MAFS’ Shona Manderson: ‘I was on the show and here’s what you don’t know’

Married At First Sight UK star Shona Manderson has revealed some behind-the-scenes secrets from the show that fans probably didn't know.

The 31 year old was one of the stars of this year's series, where she was coupled up with Brad Skelly – before they were dramatically axed from the show amid his "controlling and coercive" behaviour towards her.

In an exclusive chat with OK!, Shona discussed moving on from Brad and the show, and she shared some surprising secrets from its format, including the input cast members have on their wedding days, as well as who pays for their outfits and whether or not they get paid to take part.

Here's the secrets you might not have known about Married At First Sight, as revealed by Shona…

The wedding dress budget isn't a lot

The brides get given a budget of £1200 for their wedding dress – but that also covers accessories and bridesmaid's outfits.

So when you've got to buy your wedding dress, bridesmaid dresses, shoes, jewellery and whatever else, it's not really a lot of money.

My friends, who are all engaged, took me wedding dress shopping in Nottingham, but I had to make up a story because I couldn't reveal that I was going on Married At First Sight, so I told this elaborate tale about how I was set to marry a Sheikh, and all my friends were looking at me like "what is she doing?".

I got some money off my wedding dress, because although I couldn't tell the bridal boutique I was going on MAFS, I said to them: "You won't regret it."

You get input on the wedding day

You do get some input on your wedding day, as you're allowed to air some ideas.

My family is Scottish so I wanted some influences from that on my wedding day, and a big thing for me was having my French Bulldog, Winston, there on my big day.

I asked for a traditional Scottish cèilidh band, but there wasn't the budget for it, so I asked my dad if he could lead a cèilidh dance, which was really nice.

Myself and Brad were also able to put in an option for our first dance and you get to pick things like your colour scheme and whether you want candles or fairy lights for your wedding and it's really fun doing that.

There's no hair and makeup

You have to do your own hair and makeup on MAFS. Prior to doing the show, I thought I would get a makeup artist, but when I realised I would have to do my own hair and makeup, I was like "oh great" because I'm not very good at it.

We have to buy our own outfits

The cast also have to buy their own outfits for dinner parties – there's no stylist and you have to pay for your clothes out of your own pocket.

Each week we all go on shopping sites and find our outfits, but we have to check with each other to make sure no one turns up wearing the same thing.

We don't get paid for the show

There's no payment for being on MAFS, but for example for me, I'm self-employed, so I received loss of earnings and food expenses, but out of that, I had to buy all of my own outfits for filming.

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