the first dress I saw was the one. Even before I tried it on I knew it was the one for me. It took about 10 minutes,” she says. “You’re given a budget, so if your dress costs more, you have to cover the additional cost yourself.”

There’s a MAFS wedding planning brochure

As part of the wedding planning process, each contestant is allowed to choose their bridal party and is then given a brochure where they can choose extra details such as colour schemes and cake flavours, reveals Marilyse.

“They send you a big brochure that has everything from the flowers to the table dressings to the cake and you have about eight options for each thing,” she says. “For bridesmaids dresses for instance, you have eight styles to choose from and then you have eight colours too.

“I think the guys had to do this because Franky was telling me that he’d chosen navy blue as the theme – I did as well – and that’s the colour the bridesmaids wore.”

But what contestants want, they don’t always get

With each contestant putting forward their own separate choices, it’s no surprise that not every couple will agree on the same thing. As a result, contestants are sometimes left surprised by the choices made.

“When I turned up I was like ‘is that what I requested?’ because things weren’t what I’d picked. The day is so surreal that you feel like you’re at someone else’s wedding,” she explains.

“We picked our own first dance songs. I don’t think Franky was very happy with my song and that’s the one that got picked. As soon as it came on, he was like ‘I didn’t choose this’ but looking back the song fits really well.”

The contestants don't get a say about the venue

In a bid to keep things as under wraps as possible, contestants and guests are never told where the wedding will take place.

“You don’t get told where your wedding will be, you just get delivered there. The day before, you’re put up in a nice hotel, so when you wake up you have no idea where you’ll be going,” Marilyse says. “In the morning, I got whisked away and the taxi driver wouldn’t even tell me where I was going.”

Despite the secrecy, guests, who are also put up in a nearby hotel, aren’t afraid of attempting to do the detective work themselves. “The guests didn’t know anything either and were trying to figure it out by asking the producers different questions but the team didn’t give anything away whatsoever.

Producers must approve their vows

While it may be the couple’s big day, there are rules that each contestant is subject to, including what they can and can't say in their vows and speeches and everything must be approved before making it onto the show.

“The producers had to approve Franky’s speech and they also had to approve our vows,” she says. "I’m not very good at things like that, so when I was writing my vows, I ended up writing something very short. One of the producers on the show told me that I had to make them more in depth, so they helped me a bit with that."

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