Married At First Sight

Is Married At First Sight legal in Australia? Why the Marriage Act makes things complicated

They say "I do" on their very first view, but how legit are these TV weddings?

By Bella Brennan
When we're not worrying about how much partner swapping is going to happen on this year's series of Married At First Sight, or just how many of the couples in the latest season will actually defy the 0% success rate and make their romance go the distance, there's another burning question we have about Married At First Sight.
And that's if Married At First Sight is legal in Australia?
The bride and grooms' big day has all the trimmings of a real wedding - the frou-frou dress, a celebrant (who may or may not be an actor), the bridal parties, the father walking the bride down the aisle, the cringe-worthy best man speeches, the drunken tears... but are they legally binding?
Ultimately, it's all for the cameras and the Married At First Sight weddings are not real, rather a commitment ceremony and a promise to ride out the social experiment with honesty and effort.
"They are not," a Nine spokesperson confirms to Now to Love.
When the first season of Married At First Sight aired in 2015, the social experiment drew criticism for being "morally unsound" and an insult to the same-sex marriage campaign.
A petition to have the show axed garnered 15, 000 signatures.
WATCH: Remember MAFS star Melissa Walsh? She's engaged! Post continues...
Luckily Troy and Ashley's marriage didn't last, so there was no need for any real divorce paperwork. (Image: Nine Network)
At the time, a network rep explained exactly how the weddings worked and revealed: "In order to comply with the Australian Marriage Act (1961) which requires one month and one day notification, a marriage in law was not conducted."
"Each participant embarked on a commitment ceremony with a wedding celebrant with all due intention to commit fully to this union for the duration of the experiment."
"At the end of the experiment, they are given the option to continue with the relationship or go their separate ways."
In the Aussie series, Zoe Hendrix and Alex Garner from season one of Married At First Sight were the last-standing poster couple of the show and before their sad split, they were even thinking about a real wedding.

"It's weird, we feel like we are really married anyway," Zoe, who shares daughter Harper with her ex-partner Alex, revealed to the Daily Telegraph before they parted ways in April this year.
"We will probably have a wedding down the track, but it's like we are already married."
Well there you have it. Now, start taking bets on how many 2019 couples will actually survive the MAFS curse.
The made-for-TV weddings are considered more of a commitment ceremony. (Image: Nine Network)