By Jenna Bagcal

We’ve all heard the phrase “love at first sight,” but the reality TV show Married at First Sight takes this concept to a whole new level. During the first season of the show, viewers saw Jamie Otis and Doug Hehner say “I do” on their wedding day — which was also the first time that they met each other. The “social experiment” takes six singles and matches them up with their perfect partner with help from a team of experts, including a sexologist, a spiritualist, a psychologist, and a sociologist. In this exclusive celebrity interview, the married celebrity couple discusses their experiences on reality TV and give us the inside scoop on their first year of marriage.

Married Celebrity Couple Discuss Their Experience on Married at First Sight

The Married at First Sight alums recently celebrated their one-year anniversary by renewing their vows in St. Thomas, where they honeymooned, for Doug and Jamie’s Wedding Special on FYI. Still,  they remember their first wedding as if it were yesterday. “I was so scared before I got Married At First Sight,” says Otis. “I’ve never been the one to believe in love at first sight, but I was hoping to have chemistry and butterflies — which, looking back now, I realize is so unrealistic. He was a complete stranger! I was hoping to find my soul mate — and honestly, I believe I have.”

Related Link: ‘Bachelor’ Alum Jamie Otis Marries Doug Hehner on New Reality Show

Hehner adds, “I usually go into everything with an open mind, no expectations, and a positive energy. I was hoping to find my soul mate too.”

Before they embarked on the marriage social experiment, they had to share their big plans with their loved ones. “When I first introduced the idea to my parents, they kind of brushed it off as another one of ‘Doug’s Ideas and Adventures’ that would eventually play itself out. When I told my friends about it, they all had the same reaction,” Hehner explains. “However, no matter how random or bizarre I get, my family and friends have always been super supportive, and they really do trust my judgment enough to just be there for me, no matter what.”

Otis says that it was getting the approval of her siblings that mattered most to her. “They said I was crazy, but they’d support me if I believed in it,” she reveals. “And then they instantly loved Doug — so much so that they encouraged me to give him a chance when I began to doubt it. I was shocked to hear them encouraging me!”

Otis is no stranger to the world of reality TV: Fans may recognize her from The Bachelor season 16 with Ben Flajnik and Bachelor Pad season 3, where she had a short-lived relationship with Chris Bukowski. “If you saw The Bachelor and Bachelor Pad, then you know I am pretty miserable at dating,” she says with a laugh. “After Bachelor Pad, I had no intention of ever being vulnerable on TV again.” But despite her negative dating experiences on these shows, she was willing to give reality TV dating another try after she received a phone call that changed her mind: “When The Love Experiment called me (that was the original name of the show) and told me there were four experts who would help me along, it definitely caught my attention.”

Related Link: ‘The Bachelorette’ Contestant Chris Bukowski Wants His “Fairytale Ending”

Hehner, who describes himself as “a leap of faith type of guy,” elaborates, “After meeting the experts and trusting that they were taking this experiment as seriously as if they were arranging a marriage for their own child, I had peace of mind knowing that, if they did match me with someone, it was going to be someone that I dreamed about. That is why I was very specific and honest about what I wanted in a mate!”

Reality TV Stars Jamie Otis and Doug Hehner Share Best Love Advice

Their first year of marriage has been full of surprises, and it only makes sense that the celebrity couple says they “still feel like they’re dating.” Hehner shares, “I think that, with any relationship, a strong foundation is key. So building a solid friendship was first on our list, and then, we needed to quickly learn how to be great roommates.”

Otis adds, “Although it’s been an emotional roller coaster, it’s also so awesome to have a teammate in life. It’s amazing to have someone you can count on.”

The reality TV stars obviously know a thing or two about maintaining a healthy and happy marriage, no matter the circumstances. “I attribute the success of our relationship to taking the time to learn about each other and also being open and honest about everything from day one,” says Hehner. “In my opinion, you should never stop dating your spouse. That’s what keeps your relationship and love for one another fresh and exciting.”

Related Link: ‘The Bachelor’ Winner Courtney Robertson Says Her ‘Reality TV Days Are Over’

The pair believes that “it definitely takes a special kind of person to get Married At First Sight,” and they have some valuable love advice to share with the three couples participating in the second season of the show. “There are a lot of variables. If you don’t tell them exactly what you’re about and who you want, then they can’t do their job right,” Otis explains. “After they pair you, it’s really up to you to be open to it. It’s easy to be scared and feel weird about it because it’s the most bizarre feeling, but you have to trust the experts and trust the process.”

So what’s next for the adorable celebrity couple? They hope to one day have children but share that they have some things to work on before that happens. “Doug has a ‘Before Becoming a Daddy’ bucket list, and I want to really focus on my relationship with my mom and learn to forgive and heal,” Otis divulges. “Also, I want to be patient for Doug. We won’t have babies until we’re both ready.”

You can keep up with Jamie and Doug on Twitter @jamienotis and @DougHehner! Check out Married at First Sight: The First Year.