Money. Communication. Sex. The first year of marriage faces multiple difficulties…and I'm guessing that having your life filmed during those initial 365 days isn't going to make things easier. Bravo is now banking on the fact that half of all marriages end in divorce, and the network is following four couples as they face the ups and downs of the first year of marriage. I think I'm going to really like watching Newlyweds: The First Year!
Tina Sugandh and Tarz Ludwigsen are preparing for their wedding. She's an Indian pop star, and he's a dude named David who is always covered in glitter thanks to Tina's obsession with all things shiny. Tarz is an unfortunate nickname. The pair has been together for four years, and Tina never expected to marry a man who wasn't Indian. Early in their relationship, the couple had intense sexual chemistry, but now it's just eh. Tina's willing to power through on the wedding night so they can start a family right away, although Tarz would like to wait a while.
Kathryn Bougadis suffered lots of heartbreak before meeting John Lagoudes. She's giving up her career and home in Manhattan to move in with John in Long Island. The couple met when John spilled a drink on Kathryn at a restaurant, and they were engaged six months later. Many of their friends think that they are moving too quickly, and John has a hard time giving up space in his closet for Kathryn. Before John met Kathryn, he was engaged to a woman he'd been with for seven years. He broke off the engagement four times before it finally stuck.
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Jeff Pedersen and Blair Late met at a friend's gay pride party, and Blair fell in love at first sight. There is a sixteen year age difference between the two, although Jeff lied about his age for the first few weeks of their relationship. Blair finds the fact that Jeff is older to be very sexy, and Jeff attribute Blair for bringing him out of his shell.
Alaska and Kim Gedeon are a bicoastal power couple. The duo's proposal was caught on film by friends after a six year courtship. He's a manager at Warner Bros. records, and she's a celebrity stylist. Kim likes to think of them as a mix between the Pinkett-Smiths and the Obamas. Kim and Alaska haven't lived together because of their religious beliefs, and Alaska will be the spiritual head of the household. Kim is excited to furnish a place together, but Alaska's headstrong personality proves difficult.
Over a very sexual pie experience, Jeff wants to discuss expenses with Blair. He believes that Blair needs to contribute more to the finances. Blair has a difficult time talking about money because it reminds him of his parents' divorce, so he counters the tense conversation by bringing up a living will. It appears that Blair paying more towards their home is a sore subject because his name isn't on the mortgage.
Kim is lunching with friends a few days before the wedding, and they aren't keen on her prior request for them to lose weight before slipping into their bridesmaids dresses. She defends herself saying that she's not shallow, she just has a specific vision. Because Kim's friends weren't able to lose weight she required, they won't be walking down the aisle. I'd be offended too!
Tarz and Tina are complimenting each other while lying in bed. She can't believe she scored someone so intelligent, and he thinks she's gorgeous even without the pounds of make-up she likes to wear. It seems that they are perfect for one another and agree on everything…except the timing on when to start trying for babies.
Kathryn is excited about the prospect of spending a week alone with John during their honeymoon…although she's worried he won't be able to leave his OCD behind. John loves to make lists, so much so that he may even have a list of his lists. Thankfully, Kathryn can escape to a girls' day at the salon. John's sister is joining the group, and Kathryn hopes that they can form a tight bond as well. It may be easier to do this if John's sister didn't view Kathryn as the woman who is trying to steal her brother.
Tina's father hasn't quite accepted Tarz into his family. He knows that Tarz is very respectful and loves both his daughter and him. However, he can't pinpoint what his issue is with his future son-in-law…it's not a cultural difference so much as he can't wrap his head around Tarz's non-traditional media job. For his part, Tarz admits to having a problem with authority, so he sometimes purposely antagonizes Tina's dad. Add all of this on top of the fact that Tina's wedding day will be the anniversary of her mother's passing, and her dad is having a very hard time with the entire situation.
Alaska is shopping with his friends while trying to plan a surprise honeymoon for Kim. They won't be taking the trip immediately after their wedding. His friends are shocked to hear that the couple shares all of their e-mail passwords thanks to a past trust issue with one of Kim's ex.
I knew I liked Blair for a reason…he's a former boy bander who garnered fame in Europe and Asia. Now he's a gossip correspondent for an Australian morning show. The pair is gearing up for their domestic partnership before their ceremony. We learn that Jeff's parents do not agree with his sexuality or his relationship, and this is devastating for Blair who always had the love and support of his family. Meanwhile, Kathryn is at her final dress fitting, and it's a tear-fest for her and her sister remembering all of her former horrible relationships.
Kim and Alaska are getting a couple's massage, and she's mortified by how gassy he is. She actually prays for him to hold in his farts, but unfortunately for the ladies giving the massages, his intestines get the best of him.
Tarz and Tina's families are coming together before the big event, and Tarz is worried that he's lost the rings. Tina is one big old pissed off ball of bling when she learns this news. Tarz thinks that Tina overreacts about everything, while Tina gets frustrated with Tarz for not taking things more seriously.
It's wedding day for Kathryn and John, and they've each written a letter to the other to read before heading to the church. For Kathryn, this letter may be the most romantic part of her day, while John just thinks a letter is a letter. Of course, after reading Kathryn's letter, John knows that he's found the one and they aren't rushing into anything. The next few hours are a hectic mess, and Kathryn doesn't allow herself to think in terms of "what ifs."
Jeff and Blair are lying in bed talking about how they can't wait to spend their lives together. While they are so sweet (Blair says he never would have been upset as a child about being gay had he known that Jeff was his happily ever after…so flipping romantic!), Bravo's blatant editing errors are super distracting during this scene. Are the sheets on or off? Is it that difficult to have continuity in a thirty second conversation? I digress. The following day, the couple completes the paperwork for their domestic partnership, and Blair is happy to be in a monogamous, committed relationship while the rest of his family has struggled with divorce.
Tarz is off the hook having found the rings in his car. Both he and Tina are excited about their big day, although Tina is overcome with sadness that her mother isn't with her. Tarz loves the cultural aspects of the ceremony, and as he dances down the street to his future bride, she is in tears about her mom.
Kathryn is late for her trip down the aisle, but it's worth it for John. Watching her walk towards him makes him so happy for their life together. During the Greek Orthodox ceremony, the pair is chit chatting about everything from the wine to his bow tie. The entire experiences passes by in a haze.
Tina and Tarz have a beautiful Indian ceremony before boating off pre-reception. She hopes they have time in the interim for some baby practice. Having watched her father adore her mother for almost forty years, Tina is looking forward to that life with Tarz. Tarz is beside himself that he's found the one, but he envisions a very different and more independent life for the two of them.
Kim and Alaska are having the most stylish of fetes, and it appears that her bridesmaids really didn't make the cut. In their vows, Kim promises to submit to Alaska, and she admits that she struggled with that notion for a while. However, she trusts Alaska to lead while still allowing her to have a voice.
After becoming domestically partnered (is that how you'd say it?), Jeff and Blair are celebrating with friends and family at an engagement party. Poor Jeff cannot dance, but it's okay with Blair. They seem so, so happy together.
John and Kathryn are overwhelmed as they enter their reception. They want to take in every moment. I am reminded how much fun Greek weddings are. Also fun? Tina's father's dance moves. He can get down. While doing the centipede for his blushing bride, Tarz accidentally crushes Tina's crystal encrusted phone. Tina loses it and starts cussing him out over the microphone in front of both families and a slew of children Awkward.
I don't know about y'all, but I can't wait to see how the next years pans out for these folks!
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[Photo Credit: Bravo]