Fans of Married at First Sight anxiously awaited the season 3 premiere, which aired December 1. We fell fast for the six singles who underwent extensive testing to be matched with complete strangers. Although viewers did get a front row seat to the wedding of Tres Russell and Vanessa Nelson, we are anxiously counting down the days for each of the three matches to say “I do.”
Ahead of the December 8 episode, The Knot caught up with new bride, Ashley Doherty, a 30-year old nursing student, who was matched with David Norton, 29, a software account executive, on the FYI show. Doherty generously shared her wedding day photos, along with details of the Married at First Sight process, in an exclusive interview with The Knot.
“When I first saw my match I thought, ‘Oooo, he’s really tall!'” Doherty shared of her first reaction to meeting Norton. “I thought my husband looked handsome on our wedding day but he had a different look than what I am typically attracted to. However, I realized that we were matched for a reason and, of course, there’s a lot more to a person than looks.”
In addition to meeting her husband for the first time, Doherty also met his friends and family at their wedding. “I looked out at the crowd and thought, ‘Wow, that’s a lot of strangers and they’re all looking at me!'” the bride recalled. “I had put so much thought into what it would be like to meet the stranger I would be marrying that it wasn’t until that moment I realized that he would come with a whole group of new people for me to meet that day as well.”
Doherty and Norton only had 15 days to plan their wedding after finding out they had been matched, but they managed to pull it off. “I thought my wedding was beautiful,” Doherty said. “I loved everything about it; my dress, colors, flowers, etc. My favorite part was the live violins as it was something I always pictured having.”
The wedding planning process, however, was admittedly stressful. “Leading up to my wedding, I wish I’d had a little more down time,” Doherty told The Knot. “But there was so much to get done between the wedding and school, I hardly had time to take it all in. I was literally so busy until the day I got married, I was still doing homework the morning of!”
As part of their wedding planning process, Doherty and Norton chose each other’s wedding bands without knowing anything about each other’s tastes. So, how did Norton do?
“I think my husband did a great job picking out my ring,” Doherty said. “I love it and I would definitely give him a 10!”
Doherty herself did just as good of a job in choosing her wedding dress, but shopping for her perfect gown in such a short amount of time was more difficult than she expected.
“Finding a wedding dress was a lot harder and more stressful than I had anticipated. I’d never looked at wedding dresses for myself before and really had no clue where to begin,” the bride explained. “I also realized that just because something looks great in a magazine or on the rack does not mean it will necessarily be right for me! I’m pretty short and the styles I initially liked were better suited for someone who is taller.”
“However, I was very happy with the dress I chose and felt beautiful on my wedding day,” she added. “I ended up choosing the dress that made me feel the best in it. I wanted my future husband to see a woman with confidence walking down the aisle!”
Through the match process and getting married at first sight, Doherty has learned a lot about herself. “The assessments were SO detailed. It was also very self-reflective,” she explained of working with the experts to get matched to Norton. “You’re asked about both your strengths as well as your weaknesses. So the process requires self-reflection, which isn’t always easy, but it definitely prepares you for what comes next if you are matched.”
After watching the premiere episode, Doherty also said she wouldn’t want to cut any scene. “Going through this process, it was very important to me to remain true to who I am to both myself and my future spouse,” she explained to The Knot. “I couldn’t have done this if I wasn’t my authentic self at all times – that was my approach. Getting married at first sight is such an intense process; there are so many highs and lows, mistakes, setbacks etc. But, in my opinion, that’s what makes it real and relatable.”
Be sure to tune into Married at First Sight, which airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. EST on FYI.