It’s hard to resist the science behind A&E’s hit reality series, Married At First Sight. Imagine putting your fate in the hands of experts with the hopes of being matched with your ideal partner based on an intricate formula. Then imagine meeting them for the very first time at the altar.
This season, newlyweds Vanessa Nelson and Tres Russell have become instant favorites, from their sweet budding romance to the way they confront issues of loss and abandonment together. Global Grind spoke exclusively with Vanessa about the intense interviewing process behind the show, her nerves before walking down the aisle, and the way it feels to find love with the whole world watching. She even shared a sweet Valentine’s wish for her husband. As if we couldn’t love her more!
Get to meet Vanessa, in her own words, below.
How intense is the Married At First Sight interview process first-hand?
Well, the process for Married At First Sight, first of all, is very intense, very detailed, and it’s really long. I think people have a perception that we kind of just get into this, and after a couple of weeks later, we’re married. But it really was like a two month process where you did psychological testing. They ask about your family, your background, your past relationships. So it’s very detailed.
Now that you’ve been matched with Tres, do you feel like you were accurate in what you wanted, or did the pairing bring out qualities that you didn’t even know you were looking for?
Tres has a lot of qualities that I want in my husband, or that I have in my husband [laughs]. And I made sure to concentrate on things that I felt were deeper than just surface level. Because of course, you want someone who’s tall, you want someone who’s handsome, but it was important for me to really be matched with someone who was giving and kind, really having good character. So I think I was pretty accurate in what I wanted, and I think the experts did an amazing job with the pool of people that they had, and feeling like we were a great match.
Putting myself in your shoes, I can’t imagine the nerves. How did it feel when you were walking down the aisle, and meeting this person that you don’t know, that you committed to marrying?
I was scared [laughs]. The whole morning I was pretty calm, because I had my bridesmaids with me, my mom was there, my sisters, so I just felt like, OK, I’m good! And then I put on the wedding dress, and I almost threw up [laughs]. But you know what, I could actually hear him talking to my side of the wedding, like my friends and stuff. I heard him introducing himself, and they were laughing with him, so I was like, well, you know, if they’re laughing and they’re having a good time, then it can’t be bad. So I just kind of put my fears to the side, and went through.
Now people know vulnerable stuff about you, and they know about your relationship because they see it on TV. How does that affect your life, like walking into the office and people are asking questions about what they’ve seen on the show?
I’m thankful for all of the people that support us, and really understand that this is a difficult process. It’s fun, and you learn a lot about yourself, but it’s stressful sometimes! Marriage is stressful on its own, but imagine doing it with someone you barely know. I think people kind of feel like they’re in this relationship with us [laughs]. You’re trying to be professional and talk about work, and then people are like, ‘I watched you last night, and it was amazing! You made me cry! It was so great!’
What’s one misconception that people are getting about you from watching the show?
I think the misconception that people get from the show is that every emotion that I have is tied to my past. Because my parents got divorced and I don’t have a relationship with my father anymore. But you know, sometimes, a girl is just annoyed [laughs]. Sometimes my husband is saying the wrong thing. And on the show it’s like, Vanessa has a headache… she’s abandoned [laughs].
Everyone is Team Vanessa and Tres, but the other couples are having trouble. What are your thoughts on the flack they’re getting?
It’s funny because sometimes when I’m out, people will recognize me, and immediately they’ll say, ‘Oh, we love you and Tres. But the other girls, not so much.’ It’s a difficult process, and everybody reacts to it differently. So, I don’t judge them for anything, because I know how it is.
What do you miss about single life?
I kind of miss being able to just go on my own speed, and do what I want, and make my own schedule, and kind of live my life. I think when you get married, it’s definitely important to consider the other person. And I do kind of miss just having my dog be free [laughs].
I know that you’re a big yoga buff. Do you work with out Tres?
Yeah, actually we do. He’s more dedicated than I am [laughs]. He plays basketball, so we actually got to do that together, and just see what we both enjoy that’s kind of active. I tried to get him to go to a spin class, but he was not up for that [laughs].
So you had Tres’ famous taco salad! Do you try to make it healthier or do you rock with it?
Well, taco salad is definitely his thing [laughs]. It’s something that he really loves. Even when I first met his aunt, she told me, he really loves chocolate cake, and he really loves taco salad. I think it’s important for him to feel like he can master something in the kitchen, and that I’m not trying to take away his shine. But he does a good job with it.
Valentine’s Day is coming up, and we don’t know how the show ends, but we’re really hoping for a happy ending. If you could leave Tres a Valentine’s wish, what would it be?
Aww, that’s sweet. Thank you for going through this crazy journey, and I’m so happy that we got a chance to meet and start a new journey. And I hope there’s many more Valentine’s Days to come.
Married At First Sight airs Tuesday nights at 9pm on A&E.