'Married at First Sight' recap: Clare and Cameron have "awkward" wedding night, Becca reveals health crisis to Austin, and honeymoons start!
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 11/09/2023
Married at First Sight featured Clare and Cameron having an "awkward" first night together and Cameron receiving mixed signals, Becca unveiling her serious medical issues to Austin, and the four couples kicking off their honeymoon in Mexico during the Season 17 episode that aired Wednesday night on Lifetime.
Married at First Sight's seventeenth season was filmed in Denver, CO, and stars Emily and Brennan, Orion and Lauren, Clare and Cameron, and Austin and Becca.
Michael had unfortunately been jilted at the altar by his match.
The MAFS season will feature strangers meeting at the wedding altar and then spending about two months embarking on a honeymoon, moving in together, and navigating the joys and struggles of daily life together.
And at the end of the experiment, Married at First Sight's Season 17 couples will reach "Decision Day" and have to decide whether to remain married or decide to end their marriages and divorce.
The couples were matched by Married at First Sight experts Pastor Calvin Roberson, Dr. Pepper Schwartz, and Dr. Pia Holec.
The Married at First Sight broadcast began on the wedding night, with Clare and Cameron saying they had an amazing night. Emily also said she and Brennan couldn't have expected a better night.
All of the couples appeared to be happy and excited about the future, including Becca and Austin, who were already two giggling peas in a pod.
"It feels surprisingly easy and super natural," Austin gushed in a confessional. "She just brings a lot of good vibes and energy, and it's been a long time since I've felt that way about another person."
Austin, Orion, Cameron and Brennan helped their new wives out of their wedding gowns, and Lauren showed Orion how wearing a satin bonnet to bed would keep his hair smooth and fresh.
Orion said he didn't want to jump right into having sex so it wouldn't cloud anything, but he admitted it was going to be hard to show restraint since his wife is beautiful.
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Becca and Austin cuddled in bed before falling asleep, but there appeared to be a little awkwardness or tension between Clare and Cameron.
"I feel like I'm a pretty good read of sexual energy, and Clare is not exhibiting any right now," Cameron lamented to the cameras.
Clare explained how she had been alone for so long that she didn't even know what it was going to be like to sleep next to a man. Clare shared how she was excited to just snuggle with Cameron and get to know him better that evening.
"I don't know if he's fully attracted to me at this point because he has not said that," Clare noted. "So for me, it's like, I don't want to make a move or cuddle if you're not there. It's confusing."
Cameron didn't even want to talk to his wife before going to bed, which appeared to rub her the wrong way.
Meanwhile, Emily and Brennan wrapped their arms around each other in bed and started kissing. Based on what Emily had told her bridesmaids at the wedding, she was open to consummating her marriage on the first night.
On Day 1 of marriage, Orion and Lauren joked about being "bonnet buddies," and Austin gushed about how he had an incredible first night with his nerdy wife. Becca also felt like Austin wasn't even a stranger anymore.
"I'm weird and so it works!" Austin joked.
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Clare admitted her night with Cameron was a little awkward and they didn't cuddle at all, but she was optimistic about how that could change in time because there were "sparks" present that just needed to develop.
That morning, Cameron shared a family story with Clare and explained how his loved ones never typically expressed their love or affection for each other.
"I may walk around all day thinking about how much I love you and I just haven't said it," Cameron warned Clare. "But the moment I see you, I jump all over you. I am very physical with my affection, like kissing and cuddling."
Clare confessed that may be a problem for them because she's big on communication and expressing oneself. Clare said she loves to have deeper conversations as an empath, and so she asked Cameron to at least be open to saying how he felt more often.
Cameron promised to work on that every day and make Clare feel loved.
Emily then confirmed that she and Brennan did not have sex on their wedding night. Emily got the impression that Brennan wanted to take things slower, and she said she needed that because she had the tendency to rush into things and jump the gun.
Emily told Brennan that she loved blasting music in the morning and keeping windows open in the winter, but she pointed out how she'd be willing to compromise in those areas. The pair then exchanged phone numbers, with Brennan putting his name down as "hubby."
When Becca and Austin were alert and awake, Becca shared with her new husband how she had an exploratory surgery that turned into a diagnosis of endometriosis, which turned into a much more extensive surgery than initially planned.
"I was in pretty rough shape internally, and so they went in and did some nice housekeeping, which caused a lot of pain. I'm feeling better now, but it does impact -- like I can't go cliff jumping on our honeymoon, even though I would normally," Becca explained.
"I also have an autoimmune disorder... where my immune system attacks my spine. It thinks something is wrong with my spine, but I have an injection I take for that, that basically tells my immune system to 'chill the f-ck out.'"
Becca admitted she's always in pain but because she's suffered for so long, the pain just felt normal to her at this point.
Austin appreciated Becca for being so open about her health crisis early on, and Becca noted how she didn't want to be a burden in her loved ones' lives.
Lauren then revealed how she and Orion wanted to build emotional intimacy and trust before having sex. They were apparently on the same page about waiting.
Lauren shared with Orion how she sometimes struggled to talk about her feelings, especially when she's tired or working hard, and Orion just asked Lauren to let him know when she would be open to talk or needed space.
When the spouses had brunch with their new in-laws, Brennan told Emily's family that he loved her energy and it would complement him well because he tends to be very calm and low energy. And Emily shared with his loved ones how she wanted to be a great wife but also focus on her career as well.
