'Married at First Sight' recap: Clara and Ryan, Briana and Vincent, and Virginia and Erik marry -- Plus Chris appears shocked by Paige's looks
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 01/20/2021
Married at First Sight featured Clara and Ryan, Briana and Vincent, and Virginia and Erik getting married and having wonderful first impressions of their spouses -- but a brief clip of Chris Williams and Paige Banks' first glance at each other appears to tell a different story.
During Married at First Sight's Season 12 episode that aired on Wednesday night, three Atlanta-based couples tied the knot after being matched byMarried at First Sight experts Pastor Calvin Roberson, Dr. Pepper Schwartz and Dr. Viviana Coles.
The Married at First Sight broadcast began with Clara and Ryan's wedding, and both Clara and Ryan were blindfolded until they joined hands at the altar and could take a look at each other at the same time.
Clara wasn't used to relinquishing control, and the blindfold wasn't helping any. She said she was terrified her groom may not like her.
The best man and maid of honor removed the couple's blindfolds, and Clara immediately said, "Hi!"
"Hi!" Ryan replied.
"Okay, what's up?!" Clara said nervously. "Okay."
The pair smiled big at each other and after a few awkward moments, Clara learned Ryan's name and said, "Hi, nice to meet you!"
Ryan learned from Clara's family and friends she is an "energetic, adventurous, free-spirited woman" would always go the extra mile for those she loves. Clara's loved ones told Ryan that she would remember his favorite song, movie and food and find special ways to incorporate them.
Ryan also discovered Clara is hardworking, creative, the life of the party, a loyal friend, and someone who knows a surprising amount of facts about serial killers, which made Ryan laugh.
Ryan was told Clara might do her own thing at times but he must trust she'll stay faithful to him.
"Awesome," Ryan gushed.
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And Ryan's friends and family wanted Clara to know that Ryan is "dedicated, committed and goal-driven in whatever he endeavors."
Ryan apparently doesn't make decisions lightly and does research before drawing any conclusions based on the short and long-term fix. Clara joked, "You're my dad!"
Clara also learned Ryan "maxes out at the gym" and has the ability to command any room, especially with his boisterous laugh. Clara was told Ryan is also more sensitive than he portrays as well as loyal, selfless and family-oriented.
Ryan and Clara wrote their own vows, and Ryan said while he's never met his bride before, he felt like he's known her his entire life. He said she was there in his heart and mind when he got his first job after college, his first promotion, a cross-country move and when his grandfather passed away.
Ryan told Clara that he was ready to give her a piece of his heart and he'd always listen to her and learn from her, while hopefully challenging each other to become better people.
In turn, Clara said she's amazingly blessed to have such a support system throughout this experience and the people in her life advised her to always see and understand things from her husband's perspective and love him equally, if not more so, than her dog.
"Some kept it very real -- like I promise to call you out on your B-S because I expect you to do the same for me," Clara said, adding that a good marriage is when two imperfect people make it work.
Clara finished her vows by saying she couldn't wait to start their life together.
The couple sealed the deal with a kiss at the altar and Ryan was wondering what exactly it meant to be in love with someone else. Over a couple glasses of champagne, Clara asked Ryan to share his last name with her, which is Oubre.
"He's very handsome. He's very cute. Like, y'all did good!" Clara gushed to the cameras.
The couple discussed their birthdays and astrological signs, and Clara wanted to know the No. 1 thing Ryan asked for in a wife.
Ryan Sh.red he's a very big personality and wanted a wife who would call him out when necessary, and Clara asked for a confident man, which Clara said Ryan seemed to be "in spades."
Clara said she didn't want a man with insecurities, and Ryan admitted he's sensitive although probably not insecure.
In terms of her biggest fear out of the process, Clara said, "I'm terrified I'm going to fall in love with you and you won't love me back."
Ryan just replied, "Wow," knowing he's never said "I love you" to a woman before.
It then became time for Clara and Ryan to take their wedding photos. Clara told the cameras she could see herself falling in love with Ryan because he's "very charismatic, very charming and good looking."
