Jamie Otis and Doug Hehner have a very unique love story. The couple met on the reality show, “Married at First Sight.” This show is known as a “social experiment” where men and women put their trust in four specialists, sexologist, Dr. Logan Levkoff; psychologist, Dr. Joseph Cilona; sociologist, Dr. Pepper Schwartz; and spiritual advisor, Great Epstein, to find their future husband or wife.
Jamie and Doug had never met, talked, or even seen a picture of each other before getting married. Their first encounter was at the altar, on their wedding day. As Jamie walked down the aisle she had doubt in her mind. A year later and life has become a whirlwind romance. The show followed as their relationship grew through ups and downs, and their relationship is now featured on the follow up show, “Married at First Sight: The First Year.”
I recently had the chance to speak to Jamie about her experience on the show and what the future holds for her and Doug. Jamie and Dough recently re-married on their own terms and shared these beautiful wedding pictures with us!
upfrontNY: How did you each hear about the show, “Married at First Sight” and why did you each decide to apply?
Jamie: They called us asking if we would be interested in doing a show where experts advise you as you date. This show was called “the love experiment.” It wasn’t until the final casting – when they had you meet the experts and show you the original series that had been done successfully in Denmark – that they told you this wasn’t a dating show. It was a scientifically arranged marriage. And you would not know anything about your spouse until your meet at the altar.
upfrontNY: You have experience looking for love on reality T.V. on “The Bachelor”, and “Bachelor Pad”, why were you willing to take another chance on T.V. to find love?
Jamie: If anyone saw me on the Bachelor or Bachelor Pad then you’d know im pretty miserable at dating. I never planned on doing another show embarrassing myself on national TV. But MAFS is so different. I knew I needed help dating and I wanted to learn how to be a better partner. I didn’t really think I’d get a match so I figured I’d go through the motions. … Now the rest is history.
upfrontNY: What were the reactions of your family and friends when they heard you were going to marry a stranger?
Jamie: My family is a bit unusual. I don’t have parents or really any aunts/uncles or grandparents who are consistently in my life. I gained custody of my younger siblings when I was a freshman in college. I’ve never had parents – anyone really – who cared what kind of decisions I made. As far as my Friends, they thought I was crazy. Ha! But I have the most amazing friends and they supported me throughout it all.
upfrontNY: What was going through your mind the first morning after the wedding when you woke up next to someone you had just met?
Jamie: I was not at all interested in my new husband. He was nice enough but there was literally Zero chemistry. No connection. To me that was a huge sign. I just assumed it’d never work out. Boy, was i pleasantly surprised by this process. I’m SO happy that I was able to be open minded and I’m so thankful that the experts gave me my husband. If it was any other man in the world it would’ve never worked. Doug is a rare guy and I’m the luckiest girl in the world to have him! There’s no doubt about that!
upfrontNY: Have you been watching the new season of “Married at First Sight” and do you have a favorite couple?
Jamie: I have been watching! It’s fun to watch MAFS now that it isn’t my life. It’s interesting to see how others react in the same situation. Though, I suppose it will never be the same as our season bc these couples knew it was married at first sight. We had no idea until 2 weeks before we got married!
It’s hard to pick a favorite couple. Though I tend to gravitate towards Jaclyn and Ryan since their relationship reminds me of Dougs and mine. It was friendship, trust, and respect that grew first. Then it was love. I hope that happens for them!
upfrontNY: What do you want people to see and know about your relationship when tuning in to watch “Married at First Sight: The First Year” ?
Jamie: I want people to see that we are just two normal people. We took a crazy chance for love but otherwise we are just like anyone else. We have our struggles and we have our amazing moments too!
upfrontNY: Many people have fallen in love with you two as a couple. How does it feel to have people reach out and share their love and support of your relationship?
Jamie: It really is a great feeling to have such die hard fans. They begin feeling like they know us since they follow so closely. Truth is, I have started to feel like they do know me. I’ve started becoming friends with some of our supporters. Most times we can relate to each other and it’s nice to have that kind of support.
upfrontNY: Did you have any idea that Doug was going to propose? It was such a beautiful moment that was captured!
Jamie: I had NO idea he was going to propose! I was completely shocked! What ya’ll didn’t see was that we had already set a date for our vow renewal and I was a bit bummed he hadn’t proposed. I didn’t think it’d be a surprise. But, I had NO idea he was proposing when he did. I really thought it was an audition. That was one of the absolute best feelings/surprises in the world.
upfrontNY: When planning your future together, what are you both most excited about?
Jamie: I’m definitely most excited about starting a family. Doug is more excited about adventures and growing together — but I’m ready for baby Hehners! Please, Doug!!
upfrontNY: What advice can you give others who take this opportunity to find “the one” and get married to a stranger?
Jamie: You REALLY have to know exactly what you want. You also have to know your own good and bad qualities – especially when talking with the experts. They pair you based on the information you give. If you’re telling them one thing when you really want another your match isn’t going to work. Also, you MUST be open. We all have flaws and that’s the greatest thing about MAFS – there are four experts who really want to help you. Whether it is personal struggles or dating/marriage struggles they’re there for you. BUT, you have to listen to them and be open to their advice. Otherwise, again, it won’t work. This is really a great process to learn and grow, but you and your partner have to be open to it. Lastly, patience is key. You’re not always going to be on the same page, especially for the first 6 months. Be patient with your spouse. Doug was SO patient with me and I’m not sure we would be where we are today had he not been. I love him for that.