'Married at First Sight' premiere recap: Karen learns groom's ID before wedding and considers quitting, Brett's intentions and character are questioned
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 07/15/2020
Married at First Sight featured Karen Landry finding out the identity of her groom Miles Williams before her wedding and deciding he's not her type and Brett Lindsey rubbing his fellow grooms the wrong way during Wednesday night's Season 11 premiere episode on Lifetime.
In addition, the premiere broadcast featured all 10 of the Season 11 MAFS participants breaking the news to their families they'd be marrying strangers, picking out wedding attire, and enjoying their respective bachelor and bachelorette parties.
Married at First Sight experts Pastor Calvin Roberson, Dr. Pepper Schwartz, and Dr. Viviana Coles matched five couples to marry at first sight on Season 11 of the reality series.
The couples starring on this season are Karen, a 30-year-old consultant from New Orleans, LA, and Miles, a 26-year-old who works with youth from Spartanburg, SC; Brett, a 35-year-old with a career in information technology from Gretna, LA, and Olivia, a 30-year-old nurse from Bossier City, LA; and Amani, a 29-year-old non-profit worker who was raised in Chicago, IL, and Woody Randall, a 30-year-old teacher and coach from New Orleans.
The other couples are Christina, a 30-year-old flight attendant from Houma, LA, and Henry Rodriguez, a 35-year-old clinical recruiter from Arabi, LA, as well as Amelia Fatsi, a 27-year-old medical resident from Richmond, VA, and Bennett Kirschner, a 28-year-old artistic director from Montvale, NJ.
The Married at First Sight broadcast began with the experiment's spouses-to-be sharing the news with their families and friends they'd be getting married to a total stranger.
Bennett, dubbed "The Romantic Thespian," lives in a "tiny house" with no bathroom that he had initially created to be the set of one of his theater plays. The creative theater artist shared how he's also a freelance writer, pedicab driver, and "landscape-architect helper."
Bennett said he'd describe himself as "a weirdo" but felt completely ready to marry at first sight because he's "deeply loyal" and passionate about the people he's close to and cares about.
Bennett told his sister and theater pals he'd be marrying a total stranger in two weeks, and his friends joked he was "loco" for doing such a thing and probably rushing into something that would turn out to be bigger than him.
Amelia, dubbed "The Driven Dreamer" by Lifetime, has just completed medical school to be a doctor but has creative hobbies such as playing multiple musical instruments and taking on artistic projects.
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Amelia said her mother was the breadwinner in her family growing up, and so Amelia would apparently love to find a man who'd be willing to raise her babies at home while she's at work.
Amelia admitted she falls in love easily but really wanted a partner by her side to go through life with. She wanted a roommate whom she also thought was "super sexy."
Amelia's friends also thought she was "crazy" and worried the experts wouldn't be able to find her a good match because she's so unique and special.
Amelia, however, was optimistic the experts had found the perfect man for her, and Amelia wished her future husband would be willing to be a stay-at-home job and maybe even change his last name to her maiden name.
Pepper said Amelia and Bennett may make a great match because they're both unique individuals with unconventional quirkiness to their personalities. Pepper also thought they had values that would complement each other and allow them to build a fulfilling and interesting life.
Karen was then shown telling her mother, aunt, and friends that the experts had found a match for her.
Karen, dubbed "Ms. Reservations" by Lifetime, was in a relationship for five years and apparently found out the man had a child with someone else while they were together. Karen said the event caught her totally off-guard and so she put walls up after that experience.
Karen admitted she's normally a risk-adverse person and so Married at First Sight was definitely out of her comfort zone, but she was hoping to be matched with an extrovert who could pull her out of her shell a little bit and balance her out.
"Have you lost your mind?" Karen's mother asked her daughter, adding, "I know you've talked about it, but I just didn't think it would even happen... I'm shocked."
Karen's mother asked Karen how she'd feel if she's not even attracted to her husband, and she pointed out that marrying a stranger was "crazy" and "bizarre," but Karen insisted dating in New Orleans was hard.
Karen's mother essentially begged her to reconsider or at least wait to find the right guy because she's still young.
Meanwhile, Miles said he was looking for a woman with whom to have a relationship similar to what his grandparents have -- a deep and respectful love that could last decades.
"Mr. Young & Ready" said he's smart and has two degrees. His desire is to be the best educator possible, but Miles said he also loves to work with kids and be silly.
Miles was looking for a partner who could be his best friend, but he said women didn't really take 26-year-old men seriously.
"I've always dreamed of being a husband, being a father and having a family," Miles said. "I'm ready for that responsibility and I'm excited for that responsibility."
Miles shared with his grandparents on FaceTime he was going to wed in two weeks and meet his wife on his wedding day at the altar. Miles grandparents were apparently worried Michael would end up getting hurt, but they claimed to be supportive.
