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MAFS' runaway bride Lauren Bran on why she left the show: 'The best thing I did'

Lauren Bran sensationally quit the reality show in 2017 and has advice for the 2024 MAFS cast.

In 2017, Lauren Bran became a household name after she appeared on just a couple of episodes of Married At First Sight.

While these days an episode or two would barely make you memorable on the show, Lauren was the series' first ever runaway bride, disappearing the day after her wedding to Andrew 'Jonesy' Jones.

The 'runaway bride' storyline was heavily promoted, with the show using it to draw viewers into the new series and teasing who it could possibly be, giving the women descriptors of 'the bombshell', 'the single mum', and 'the twins'.

MAFS' first-ever runaway bride
MAFS' first-ever runaway bride storyline drew in a lot of viewers. Photo: Nine

Fast-forward to the current season and Michael Felix marrying Stephen Stewart during intruder weddings, after his initial match Simon Flocco pulled out of the show, it got us thinking about 2017's runaway bride and why she really left the show.

Lauren chatted with Yahoo Lifestyle and divulged what made her flee after her wedding, and gave some sage advice to the current participants about how much the show can change your life.

'I was told to come back'

Lauren said that after the wedding, she started to get doubts about the experiment and the longevity of her potential future relationship, doubts that weren't helped by Jonesy getting into a clash with a bouncer at an Eastern Suburbs establishment on the night of their wedding.

Lauren Bran and Andrew Jones on MAFS
Lauren quit MAFS shortly after her wedding to Andrew Jones. Photo: Nine

"We went back to the hotel, and we went into the room and they [producers] come in with a camera and they want you lay on the bed and they want you to kiss," Lauren told Yahoo Lifestyle, while also explaining there had been a significant amount of back filming being done before the wedding day had even approached.

"It was just very uncomfortable and you're pushed to do things outside of your comfort zone. You're working long days for peanuts.

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"The night I left, Jonesy said 'Why don't we get a drink?' and we went there and he did get into an argument with the bouncer and I walked away. I saw a taxi and I just... I thought things through logistically [in that moment] in terms of he's in Perth, I'm in Sydney, my son's in Sydney, and there was a certain vibe that I didn't see working and I thought why am I going to waste my time?" she said.

MAFS Lauren Bran
Former MAFS bride Lauren Bran has no regrets about leaving the show in 2017. Photo: Instagram.com/lauren_bran

Lauren also said because of the low pay and the long hours, she was worried about what it could do for her financial future, especially as a young single mum.

"I had a unit, a car, I had to be paying for, I think [the pay was] $200 a day, It's rubbish. I got in a taxi, I was frustrated, I left and I went home, I literally left everything at the hotel and I just didn't care, I wanted to get out of there," Lauren said.

"I had to leave because it felt off, it didn't feel right. They did call me the next day to say we were flying out to Thailand and Jonesy said 'let's just do it as friends' and I said no, in my contract, it said I can leave whenever I wanted, so I left. It's probably the best thing I did."

'Get ready for a lot of trolling'

Lauren came back for the reunion episode but it wasn't entirely something she wanted to do.

"I was told to come back, because 'you're going to look terrible to Australia if you don't come back', I was told to come to the finale dinner," she said. "They put stuff in your head."

When it comes to people now going on the show, she had this to say:

"The experiment yourself, go for it if that's what you're after and building your platform, that's great, but if you're looking for love I don't think it's the right place to go. It's a TV show at the end of the day, people now are doing it for the wrong reasons. I feel sorry for [contestants] now because they'll get targeted and people just want to hurt people.

"It's been years, and I still get noticed. It sticks with you, it stays on Google, you can't get rid of it."

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