Ryan said he couldn't wait to get to know Clara better and what makes her tick, and Clara insisted she was "all in" and had nothing to hide. The couple even shared a kiss while taking photos.
The second couple to wed as total strangers was Virginia and Erik.
Erik said he wanted this to work and he wanted this to be "it" and getting married at first sight was not a game to him. Erik noted he didn't want to go through another divorce and he hoped for a wife who wants the same things in life.
Erik asked for a bit of a traditional wife, and so he apparently hoped she would take his last name of Lake.
Meanwhile, Virginia asked for a shot and appeared to have a drink or two while getting ready. Virginia wore bold purple and pink eyeshadow for her wedding day, and she looked forward to having a man who's committed and loyal to her.
Virginia said she wanted a man who would go in for a kiss at the altar without hesitation.
Erik told his friends this truly was going to be his first marriage because his previous marriage was just "a document" allowing his then-wife to stay with him military-wise.
"It's a completely different scenario with this. I mean, I never even wore a ring or anything," Erik said.
"Doing this a second time, it means a great deal to me. I don't want to mess up and I don't want this to end badly. So I'm going to do whatever it takes to make this work."
Erik's parents, who have a happy marriage, advised him not to give up too early and to be patient, kind and understanding.
Virginia's father showed up on her wedding day, which made her really happy and cry tears of joy because he initially wasn't very supportive or receptive to the MAFS process.
Erik admitted he was incredibly nervous and could feel his heart pounding in his chest. He said he went into this journey with an open mind and hoped his bride-to-be would do the same.
Before walking down the aisle, Virginia was extremely emotional and panicked a little bit. She said she always took the lead in relationships and had the upperhand so she could leave the guy before he would leave her.
"I'm really not sure if I'm even ready for this," Virginia lamented.
When asked if she was ready to see her guy, Virginia exclaimed in tears, "I don't know! This is crazy. I literally feel sick right now. I literally cannot stop shaking. Seeing so many divorces growing up, I just never really envisioned my wedding day."
Virginia said she's not an emotional person at all but cried so much that day and she couldn't help it.
But Virginia finally made it down the aisle because she said she was tired of hopping from relationship to relationship.
When Virginia saw Erik for the first time, her mouth dropped and she appeared absolutely ecstatic. Virginia whispered to her dad, "This is awesome," and then Erik told Virginia that she looked "absolutely gorgeous" once they gathered at the altar.
Virginia vented about how this experience was crazy, but Erik promised they'd get through it together.
Virginia's family and friends wanted Erik to know that she comes from a huge, but not necessarily overbearing, family and animals are important to her. Erik was told Virginia would be the "happiest and most supportive" person in his life.
"She is always dancing, and no matter what you think of her moves, always tell her they're good," the officiant read. "She truly is the life of the party. There will never be a dull moment and she'll always keep you laughing."
Virginia was told Erik has a bright smile with an infectious laugh and heart. While he's not the best communicator when it comes to his feelings, Virginia learned Erik's actions will make his true sentiments clear and he's very generous.
"Whatever you need, he will make sure your request is his command," the officiant said.
Erik then recited his handwritten vows and said he appreciated her showing up and would provide her with happiness, adventure, love and laughter. He promised to give Virginia his best self and respect all of her interests, desires and needs.
Erik promised to be his true self with her at all times and said he loves being in the sky, which she'd find out later.
In her vows, Virginia vowed to be loyal, celebrate his accomplishments and support him through his failures. She promised to never forget his birthday and always keep life fun.
Virginia said she was committed to their growth, both individually and as a pair, and she'd always be his best friend, which Erik said he loved to hear.
Virginia's dog brought up the ring, and Erik pointed out he has a dog as well that she would soon meet. Virginia was optimistic their dogs would get along.
After the ceremony, which ended with Virginia grabbing Erik's face and kissing him, Virginia confessed she had cried a lot that day, but she was super happy that her groom was both cute and taller than her. She also said they had a good first kiss.
And Erik was also pleased with his match, telling the cameras, "She's absolutely gorgeous."
