All three brides of FYI’s Arranged have more than one thing in common: They’re picking and choosing their battles.
On the Tuesday, May 31, episode, Maneka and Vicki continue to bite their tongues — but Taylor is no longer holding back. Here, The Knot highlights each couple’s progress as the season continues.
Mayur and Maneka: After keeping Mayur waiting — the anxiety was real — Maneka shows up to their “Sangeet,” a big party held days before their wedding. She’s decked out in gorgeous, traditional Indian attire, which makes Mayur happy, along with her choreographed Indian dance.
Maneka explains that dancing is a “huge part” of their culture as it’s a form of personal expression. However, she’s disappointed when her future husband doesn’t perform dance for her at the Sangeet. “I’m going to put myself out there and risk everything,” she tells viewers. Despite her ongoing doubts, the bride-to-be has decided to go through with her Arranged marriage.
Then, there’s family approval.
“In the Indian culture, you don’t just marry the girl. You marry the family,” Mayur shares with Arranged viewers. The groom has experienced some difficulty adjusting to his future bride’s family as they’re more traditional. He describes himself as “Westernized.”
Later, Mayur refuses when Maneka asks him to practice their first dance in the privacy of his home. Although Maneka has always envisioned her first dance as a bride, Mayur prefers to skip it altogether.
“I’d rather just eliminate that from the itinerary,” he tells viewers. In an effort to keep her happy, he tells Maneka they can practice closer to their big day.
On the morning of the wedding, Maneka has her hair and makeup done and she incorporates some Indian traditions. She dons layers of bangles on each of her arms symbolizing her status as a new bride. In India, newly-married women wear their bangles for a full year, but Maneka is aiming for a month.
Their wedding day finally arrives, and Maneka meets her groom at the altar. The bride’s parents give her away by placing her hands in the hands of Mayur, who later tells viewers that he’s glad they went the traditional route. (He initially wanted to marry in Las Vegas!) Mayur places a necklace, a mangalsutra, around his Arranged bride’s neck. In the Hindu culture, a mangalsutra is presented instead of a wedding ring.
After the ceremony, Maneka changes into her reception outfit. She asks Mayur to practice their first dance together, but he’s visibly less-than-enthused. After the Arranged couple makes their entrance as husband and wife, Maneka wants to dance — but her new husband sits in a chair on the dance floor, leaving her to dance alone.
“My heart sunk,” Maneka admits to viewers. Later, Mayur explains that he felt “forced into it,” but Maneka sees the letdown as a “reality check.”
“He’s an Americanized guy,” the new bride shares. “He’s a different person than me. [I] have to just let it go. It is the beginning of our marriage, so there’s always ups and downs… You have to pick and choose your battles.”
Mayur tells viewers that he got what he wanted: A “beautiful, smart, successful wife.”
Ben and Vicki: It’s a Jewish custom that brides and grooms-to-be don’t see or speak to one another a week before their wedding. Vicki is leaving New York to stay with her mom in Seattle, and she’s already missing Ben.
Vicki’s mom, Susan, tells Arranged viewers that Vicki went to Israel for a year after graduating from high school. When she returned, Vicki became “more observant” of Jewish customs, including “dietary laws, keeping the Sabbath, the high holidays,” etc. Susan is much more relaxed in her views despite being part of the Jewish community.
“I think Ben and Victoria are too young,” Susan admits about the upcoming marriage. “They both have a lot of growing up to do, and they don’t know how to be married.” She doesn’t want to lose her daughter, but “you just have to put it aside and keep your mouth shut,” she shares with Arranged producers.
Ben is having an ultra-tame bachelor party including Kosher food. “It’d be considered pretty lame in comparison to the standard set forth by American society,” he laughs. He doesn’t understand “going to a strip club before getting married. Isn’t that the exact opposite frame of mind that you should be in?” he ponders. His friend Zach offers to give Ben a sex talk, but he doesn’t hesitate to decline.
Vicki is stressed out with last minute details, and Susan is concerned. She divorced Vicki’s dad when Vicki was six, but both of them are walking their daughter down the aisle.
Although Ben and Vicki’s families attend the rehearsal, Vicki is not allowed to go. Ben is concerned about making a “good impression” on his future wife’s family. But he’s speechless when Vicki’s family asks questions that he simply doesn’t know how to answer. They ask about babies and other plans for the future, leaving Ben obviously uncomfortable.
Susan meets with Vicki’s aunt to talk about Susan’s concerns. She’s worried about her daughter covering her hair in public for the rest of her life. She feels like she’s losing her child.
Later, Susan and Vicki have a sweet mother-daughter moment. Susan tries on one of Vicki’s wigs, and she explains that she hopes her daughter’s marriage works and they’re together for life.
David and Taylor: After their latest heated argument, David picks Taylor up from her parents’ home. “Now that Taylor’s my wife, she needs to support me,” he tells viewers, but Taylor’s still angry with him.
“He needs to understand that I’m definitely the alpha. I’m the wife, and I’m gonna win,” Taylor explains. David apologizes for saying he doesn’t want to be married to her, but he wants Taylor to talk to his mother.
Taylor goes out with her friend Courtney to unwind and ride a mechanical bull. “It’s really, really nice to just let loose,” Taylor says as they enjoy their girls’ night out.
Taylor tells Courtney that she applied to be a flight attendant, but she hasn’t told David yet. She doesn’t think her husband will be happy about the opportunity, but Taylor is excited about the job. Courtney encourages Taylor to talk things out with her mother-in-law Melba, but Taylor is not convinced.
While Taylor and Courtney are drinking and dishing, David visits his mom. He tells her that the hostility between the two women he loves is “eating him up” inside. Melba thinks her son is too nice, but she agrees to contact Taylor. She’s expecting an apology from her daughter-in-law, but Taylor doesn’t have “I’m sorry” in mind.
After yet another argument with David, Taylor drives to Melba’s for lunch. Melba acts excited to see her son’s wife, hugging her as she walks in the door. “This was not on top of my priority list,” Taylor says as she sits down to her salad. She refuses to apologize to Melba, who tells Taylor she’s “not completely honest.” Taylor is shocked at her mother-in-law’s words. Neither of the women is backing down.
Sneak Peek: On the next episode of Arranged, it’s Ben and Vicki’s wedding day. Mayur isn’t ready for babies, but Maneka’s period is late. Taylor gets a job offer, but David isn’t happy for his wife. Will these couples begin to see eye-to-eye, or will the first year of their Arranged marriages prove to be the most turbulent year of their lives?