Emily was warned that Brennan could be stubborn, abrupt and a little temperamental -- and that he tended to get annoyed when things didn't go his way.
Brennan's mother Irin explained to the cameras of the couple, "They're both so independent and so driven, it seems like they're both perfectionists in their own way. And perfectionist is a wonderful quality for work, but those intense perfectionist qualities at home, between two extremely stubborn individuals, is a definite concern of mine."
Brennan also expected there to be challenges with Emily because she had never been in a serious, long-term relationship before. Brennan's brother Ritchie was especially worried about Emily's lack of dating history, but he noted that she seemed ready to settle down.
"Divorce is not an option in my mind. This has to work," Brennan told Emily's family. "So you're stuck with me."
Becca's friends told Austin that his wife would inspire him to find a job that he loves and would also plan things out for him.
Becca's friend, however, warned Austin that Becca would put on a good face and act fine, physically, when she may not be because she saw the light in everything. Becca apparently recovered from surgery by herself during the holidays, by choice.
Austin passed Becca's friends' test with "flying colors," and they were hopeful Austin was going to be Becca's "person."
Over at Becca's brunch with Austin's family, Becca joked about how she felt like she had married herself because they're so similar.
"Reality is going to slap you in the face, girlfriend... That is marriage," Austin's mother said.
Becca could tell that Austin's mother was protective of her son, and so she explained how Austin giving his heart to her would be the greatest gift ever. Austin's mom started to cry and announced how she was going to trust Becca with her beloved son's heart -- and that was clearly a big deal.
Meanwhile, Clare told Cameron's family that she saw potential in their relationship, and Cameron confirmed to Clare's loved ones that he was definitely attracted to his wife but needed more time to figure out what he liked and admired about her.
Cameron said he had been in five serious relationships, each of which lasted for about a year with some decompression in between.
Cameron's friends told Clare that Cameron has a lot of emotional intelligence, even though he can come off confident and a tad cocky at times. But they couldn't tell Clare whether Cameron is a romantic person.
Cameron admitted their different love languages could become a problem because he expresses himself physically while Clare expresses herself verbally. Cameron feared they were going to do a little "dance" when trying to figure out how to interact with each other romantically.
Clare's family asked Cameron to be communicative because Clare really needs that in a partner.
Orion shared with Lauren's family how his father had left him when he was young and he'd put himself in the line of fire to protect his wife. Orion also said he felt "empowered" to be married to a strong, independent, Black woman.
Lauren said her age difference from Orion wasn't a huge concern but she wanted to make sure he was working towards a goal while living at home with his mother.
Orion insisted he was focused on his career and had a steady paycheck coming in, and Orion's sister let Lauren know that Orion isn't a big hugger or PDA guy.
Following brunch, each couple reunited and exchanged notes. The couples then learned -- by looking through a fun basket of items full of T-shirts, hats and more -- that they'd be traveling to Cancun, Mexico for their honeymoon.
When Austin went into the bathroom to change, Becca walked in and asked if she could see him naked.
The couples met each other before getting on the plane, and Cameron declared how Clare was going to have to get used to his sense of humor and sarcasm. Clare, however, noted how she liked it already.
Michael was also present for the gathering, and the cast couldn't believe his wife had left him at the altar. Everyone came to the conclusion that Michael's bride wasn't ready for marriage.
"I don't need [to hear from me]. I'm not entitled to an apology. You don't need to apologize to me for making a decision that you feel is best for you," Michael explained to the group.
"I just wish she was open-minded and gave you a chance," Emily said.
Michael said it felt bad to not have been given a shot, but Cameron praised Michael for how he was handling things. The group agreed that Michael was someone whom they all wanted in their corner.
The cast invited Michael to their honeymoon, and he said that meant a lot and was very flattering. Michael felt "a lot of love" from the group, but he concluded that he wasn't going to travel to Mexico with them.
Later on, everyone arrived in Mexico and they were all smiles and enjoyed a welcome cocktail.
But Clare complained to Cameron how he allegedly didn't help her at all with her luggage at the airport.
"I'm sorry, are you not able?" Cameron asked.
"I'm very capable, but I'm just saying it's a kind gesture to help -- and you definitely were not helping me," Clare said.
"You weren't helping me with my bag!" Cameron clapped back. "I'm just saying."
Clare went on to note, "I think it's common knowledge that you help a woman with their bags."
"I've been told it's rude to assume a woman can't do things," Cameron explained.
"It would've been nice to have assistance with that large back," Clare responded.
Clare wished that Cameron would've asked her if she needed help and been a bit more thoughtful. While she is independent, she wanted her husband to ask what she wanted and needed.
Clare also told Cameron that he was running away from her in the airport.
When asked if she could've done anything better in his perspective, Cameron replied, "No, I think you're amazing."
Clare said that sounded sarcastic, and so she asked again if she had done anything that Cameron found annoying.
Cameron asked Clare how they could get past the point of not wanting to touch each other, and Clare said they could do activities and have new experiences together. Clare promised she'd work hard in that area so moving in together would feel more comfortable.
Cameron didn't think Clare was open to more physical touch, and so when Clare said she wanted physical intimacy, he felt confused.
"I'm certainly not going to advance on someone who doesn't seem to know what they want," Cameron told the cameras.