"She definitely would be someone I would walk up to and try to hit on or whatever, [although] I'm not a big dude like that," Erik said. "I would be interested in her. I probably would've looked three times probably."
Erik revealed he's a pilot and is also in the military so he flies in the Air Force as well. Erik told Virginia that he could take her flying soon, and she figured their lifestyles were pretty compatible given she loves to travel.
The couple discussed how their six-year age gap wasn't weird to either of them, and then Virginia said she had packed a cooler for the reception and so her bridesmaids might be a little drunk.
Virginia gushed about how she was "definitely attracted" to her husband and couldn't wait to kiss him as soon as possible.
"I've definitely never had that instant of a connection. I mean, I haven't dated in five years really, and if I tried to date in the last five years, it was too much work and I gave up, whereas this is so easy and natural," Virginia said.
Erik commented how Virginia seemed to have a bit of an aggressive side or confidence as she kissed him multiple times in their wedding photos. Erik thought she was gorgeous but he was a bit overwhelmed, and Virginia kept saying she needed a drink and more wine.
It then became time for Briana and Vincent's wedding, and the bride was optimistic she might meet the love of her life that day. Briana hoped her husband would be handsome, intelligent, driven and financially stable.
Briana said she didn't want to be disappointed and couldn't wait to see her husband for the first time and hear his voice.
Vincent was admittedly nervous and anxious given a lot of responsibility comes with a marriage. He said he was serious about wanting a partner and teammate for the rest of his life and believed in destiny.
"I want one wife and kids with the same person. That's what I'm looking for," Vincent said, adding that he wanted to become "a super dad and a super husband."
Vincent told his groomsmen that he needed a woman who would have his back and believe in him as he continues to accomplish more in life.
Briana's mom called her daughter "extra" and said she was surprised Briana was so calm, but it seemed the only thing Briana was nervous about was sharing a space with a man and him being tidy around the house.
When Vincent entered the room for the ceremony, it appeared Briana's friends and family approved of his looks. Briana's mother was also very sweet and gave him a hug.
Briana hoped to be attracted to her husband at first glance, telling the cameras, "I'm about to meet my spouse. I pray I don't regret it."
"Tall? Check. Beard? Check. Handsome? Check!" Briana giggled when she walked down the aisle.
Vincent told Briana that she looked "beautiful," and she said he looked "amazing."
Briana's family and friends wanted Vincent to know she's a dog mom who's strong, independent, giving, loving, self-assured, goofy -- and VERY bossy.
Briana was told Vincent is "a man of God" who has accomplished many goals and is a role model. Vincent allegedly handles business and loves hard.
The couple then exchanged self-written vows, and Vincent said they were meant to be together and his prayers had been answered. Vincent promised to listen and protect Briana both physically and emotionally, adding that he'd always respect her.
Briana guaranteed Vincent their journey would be filled with laughter, joy and adventure. She warned Vincent she might talk his ear off but that she'd always choose him and take their marriage very seriously.
Briana and Vincent shared a kiss at the end of the ceremony and then got a moment alone over a couple glasses of champagne to chat.
"She's definitely my type, like, petite, beautiful, really nice face and really nice features. I definitely feel super attracted to her, and I'm hopeful we'll both like each other," Vincent gushed in a confessional.
And Briana said Vincent was "handsome" and "everything [she had] envisioned," including his nice eyes, beard and bald head. Briana learned Vincent's last name is Morales and he moved to the United States from the Dominican Republic in 2011.
Vincent explained to Briana that while he seemed reserved, he would warm up to her and even teach her some dance moves.
The way Vincent held Briana's hand heading into the reception made her feel very comfortable and secure, and she said she loved that. And during their wedding photos, Vincent said he didn't feel like they were strangers at all and their connection was organic and natural.
"Kissing him makes me feel a sense of joy, and I'm elated to build a future with him," Briana noted.
The three couples who were shown tying the knot then enjoyed their first dance as man and wife.
Clara said her dance with Ryan didn't feel awkward although it was like "a weird dream" she was having. Clara definitely felt butterflies in her stomach and she said, "I think Ryan could be the man I dance with for the rest of my life."
