A new marriage is a beautiful journey, but for many couples, the first year can be the most trying – especially if the whole world is watching. Armed with camera crews, the team at Bravo set out to find out if the first-year blues are myth or reality.
Juicy new docu-series Newlyweds: The First Year follows the first 365 days (good, bad or otherwise) of marriage for four happy in search of marital bliss. Prominent A&R director, Alaska Gedeon, and his new wife Kim, a celebrity stylist, are one of them. With her sights set on a dreamy life in Harlem and his on balancing a busy career in Los Angeles, the modern day couple has their work cut out for them from day one. Lucky for them, they’re totally head over heels for each other and willing to give it their best shot.
We caught up with the entertainment power couple to find out if letting reality cameras into their bedroom was more harmful or helpful and what viewers can really expect to see go down. Say hello to the Gedeons.
ESSENCE.COM: How did you make the brave decision to allow cameras into your new marriage?
ALASKA GEDEON: It was an absolute scary decision. I said “no” the first time, the second time and the third time. She might have gotten a yes from me the fourth or fifth time; maybe even the sixth!
KIM V. GEDEON: I was definitely into it. I said, “’Oh, babe, come on, it’s a show about marriage.” Then we had the casting interview, and it was like, oh snap, you want to get all the way into our bedroom? Oh wow! But, I think we have a great story to tell and we’re super relatable. A lot of people will really appreciate it. You don’t see too many positive examples of Black marriage on TV.
ESSENCE.COM: But drama sells and we understand that no marriage is perfect. What happened when your bad days were caught on camera?
ALASKA: The best fights are when you’re madly in love with each other.
KIM: We didn’t have heavy arguments. but there was a little bickering here and there.
ALASKA: When I’m annoyed or I have an attitude, I can’t hide it. My body language shows everything.
ESSENCE.COM: When did the taping really begin?
ALASKA: They just jumped right in from the very beginning. I expected them to walk us through things, but they just came in with the cameras, lights and everything.
KIM: Yeah, it was intense.
ALASKA: They really got everything. Any time the cameras weren’t with us, we had our own personal handy cams.
ESSENCE.COM: Did you set any ground rules during taping to protect your marriage?
KIM: Yes, but it didn’t come to that until mid-season. They were going deeper and deeper and wanted more, and we said, “Hey, let’s talk about this now!”
ALASKA: We definitely have private moments that we didn’t share with the world. That was important to us. This wasn’t for us to just put our relationship on blast – we wanted to show a different perspective and how we see things but still able to cherish private moments.
KIM: You’re really going to get a good sense of who are on the show.
ESSENCE.COM: People often say that putting your marriage on TV is bad luck. Did those sentiments worry you at all?
ALASKA: You take the vow before your friends and family, but now we’ve taken our vows before the world too. That’s a much higher standard. Kim always says “divorce is not an option,” and now we have an opportunity to really prove that to ourselves. We’re very resilient.
ESSENCE.COM: What lessons have you learned from doing the show?
ALASKA: I learned how to compromise. I’m a jerk, but I’m a jerk with a heart and gentleman, and those two things conflict sometimes. I was able to see that happen on camera, and I thought to myself, no, I don’t want to treat her like that. Usually you don’t get a chance to see what happens after the other person walks away and how they’re really feeling about something that has happened. I did, and it forced me to grow, change and develop. The show really is a mirror into our lives.
KIM: I definitely learned that things don’t happen over night. After talking to the women in your family, you have this perception about what you’re supposed to do as a wife, what your duties are and what’ supposed to happen in the first year. I had a certain frame of mind in place, and when certain things didn’t happen that way, I felt like a failure. You have to find a momentum, let go of the pressure and tailor-make everything for you and your spouse.
ALASKA: it’s okay to mess up as long as you learn from your mistakes. We live by that. I screw up all the time, because I have the ability to do that. But, she has the ability to forgive me and to help me work through it and correct it. And, vice versa. No one’s perfect coming into a marriage. If you were, you wouldn’t need each other.
Watch Kim and Alaska talk about how they met now and catch the premiere episode of Newlyweds:The First Year of Marriage tonight at 10pm EST on Bravo.