Arranged is a new show on the FYI network that features people entering into arranged marriages.
Maria and Christian from Queens, New York were first to be featured. They are Gypsies who were matched by their parents. The couple is young, and bride Maria will be moving in with Christian's family. Christian and Maria have never been alone together. Christian's mom said that she'll mold Maria to follow her methods. Like we've seen on My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, Christian's mom expects Maria to follow her model of cooking and cleaning.
Christian got the speech from his family about how his family has a history of good arranged marriages and how they can't wait for grandbabies.
Maria was taken dress shopping. She'd have to wear three dresses throughout the wedding. Christian's mom took her shopping. Maria seemed less than enthused, almost like she'd taken a couple of Xanax pills.
Maria caught Christian's mom's eye when Christian was 14 because she was pretty. I guess they didn't get to know each other much better since then, because Maria seemed afraid of her wedding and new family.
Christian got his room ready for Maria to move in. Even though he's preparing for her, he made it clear that he's the boss - that's the way it works in his culture. So Maria could have a say, but what he says is what goes.
Christian's mom saw him having fun, and she was concerned about him getting married because he seemed so young. There was no backing out though - they'd look bad in the Romany community.
We found out a dowry was paid for Maria's marriage. The reasoning was that someone would be treated better if they were paid for because it gives you pride, or something like that. The idea seems crazy to me, but that's not my culture.
Maria and Christian's wedding arrived and his family fretted about guests arriving. Maria was nervous about the wedding. She said she had no choice in her marriage, but she was glad Christian was also nervous, and at her wedding, she felt relieved. However, they both questioned if they were doing the right thing.
Meghan, 28, and Josh, 24, from Anderson, South Carolina were next. Their mothers were behind the match. Meghan was a cheerleader and a pageant girl. Meghan wants a big dream house, and Josh seems to be more frugal. For example, Meghan wants nice purses, and Josh says it's okay to buy an expensive one if it's made in a sturdy way. They, unlike Maria and Christian, do spend time together pre-marriage.
The moms said it's expected that you marry within your social circle in the South. This is proven by the fact that Josh's mom actually dated Meghan's dad back in the day.
Meghan said it's tough to talk about money in her culture, but she'd overspent on the wedding.
Ragini and Veeral were next. Ragini's parents emphasized that love doesn't happen right away; it comes with time. The couple lives together before marriage, even though it's not approved in their culture. They have separate bedrooms, though.
Veeral is 33, which he noted is older than many others in his culture get married. (Ragini is 34.) His parents had taken him to India to meet a woman but it didn't work. He ended up finding Ragini on an Indian dating site, and his family approved of her.
Ragini said that Veeral's mom and sister are great in the home, and it's tough for her to live up to that. It's true - she plans to have a great career but isn't focused on cooking.
The couple disagreed about the number of guests at the wedding. Ragini didn't want the giant wedding that Veeral expected. They are from different parts of India so they have different desires and traditions.
This show is good - it's not terribly exciting, but it is an interesting look into the arranged marriages that take place in America. I liked seeing the different cultures and their experiences with arranged marriages.
If you like My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, Married at First Sight or other shows of the sort, you'll probably be a fan of this one.