Is MAFS more popular with Brits than Love Island?

New data reveals the reality TV preferences for finding love in the UK

With the latest series of Married at First Sight (MAFS) back on our screens, and another season of Love Island over for another year, plus the likes of 90 Day Fiance, Love is Blind, Celebs Go Dating, Dinner Date, First Dates and more available to watch at will across a plethora of streaming services, there’s never been more variety for reality TV fans when it comes to devouring the classic “attractive people finding love” storyline.

But, which is the favourite amongst fans of this guilty pleasure TV watching? 

In a poll conducted by leading wedding planning website Hitched.co.uk of more than 600 Brits currently in the throes of wedding planning, it was revealed that MAFS is now more popular with TV fans than Love Island, with 46% choosing MAFS as their favourite show. Love Island was the second most popular, with 28% of the votes, followed by Love is Blind (21%) and 90 Day Fiance (5%)

Marielle Ruiz from Surrey, who’s currently planning her 2023 wedding says that MAFS is definitely her guilty pleasure. “I think that because I’m a bride-to-be myself, I connect more with the couples on MAFS,” she says. “They are all in a similar place in life to me, they’re looking to settle down and start families, and not necessarily… swan about on a tropical island totally devoid of normalcy. I can’t relate to that!”

It seems that despite the staggering online interest in Love Island, with more than 823,000 Brits Googling the show every month, and more than 14billion TikTok videos about the show, that the realities of married life are far more interesting to couples who are currently planning their own weddings.

But, perhaps it’s the more educational element of the show that has viewers hooked. Jen Little, another bride-to-be from Essex says: “I really liked the more “science” adjacent look at compatibility, and that the couples are matched by relationship experts, as well as watching how they deal with things after the honeymoon bit is over when they then have to deal with real life together!”

Becky Ward from Bristol agrees. “Watching MAFS makes me more aware of how I act in my own long-term relationship. When you see people doing something that makes you physically cringe or feel uncomfortable then it makes you hyper aware of your own actions so you don’t repeat their mistakes yourself.”

Whatever it is, there’s no denying Brits love watching real life couples navigate finding – and managing – real love on telly. 

Zoe Burke, wedding expert and editor of Hitched says: “Perhaps it’s the morbid fascination of watching strangers throw themselves into a serious commitment as you are tearing your hair out over your table plan and colour schemes?

“There’s no denying that wedding planning can be a pretty stressful experience, and as the couples on MAFS don’t actually have to go through any of that huge decision making themselves – other than, you know, whether they want to actually be with this stranger – maybe it’s more about seeing the ‘what comes next’, and how life will be for them after the wedding, that has them tuning in every night.

“Then again, there’s also something in watching other people having a worse time than you to make you feel like you’ve actually got it together. Maybe they’re watching MAFS thinking to themselves, ‘Oh, it could be so much worse!’

“At the end of the day, we all love LOVE! There’s nothing quite like watching a couple go through all the ups and downs of married life, and make it to the end of the experiment still together. As most of our community are in the midst of planning weddings themselves, we know they’re all romantics at heart, and who doesn’t love a happy ending?”

For more information on how to plan a stress-free wedding please visit: https://www.hitched.co.uk/my-wedding-planner/ 

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