Strangers will marry after meeting for the first time on a Channel 4 television programme, set to air next year.
The series, currently called Married at First Sight, will see TV cameras follow the couples for six weeks after their official ceremony.
They will then be offered the choice to stay together or separate.
Channel 4’s chief creative officer Jay Hunt claims the programme is a “celebration of marriage”, but family groups have criticised the show.
The Marriage Foundation said the producers do not understand commitment, while The Christian Institute said the show belittles marriage.
The couples will be matched by “a panel of experts in the fields of psychology, psychotherapy, social & evolutionary anthropology and theology”, Channel 4 say.
Channel 4 claims the programme is a “ground-breaking social experiment”, with Hunt defending it by saying it shows “marriage is important because of social cohesion”.
Simon Calvert, a spokesman for The Christian Institute, said the idea “denigrates marriage” and it is “horrible for broadcasters to be experimenting with people’s lives in this way”.
“Clearly a marriage contracted between two people who barely know each other, who are doing it solely for the sake of a TV programme, is not showing proper respect for the institution”, he added.
The Marriage Foundation told the Daily Mail’s website: “The producers of this show seem to have little concept of how commitment works.”
Harry Benson from the marriage group said: “Instead of getting married with clarity and intent about their future, these couples will still be in a relationship that is riddled with ambiguity.”