Married at First Sight

MAFS NZ bride Kara reveals why her island wedding was a disaster

The reality star spills the beans on what really happened at her and Mike’s island nuptials
Pictures: Three

Viewers watching Kara Lester and Michael Wilson’s wedding in episode two of Married At First Sight New Zealand would be forgiven for thinking the island ceremony was a romantic affair. But the bride’s version of events in Vanuatu is rather different.

“Looking back, it was actually comical – a series of very unfortunate events,” laughs the Christchurch car saleswoman, 33, who says her “special day” was anything but.

“Firstly, I had absolutely no idea what my wedding dress looked like until the night before. I had never seen or tried it on, so that was stressful. It was fortunate that it fit because there’s no Plan B in Vanuatu!

“I also didn’t sleep the night before because it was belting down with rain. I was thinking, ‘Hell, this tropical wedding will be in a tropical storm!’

“Then the next day, my curled hair was flat by the time I got to the wedding venue and my makeup was shocking. I hated it and wish I’d done it myself. I nearly cried because I wasn’t feeling confident.”

The stifling heat in Vanuatu didn’t help. Kara continues, “I had to have my maid of honour hold a fan up my dress. I was sweating my arse off with no air conditioning. Oh, and the driver smashed the wing mirror on a parked truck en route!”

MAFS NZ star Kara reading her wedding vows
Kara had her doubts from the start. “He was absolutely not my type.”

Already teary-eyed as she started walking down the aisle, Kara found it hard to stay positive when she met Mike, 37. He’s an out-there Auckland auctioneer who has previously appeared on The Apprentice Aotearoa.

“I’m a very black-or-white person, but I’d told myself I was going to be as open-minded as possible that day,” she explains. “At that point, I’d run out of f**ks to give and was just going with the flow. I mean, how could the day possibly get worse?

“But that beard was the icing on the bloody cake! It was all I could see. I couldn’t tell you his eye colour or what he was wearing. My first impression was that he was absolutely not my type. Look, I could get on with a brick wall. But meeting him, I knew the marriage was not going to be a walk in the park.”

Although she promised herself she’d stay positive, Kara confesses she suspected things could end up this way.

She admits, “I actually went into MAFS with a gut feeling that I might not be attracted to the person, but attraction’s not everything. It’s Married At First Sight, not love at first sight.”

MAFS NZ stars Kara and Mike kiss at their wedding

When Kara told her “somewhat overprotective” father Alaistair she had signed up for MAFS, he said, “Don’t you f**king dare!” And she admits his words were playing through her mind on her wedding day.

“I love and respect my dad more than anyone,” she says. “He’s my favourite human. It was so hard for me to go against what he had told me to do. As a detective, he witnessed the awful treatment of many women in relationships, so he set the bar high as my sister and I were growing up.

“We’re very cautious about who we introduce to him, so I’d never date anyone my dad wouldn’t approve of. Marrying a stranger is a big deal for both him and me, but there’s no reward without risk.”

Keep up to date with MAFS NZ on Three Now.

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