And Vincent said he felt a strong connection with Briana already, like they had known each other for years.
As for Erik and Virginia, they shared a few sweet kisses on the dance floor, and Erik told the cameras being close to his wife just felt "normal" and he was so excited about that.
"She's beautiful. Her smile is contagious to me and her lips are just awesome, they're nice and soft," Erik shared.
During the reception, Vincent discovered Briana doesn't eat chicken -- which he loves -- and is a pescatarian, and Vincent explained to Briana how he owns his own business as a car broker essentially. Briana seemed impressed, as she wanted a financially-secure man.
Virginia shared with Erik that she loves sporting events, festivals and concerts and tended to go out a lot. Erik said he didn't go to clubs and bars often.
"From what I've gathered, she might go out a lot more than I do, so that's out of my comfort zone," Erik said.
Erik also told Virginia that his family is a traditional southern family, and then Virginia shared how her sister Gennifer is gay with two boys who were artificially inseminated.
Erik assured Virginia that he's not the type of man to judge others for their decisions or ways of life, and Virginia seemed relieved that Erik would be accepting of her family.
Meanwhile, Clara was shown talking up a storm about how she didn't like how she looked on her wedding day, and it seemed Ryan was a bit overwhelmed.
After eating dinner, the brides and grooms' loved ones gave speeches and toasts.
Clara's father joked about how he was thankful he didn't have to pay for his daughter's wedding and Clara has always had "the gift of gab" and is "an extreme extrovert."
Vincent's cousin Greg shared how Vincent lives his life based on "faith, family and focus," and Briana's friend Kyerra bragged about how Briana is beautiful both on the inside and outside.
Virginia's maid of honor Anna shared how Erik needed to be patient with Virginia, who takes time to open up but loves hard, and never allow her to sit in the back seat after a night of drinking because she'll get carsick.
One of Erik's groomsmen said Erik is a passionate and caring man who would give everything he has to the marriage and Virginia was gaining a caring and giving father-in-law -- and a mother-in-law Virginia would learn more about later.
The episode then shifted gears, to Paige and Chris getting ready for their wedding.
Chris' biggest hope for the day was that his wife was going to "look good," and if she did, he said there could very well be a "honeymoon baby."
"The moment I put my tux on, it just made me feel absolutely ready. I am absolutely here and this is not a dream. It makes me feel confident and it makes me feel fly and it makes me feel swagged out," Chris said.
Chris bought Paige an infinity-shaped necklace, which she said was "spooky" because she actually has a tattoo of that symbol on her body.
"This wasn't just for a social experiment. This was two people that were created by God to come together, and I am just so excited to meet him finally," Paige gushed.
Chris then recorded a Diary Cam, saying he looked forward to seeing his wife's smile light up the whole room.
"I promise you that I am going to protect your heart. I promise that I'm going to take care of you, I promise that I'm going to care for you and I promise that I'm going to be your best friend. I promise that I'm going to give you a lot of kids," Chris said.
Prior to walking down the aisle, Chris and Paige both prayed to God, and Chris thanked Him for the wife he was about to meet and the children his wife would eventually give him.
When Chris entered the ceremony, he hugged Paige's mother and told her that she looked beautiful.
And Chris' father was shown saying, "I'm ready to see my daughter-in-law. If she's pretty... it's going to be a wrap. If she's ugly...."
Chris father just laughed, suggesting an "ugly" bride would be game-over for Chris.
Chris then watched Paige's bridesmaids walk down the aisle, and Paige told a producer The Holy Spirit was talking to her and said they shouldn't be waiting any longer for the wedding.
"Looks is very, very important to me. Best case scenario is I see her and she is beautiful. If she walks down the aisle and I'm not immediately attracted to her, I don't know what I'm going to do, to be honest with you. I have no clue," Chris admitted in a confessional.
Paige then approached the aisle looking beautiful, and she was escorted by two men.
Once Chris caught eyes with his bride from yards away, he whispered to himself, "Oh sh-t," and then took a huge deep breath.
While it's unclear what Chris was feeling from the teaser in that moment, he unfortunately seemed a little shocked and disappointed.