There is nothing more beautiful than seeing a glowing bride on her wedding day. But for the Married at First Sight brides, there is a mix of emotions going on behind those gorgeous smiles. On the December 8 episode, we saw all three matches meet… and get married! No matter how much preparation is involved, there is no doubt that the brides were feeling the pressure as they walked down the aisle.
Sam Role’s cute and quirky personality made for a one-of-a-kind processional and a unique celebration on her wedding day. The 30-year old bank manager, who married 31-year old compliance specialist Neil Bowlus, spoke candidly in an exclusive interview with The Knot, about the match process, the wedding day, and beyond.
“I was definitely suffering a lot of anxiety!” Role revealed when asked about her nervousness before the ceremony. “Prior to arriving at the location, I was as cool as a cucumber. When I walked in was when it truly hit me — I was getting married. I must’ve been standing in the venue for what seemed like an hour prior to walking down the aisle. All I thought was: don’t fall on your face, breathe, and get married.”
Role’s dance down the aisle with her father served as comic relief for viewers and for the bride herself. “My dad had mentioned something to me about dancing but I was just focusing on the situation at hand,” she explained. “When I finally got to walk down the aisle, I just panicked and immediately improvised that ‘dance’ with my dad! I’m glad I did, because Neil just joined in and it allowed me to see that he was already supportive.”
When the bride and groom-to-be finally met at the altar, they shook hands and exchanged high-fives, but Role’s initial impression wasn’t obvious to viewers. “I can’t really remember my impression because I was just proud of myself for making it to the altar,” she admitted.
For the bride, that first meeting may not have resulted in immediate fireworks, but Bowlus may have grown on her. “Although he may not have been ‘my type’ physically,” Role told The Knot, “I reminded myself of the big picture. My initial thought on a guy’s looks isn’t usually the one that sticks. With a friendship or any kind of relationship, I usually become more attracted to the person’s personality.”
Throughout the ceremony and reception, Role continued to crack jokes, leaving viewers wondering if that was her way of dealing with such a stressful situation. “Being a military brat was hard,” she acknowledged. “I moved from school to school and always being the ‘new kid’ wasn’t easy. I started making light of uncomfortable situations to make people laugh and ease my anxiety. It tends to come out at the worst times.”
As viewers watched, we couldn’t help but wonder how Role felt about watching herself onscreen. “Seeing myself on TV is bittersweet,” she told us. “I think at times I’m funny, but I’m also seeing things from a different and more critical lens. I’m now quite aware of my ‘quirkiness’ and nervous behaviors. I’m definitely more conscious of wearing my feelings on my face and working on that, because it can look weird!”
The awkwardness between Role and Bowlus was apparent as they posed for wedding photos. “I would’ve taken more pictures with Neil, our families, and friends,” Role told The Knot when asked what she would like to change about her wedding day. Thankfully, the photos Role shared with The Knot turned out beautifully!
When we brought up the wedding itself, Role admitted, “My wedding was beautiful, but I can definitely say it’s not how I envisioned it! I never thought, “Wow, I want to marry a stranger and share it with thousands of viewers.”‘
So, would the new bride like her husband to get down on one knee and to have a second ceremony? “I think it would be extremely romantic if my husband proposed to me,” she told us, “and who wouldn’t love a second wedding?!”
The entire Married at First Sight process has allowed Role to discover so much about herself. ” It’s a great way to get to know yourself,” she said. “You really have to think about certain things you never had to think of before. To know what you want is easy, but to verbalize it is difficult.”
We are hopeful that this bride has found her perfect match in Bowlus. When asked how she’s feeling about the future, Role admitted, “Excited!”
Don’t miss Married at First Sight, which airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. EST on FYI.