Viviana said the experts matched Karen and Miles because they are both hopeless romantics who share the same core beliefs about life, love, family, and faith.
Olivia, "Ms. Sugar and Spice," said she was tired of being the third wheel during outings and would describe herself as a cat lover and always "70 and sunny." She said she loved to let loose, sing karaoke, play trivia, and go to Saints games.
Olivia said she has a very close relationship with her mom and she probably wouldn't be able to go through with Married at First Sight if her mother didn't approve. Olivia's mother called the decision "gut-wrenching" and didn't know what to say.
But Olivia's mother called her daughter very smart, and so she trusted her daughter's judgment and hoped Olivia would have a long and happy marriage.
Brett, "The Serial Dater," has apparently had many ex-girlfriends. He said he likes to cook, do things around the house, fix things -- such as his car or appliances -- read, rock climb, work out and find self-enrichment.
Brett had been engaged once before but he said the woman cheated on him and so the relationship obviously didn't work. Brett said he went on dates afterward, just stacking them up.
"In the past few years, I've probably dated about -- I'm going to ballpark it -- 45 girls. Yeah," Brett confessed. "It wasn't with the intention [these relationships] weren't going to work out. I want to find somebody whom I can spend the rest of my life with."
Brett looked forward to having a partner and doing everything for "us."
"I think I've been ready to be married for a long time," Brett noted.
Brett told his family he was about to marry someone he's never met or even seen, and his father was totally alarmed.
Brett had to explain the panel of experts and their expertise to his loved ones, especially his father, who called the experiment "nuts." Brett's friends also didn't understand why he would want to marry a stranger when he seemed to love the dating field.
Pepper said Olivia and Brett are a great match because they're both loyal and ambitious. She thought the individuals would appreciate each other's level of stability in life, and the experts hoped their differences would complement and inspire each other.
Amani, "Ms. Calm, Cool & Collected," said she has a natural, nurturing spirit, especially because she had to help raise her siblings. Amani considered herself a role model to her siblings.
Amani said she had trouble meeting decent guys and one man she dated ended up lying about being married. Amani said she was tired of dealing with "crazy people" and wanted a forever type of love.
Amani called herself "fun" and noted she loves to dance and would like a man with a little rhythm. Amani told her friends that she was ready to be a wife, and her cousin was especially happy for her.
Amani needed a genuine man in her life, but she said she was scared to open her heart and trust a man again. She hoped the guy in her life wouldn't change into a different person after a certain amount of time elapses.
Woody and Miles are close friends and shared the news with their friends at the same time.
Woody, "Mr. Life of the Party," teaches and coaches at a high school and had parents who split when he was young. His father apparently went to jail and missed a significant portion of Woody's life.
Woody said when he got a promotion, he had no one to celebrate the big moment in his life with, except for his mother, which made him realize he'd love to have a wife. Woody claimed he knows who he is as a person, loves himself, and is ready to share his best qualities with someone.
The guys' group of friends was more surprised Woody was trying to settle down because of "the type of person he is" rather than Miles, but everyone seemed to think marrying would be good for Woody.
Woody's cousin called him "a wild boy," and the group warned Woody he'd have to communicate his whereabouts constantly and care about making someone else happy. The group, however, agreed Miles always searched for lasting love and that's all he ever wanted.
"Woody is the party guy," Woody's sister Kaitlyn told the cameras.
"He does what he wants, when he wants, and so thinking about him with a wife attached to him... like pulling him away from things he does on a regular basis, it's kind of strange."
Woody insisted he wasn't that single, partying type of guy anymore and his friends didn't really see or understand that.
Pastor Cal explained Amani and Woody are both outspoken and fun individuals who each possess a strength and confidence they'll respect in one another. Pastor Cal added the differences in their personalities will complement each other well and they'd fit into each other's lives.
And the final couple the experts matched was Christina, "The Princess Bride," and Henry, "The Reserved Gentleman."
Christina never met her father and so she's extremely close to her mother, whom Christina called her "best friend." Christina's mother was excited for her daughter to get married at first sight.
Christina said she's single because she's been investing in the wrong relationships and tends to pick men who are just out for a good time. Christina apparently kept meeting the same guy every time and was sick of it.
Christina desired a caring and emotionally-intelligent guy who could surprise her and give her flowers for the first time in her life. The only man who ever gave Christina flowers was her grandfather.
Christina no longer wanted to party or be alone at night, and she asked her mother to walk her down the aisle. Christina's mother said she would be "honored" to do that, and it was an emotional moment for the girls.
Henry confessed he's a little awkward and lacks eye contact, mainly because he was heavier when he was younger and lost quite a bit of weight over time. Henry said his confidence never really got better and he had been through many stressful situations in the past.
