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Eight singles from the big city lights of Charlotte, North Carolina have just made the commitment to say “I do” to a total stranger! Look, you know SHEEN Magazine is no stranger to the Married at First Sight franchise and we are thrilled for a chance to get to know this new couple! The ninth season premiered on Lifetime just a few weeks ago and fans are already obsessed (including us). This week, we talked with newlywed Keith Manley and Iris Caldwell to discuss their experience on this wild journey!

Tell us a little bit about yourselves.

Iris: I am a very creative person who loves working with kids. As a youth program coordinator, I help high schoolers every day to ensure they have the tools needed for successful post-high school life. I love giving to other people and helping my community. I have focused on my education, I hold three degrees, most recently my Master’s degree, last year. I enjoy nature and adventure but also just having fun with friends. I’m also very passionate about my career and have a number of hobbies including gardening and DIY projects. I also have a passion for my faith and service, I feel my religious foundation keeps me focused on the important things in life. I am a fun loving person who will breakout in dance just because. I’m full of optimism and always have a smile on my face because I’m happy to be alive. I live life daily feeling grateful for every opportunity God has provided me. Each life experience has made me stronger in faith and love. My slogan for life is “It is what it is…God never gives you too much to handle” 

Keith: I’d like to think of myself as a pretty relaxed, down to earth guy for the most part. I can be goofy at times and I tend to play around. A lot. I believe that’s why I was blessed to be able to mentor kids for a living. I’m also a HUGE music guy, anywhere from Cam’ron to Pink Floyd. I love it all. 

How would you guys describe the overall experience of ‘Married at First Sight’?

Keith: Getting Married at First Sight has been a phenomenal experience for me. It’s really helped me to be more transparent about the way I feel and also how to communicate it effectively. There were a lot of ups and downs but they all served as learning opportunities for me. It pushed me to grow in so many different ways which is exactly what I need!

Iris: Overall I am happy I that I took a leap of faith, truly a leap of faith and let God steer the ship. Everything happens for a reason and Keith and I were matched for a reason. We are very compatible people and the experts did an amazing job at seeing that in us.

Iris, you are open about remaining a virgin until marriage, do you mind sharing with our readers why this is so important for you?

Iris: It’s very important for me to find a connection with someone not based on sex. I want to build a foundation with a person based on a mental, and emotional connection and allow that to be a meaningful connection without sex being involved. I’ve seen that physical intimacy can sometimes cloud judgment in some relationships and right now being matched with a stranger I really wanted to build a foundation first. God has a plan for me and me staying focused on that plan is important. I want to be certain that I don’t allow other things to hinder the walk I have with God. I walk by faith and knowing God’s always got me. To show my commitment to my faith, I want to remain focused which means refraining from sex until marriage. When I dedicated myself to faith and my virginity I had no clue I’d be Married at First Sight (God has a sense of humor too) so to put that in the mix I really want to get to know my husband first. Build in that foundation and let the physical happen in its own time because my virginity doesn’t define me. 

Keith, your parents have been married for nearly 30 years and your grandparents have been married for 55! What made you confident about your decision to go onto ‘Married at First Sight’?

Keith: With my grandparents and parents being married for so long it definitely helped shape my idea of marriage and also what I wanted mine to look like. My family has done an amazing job of giving me the confidence to make my own decisions and be who I want to be. This is something I’ll forever be grateful for because, without their support, I’m not sure I would have gone through with this.

Be sure to tune into the ninth season of Married at First Sight Charlotte on Wednesdays at 8:30 PM/9:30c on Lifetime!

Keith & Iris were married at the Alexander Homestead, click here for more information on the venue.

All photos by JCM Photography- Asheville, NC | provided by Kinetic Content