The first year of marriage is said to be the most difficult, and the soon-to-be brides and grooms of Newlyweds: The First Year are already being tested. On the season 3 premiere, we meet four engaged couples who are putting the finishing touches on their weddings. With 50 percent of marriages ending in divorce, the question is: Who will beat the odds?
Rob & Tara Radcliffe: With just one week until their Malibu wedding, these two real estate agents are trying to win over the heart of the bride-to-be’s mother while giving her no say in the planning process. Although there is a 20-year age difference between them, they are completely smitten with one another. “I’ve fallen deeply in love with what I call my Persian princess,” the future groom tells viewers. Tara has never dated outside her Middle Eastern culture, but now she’s ready to settle down with her “surfer boy.”
Rob has been married twice before, and he has three children. After meeting his dream girl through his work, they went on a trip to Las Vegas and realized they were in love. After having sex on their vacation, Tara told Rob she was married. She knew she needed to end her marriage so she could be with Rob, stating “this is the man that I’m gonna spend my life with.”
Because her soon-to-be groom is paying for the wedding, Tara was forced to “cut her parents out of this process.” After she left her first husband for Rob, her parents weren’t supportive. Tara’s mom goes with her to her wedding dress fitting, and the mother-of-the-bride appears to be less than enthused. The future bride decides she wants to show more cleavage, admitting “I got these girls done for a reason; why aren’t I showing it off?”
Rob is proud to be 24-years sober after being a “hope-to-die dope fiend” in his late teens and twenties. He doesn’t have a relationship with his mom, and his father has passed away. Tara’s mother is disappointed that there will be burlesque dancers at her daughter’s wedding. The bride-to-be invites her three sisters to the wedding, but only one agrees to come.
While Tara is having her hair and makeup done on the day of the wedding, she tells her bridesmaids that she started her period and her husband will be disappointed. Her future groom calls to thank her for the wedding gift she got him… a nude calendar filled with photos of the bride-to-be. She tells viewers she likes “some kinkiness,” which she couldn’t explore with her first husband.
Tara’s mom tells her she’s happy for her and that she loves her before the wedding, but she is visibly appalled when the burlesque dancing begins at the reception, and the other guests are equally unimpressed. While Rob is receiving a lap dance, he is obviously uncomfortable. Tara wishes she could have a do-over, but the embarrassing dance is followed up by Persian music, and the families all dance together.
Despite a few snafus, the bride is thrilled with her wedding day experience. “I just wanna hold onto this moment and never let go,” she says. We sense plenty of drama on the horizon!
Adonis & Erica Gladney: After meeting at a nightclub during Erica’s junior year in college, this Arizona couple fell in love. Erica wanted a man who was “on the same path as me or above,” so she was impressed that Adonis was a millionaire.
It was “lust at first sight” for Adonis, who said he knew he wanted to be with Erica when he didn’t want to kick her out after they had sex. He served 13 months in prison for reselling company software, and Erica was the only person who visited him behind bars.
After three years together, the couple got engaged. His dad is polyamorous, which has caused problems between Adonis and Erica. The bride-to-be feels her future father-in-law “doesn’t respect women,” and she may have reason to worry that her soon-to-be husband may have a wandering eye. Adonis admits that he’s a lady’s man and that he’s lied to his fiance about his past.
In an attempt to begin their marriage with a clean slate, Adonis discloses all of his “secrets of the past.” He tells Erica that he once went to strip clubs and paid for prostitutes, and the bride-to-be storms off crying. Adonis has been sleeping on the couch since the upsetting conversation, and says he “can’t see my life without her.” Will this couple make it to the altar? We’ll find out soon enough!
Brandon Liberati & Craig Ramsay: After meeting at a gym, this couple fell in love. Brandon works as a celebrity hairstylist, and Craig is a former Broadway performer turned fitness expert. Craig is glad that he “can bring [Brandon] security that he has never had.” Although Brandon has been through a lot, he acknowledges that “the relationship has already started to heal the wounds.” He’s optimistic about the future, stating “I know the marriage is going to heal me even more.”
Brandon is feeling frazzled about the wedding, but Craig isn’t stressed at all. “We’re having our wedding in Palm Springs,” he tells viewers, “like a proper gay couple.” The parents of both grooms-to-be fly in to visit before the wedding, and the couple acknowledges that they chose Mother’s Day for their wedding because they are “mama’s boys.” Their mothers are both happy when their sons ask them to walk them down the aisle.
During their emotional wedding ceremony, Craig recites beautiful vows to his love. “I promise to hold you up during difficult times,” he says. “I offer you my heart, my life, and my love.” Brandon says, “I feel lucky. This is beyond my expectations.”
After they cut their rainbow cake, the grooms have their first dance. They appear to be perfectly content together. Will these gents transition easily into married life? We’re hopeful that the odds are in their favor!
Rob & Rochelle Brann: This New Jersey couple met seven years ago at a fraternity party in Florida. For Rob, it was love at first sight, but he was afraid to ask Ro out for fear she would laugh at him. Ro is a former NFL cheerleader and works in corporate fashion. Rob is a lawyer and dreams of being a music producer. “It’s not a thought of if we’re gonna get there, it’s just a matter of when,” he says about his dream.
Ro never believed in marriage, and after her parents separated, she had a wall up. Rob has proven he’s not going anywhere, and that wall is starting to come down. The bride-to-be hasn’t spoken to her father in ten years, and she didn’t invite him to the wedding. She’s “feeling extremely stressed” during the final wedding preparations.
At the rehearsal dinner, Rob’s dad gives a heartfelt speech welcoming his soon-to-be daughter-in-law to the family. Rob says he has “the world’s greatest father,” but Ro begins to worry that she’ll regret not inviting her own dad to her wedding. In the end, she decides that now is not the time to attempt to make amends. She worries her father will agree to come to the wedding but not show up on the wedding day.
The couple chooses to get married on Friday the 13th. They have no backup plan for their outdoor wedding, and the day brings torrential storms. Thankfully, the bad weather is short-lived, and the wedding goes on. Ro’s mom and stepfather walk her down the aisle to her anxious husband-to-be.
Rob is in awe of his bride, saying “I couldn’t imagine myself being with anyone else in the world.” After the wedding, he picks up his wife, telling her “let’s go make a baby,” and the new bride is impressed that the honeymoon suite has rose petals on the bed.
Will the new bride make amends with her father and begin her happily ever after with Rob? Only time will tell, but we’re hoping for the best!
Sneak Peek: On the next episode of Newlyweds: The First Year, Brandon and Craig go on a honeymoon camping adventure. Will the honeymoon be over before it begins? We can hardly wait to find out!