"Right after my 30th birthday, I hadn't been to the doctor in probably 10 years. When he was just doing a normal checkup, he heard a murmur. Low and behold, it ended up being a severe leak in the mitral valve. A month-and-a-half later, I had heart surgery," Henry shared.
Henry said the surgery made him realize he wished he had support for such a serious or traumatic moment in his life. Henry acknowledged being single at the time was difficult and he hoped to find a woman who could push him in ways he probably needed to be pushed.
"It's out of character for me, but I think it's a once-in-a-lifetime chance, and I'm ready to take it," Henry told the cameras.
Henry's best friend Craig from Kindergarten wished Henry luck and said he deserved to find love. Henry asked Craig to be his best man because his brother wasn't going to be able to make the wedding due to a pre-scheduled trip to Finland.
Viviana explained Henry and Craig had the potential to form a beautiful union because they have good hearts and a sincere commitment to their values. Viviana thought Christina's sense of adventure would complement Henry's quiet strength and stability.
Eight days before the wedding, the men went shopping for their tuxedos or suits and the women picked out their wedding gowns.
Woody cared about looking well and making a stellar first impression, and he ended up going with a white jacket and black pants. Woody's cousin predicted Woody would struggle to change and blend his daily life with one woman.
Amani selected a slightly-blush, strapless mermaid gown with a sparkly belt.
Brett said his style tends to be buying essential items rather than designer threats, and so he steered towards a traditional black tuxedo with a long tie.
Olivia struggled to find the perfect dress because she said she was being hard on herself and couldn't stop critiquing herself. For example, Olivia complained the size of her arms were particularly noticeable in one dress.
Olivia felt frustrated and the stress of marrying a man in two weeks was getting to her, but she ended up loving a lace, strapless dress with subtle embroidery and embellishments from top to bottom.
Seven days before the wedding, Bennett hoped to wear a red and gold sequin hat on the altar, but his three female friends talked him out of it and gave the hat "a hard no." Bennett's friends hoped this marriage wasn't going to be a trainwreck because he's open, passionate and empathetic.
Bennett's friends didn't want to see Bennett get hurt, but Bennett was diving into the process and happily selected a black suit with a paisley print throughout the jacket.
Amelia didn't want to wear "a normal" dress and hoped to discover a gown that would fit her "interesting, fun and texture" personality. She compared herself to an onion without being "sour or mean."
Amelia picked out a very puffy strapless dress with a lot of texture and a corset back. Amelia couldn't wait to meet her new husband and get to know him, and she seemed ecstatic.
With six days to go until the wedding, Karen tried on dresses with her "old school" mother who wasn't thrilled about the idea of her daughter marrying a stranger. Karen's mother was mainly concerned her daughter's groom wasn't going to be a good match for her.
Karen appeared to be having second thoughts about her wedding, as her female friends joked about her potentially becoming a runway bride. Karen was clearly overwhelmed but she fell in love with a long-sleeve gown with a lot of detail around the neck and down the arms.
Miles said he wanted his wife's "knees to buckle" at first sight because he'd look so "fine." Miles chose a burgundy jacket and joked about how his shoulders looked big and beefy in it.
"Don't get me wrong, I am still like, 'What in the world am I doing?' Even if I have my mom's support," Karen said after selecting the dress her mother had picked out for her to try on.
Henry chose a classic look and wanted sometime "timeless," and Christina ironically used that same word, saying she wanted her wedding dress to be a "sexy" yet "timeless" look.
Henry's friend Kristin, who knew Henry for a very long time, helped Henry pick out his wedding-day ensemble, and Henry was happy to feel confident in the suit.
Christina chose a lace, long-sleeve dress with a low neckline and a flare at the bottom that also boasted buttons along the back.
With only one day remaining until the wedding, the Season 11 brides got together for drinks at a restaurant, as did the five grooms.
Brett thought his chances of knowing his bride were pretty high because he said New Orleans is a small city and it's likely he's seen the girl before or was previously matched with her on a dating app.
Karen also feared she was going to walk down the aisle to a man she already knew.
All the future spouses then enjoyed their respective bachelor and bachelorette parties. Brett said he was going to drink all the guys under the table.
Olivia told the girls she would absolutely take "the nice guy" even if an attraction was lacking, and Christina felt the same way. Amelia said she'd like a guy who's really good at math, which made the other brides laugh.
Bennett then revealed to the guys he had never used a dating app or had a smartphone before. Bennett still had a flip phone, and his fellow grooms couldn't believe it. Miles appreciated Bennett's quirky, awkward and sincere nature.
But then Brett opened up the group about how he really needed to feel instant chemistry with or an instant attraction to his wife.
"If she's walking down the aisle dressed to the nines and there's no attraction there, what possible hope can there be?" Brett asked.
Woody suggested good conversation could create a spark, and then suddenly, Brett attempted to flirt with his table's waitress.
"Just [call me]," Brett gestured at the waitress.
Miles told the cameras that Brett seemed very confident because maybe he was overcompensating. Miles noted their values didn't align and they approached the situation quite differently.
"She'd be crazy if she's not attracted to me," Brett claimed. "Let's be fair!"
Miles also joked Brett seemed like the "consummate the marriage on the night of [the wedding] kind of guy."
"I'm a consummator," Brett admitted, before Miles said, "I'm not going to."
Henry noted he'd be up for sleeping with his wife if their chemistry was off the charts right away, and Woody suggested he'd follow his wife's lead and sometimes a kiss can be even more intimate than having sex.
Bennett confessed his mind wandered when listening to Woody and Brett talk about kissing and women -- and he didn't really care. But Bennett thought Miles was a sweetheart, kind soul and good listener.
Amelia wasn't sure whether she'd kiss her husband at the altar, and Karen said she just didn't want to think too far ahead. Karen just prayed her husband was going to be patient and understanding.
During the participants' last night as single men and women, the party got started with strippers and everything. Woody poured shots of tequila for the guys and Bennett danced with the strippers and was living his best life.
Bennett said the experience wasn't his go-to vibe as he likes "intimate conversations" but he was ready to "go all in."
A male stripper put his head in Olivia's lap and she joked "there was a lot going on." Amani seemed to love her dance from the stripper, but Christina appeared uncomfortable and left the room with some anxiety.
"I would never do this in real life. I would be eating with my friends and talking," Christina told Amelia.
Amani called Christina "a total buzzkill" because she just wanted to see everyone let loose and have a good time. Christina didn't want to drink or party, and she just wasn't comfortable.
While chowing down on some food, Brett jokingly asked Bennett how old his sister was, acting as if he'd be interested to date her. Bennett noticed Brett was drunk and speaking his mind a tad too much.
Brett then pushed Henry's best friend Kristin down on a small bench so he could squeeze himself in and sit next to her.
"[I'm] Brett, nice to meet you. How are you?" Brett asked.
Henry could be seen whispering to another pal, "This dude's terrible."
Brett told Kristin that Henry has great and therefore asked, "What happened?"
"We're just friends," Kristin replied.
"Really... I don't believe that," Brett said.
"Well you don't have to," Kristin said. "You don't know me."
"Well, tell me more," Brett pushed.
"No, I'm good," Kristin said, as her body language moved away from Brett and she appeared totally disinterested. "Let's keep it about you and your engagement."
Kristin could tell some guys were really in it for the process and others seemed to have different intentions.
Kristin left Brett on the bench, and even Henry got up so that Brett was left alone. Henry said he enjoyed the bachelor party a little too much and would need somebody who "can put up with a lot."
Meanwhile, Karen had been wavering on her decision to go through with the experiment but finally decided she was onboard.
It then became time for the wedding day, and Brett said he hoped his wife was going to be beautiful, attractive and warm. And Christina insisted she wasn't even nervous because she was so sure about doing this show.
Bennett said his heart was racing and he was very nervous, but he still thought the process was going to be worth it.
The first couple to get married at first sight was Karen and Miles.
On the morning of her wedding, Karen was feeling doubts and questioning why she had signed up for this show to begin with. Karen was crying and her bridesmaids immediately noticed.
Karen then revealed, "Something happened last night. I can't stop thinking about it and it's really making me question if I want to get married or not."
When a producer asked Karen what happened, she shared, "I got this text I don't think I was supposed to get. And it said [my groom's] name, Miles, so I know who he is now."
"Do you know his last name?" the producer asked.
"Mmhmmm," Karen responded.
Karen therefore did some research and digging on Miles and found out who he is and what he does. She said her family and friends didn't know and she never expected this to happen.
"And I will tell you honestly, like, he's not really my type," Karen admitted.
But Miles was feeling hopeful and positive, expecting that he was about to meet the woman of his dreams. Miles wanted to be an amazing husband, and he seemed completely excited about getting married.
"He seems like a nice guy, but if you were my friend and said, 'Hey, check out this guy, would you be interested?' I would probably say, 'No,'" Karen told a producer.
"I'm not gonna lie to y'all. I watched all his little Instagram stories. He seems very emotional... Oh God, yeah! Just talking about feelings and feelings and feelings. I have to live with this forever, and now it's like I know, now, I don't know. I don't know."
As Karen cried in the bathroom of her hotel room, Miles anticipated he would get emotional on his wedding day but in a good way. Miles' sister told Miles that he taught her what a man can be like and what she deserves.
Karen then told the producer, "I don't know what to do now. Am I making the biggest mistake of my life here?"
The producer told Karen it was ultimately her decision and questioned, "Can you go through with this marriage?"