Conversations With Kyle: What We’d Change About Our Wedding

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Eva Amurri Martino laughs with her husband Kyle over an espresso

Our wedding day was almost seven years ago, and we (like most normal couples) have had lots of ups and downs in our marriage.  We work hard at staying connected and growing together, and we’ve had to learn a ton about healthy communication in the past couple of years.  Strangely enough, this blog series has been such a great tool for us in keeping our communication flowing! Since this month is Happily Eva After wedding month, I decided it would be fun to sit down with Kyle and discuss a topic that many of you voted for in a poll a few months ago: what we would do differently when it came to our wedding.  Both of us loved how our wedding turned out, but it definitely wasn’t without a few bumps or missteps.  Below is our conversation in full:

Details on the back of Eva Amurri Martino's wedding dress

Eva:  This one is about what we’d change about our wedding.


Kyle: Oh jeez. (both laugh)


Eva: Ok, so let’s just start with the basics.  We got married in Charleston, South Carolina.  And why don’t you share with people why that was..


Kyle: Well, all my family members have been married in Charleston and it’s because my family is from there– so there a bit of tradition about it.  I wanted to get married there too, because it had such a classic feel– and I love the idea of a classic southern wedding.


Eva: So would you do that again, or would you change that?


Kyle: No, I think the venue that we found…I don’t think we could have topped that site.  What it looked like, that walk down the cobblestones to the reception hall…everything about it for me was perfect.  But…how about you? (laughs)


Never before seen shots from Eva Amurri Martino's wedding


Eva:  I really loved our wedding! But I think that one of my biggest stressors in the entire lead up to our wedding was organizing a wedding in a place I didn’t know well, from across the country.  So I think, looking back, if I could have eliminated both of those things I would have been way less stressed out which would have been better.  For me. (laughs). In retrospect I would have wanted to get married in California where we were living at the time.  It would have been easier.  But I did really love our wedding and how it turned out and I do love that we get to visit Charleston now with our kids and that it’s someplace special that we don’t get to go to all the time.  So it worked out just fine.

Ok, so the style of our wedding.  I still LOVE the design of our wedding, the decor, everything.


Kyle: Yeah, it was very Great Gatsby in a way…


Eva: Um, and I love that we did Black Tie– I think that was really fun.  Are you still happy with that?


Kyle: Yes.  In the moment, it just feels good to polish yourself up a lot.  So it was fun to do it in the moment, but looking back at pictures the photographs are gorgeous because everyone looks dynamite and the pictures just seem so timeless.


Eva: Your hair was really different. (laughs) That was different than you ever wear your hair…


Kyle: Yeah it was a slicked Great Gatsby Look!


Eva Amurri Martino and her husband Kyle dancing at their wedding in Charleston


Eva: Would you do that again?


Kyle: Yeah I love that. I liked trying to do something unique and special that was exclusive to that day.  I’ve never worn my hair like that again.  It was kind of fun…


Eva: It’s weird, too, because I had auburn hair at our wedding so I also look totally different.  I mean I guess I had that color for a few years, but still. 


Kyle: Yeah


Eva: (laughs) So we both look totally different than we look now. But I guess that’s everyone at their wedding, if you’ve been married long enough (laughs)


Kyle: Well at least the looks were timeless, as opposed to when I see, like, my parents’ wedding photos– or other people who have FuManchu’s in the pics.  (laughs) You know, when people dress or look in a way that’s very specific to the time.  It’s cool that it’s a timeless photograph that our kids can’t really make fun of us about.


Eva: Yeah, and hopefully they recognize us in the pictures. (both laugh)


Kyle Martino getting lifted in the air at his wedding to Eva Amurri


Kyle: Yeah.


Eva: Ok, so, this next question is a big point of contention I feel like…


Kyle: Uh oh


Eva: When we got married, you wanted to put, like, a billion guys on your side of the wedding…would you do that again?


Kyle: No.


Eva: I just feel like there are people who were in our wedding party who we literally don’t speak to anymore.  And that is so weird.  (laughs)


Kyle: I think what my wedding party was– and I didn’t intend it to be this at the time– but it was kind of like a goodbye to a previous life.


Revelrous dancing at Eva Amurri Martino's wedding


Eva: It was like a celebration of what had been in terms of relationships, but not necessarily people you would continue with?


Kyle: Yeah. People who had been incredibly important in getting me to that point, standing up there with you as the person I was…whether they were a positive influence or a negative influence and I had changed myself because I couldn’t serve them anymore in the same way.  Or whatever it was…basically I had compiled a group of chapters of my life.  And I was grateful and thankful to all of them for going on some sort of journey with me.  But the interesting thing was that for a lot of them, that day marked us not having a lot in common anymore.


Eva: Right.


Kyle: So I don’t know that I would do it differently, umm.  I mean ideally you do it with people who will be in your life and be really close moving forward.  But a lot of those people that I would have had in a small, intimate wedding party I met or became closer with after you and I got married (laughs). There were people who were not in my wedding party but were at my wedding who I wish now I had put in my wedding party.  It’s weird.


Eva: Yeah, I think also…we were SO young when we got married and what you look for in friendships changes over time as well. And what you need from a friend in different phases of life…which I guess is what you just said. (both laugh)


Guests laughing at Eva Amurri Martino's Charleston wedding


Kyle: Maybe it was our wedding planner, but somebody during the process said to us– and I think it was when we were whittling down a monster guest list because both of our families are so big– they said “Don’t invite out of a feeling of responsibility” And it’s funny because I did that to a certain extent.  But I think more because I hadn’t really understood how my life was changing.  I hadn’t really checked in and known what us getting married and having kids and all that– the path I was on– it diverged at some point and some of the people in my wedding party were on different paths.


Eva: Yeah. I know, it’s interesting, right? I remember we went to dinner with another couple when we were engaged.  And they told us, “There are going to be three or four people at your wedding that you’ll end up never speaking to again after the wedding.  You’ll think it’s a good idea to invite them, but after the wedding is over you’ll realize you aren’t really that close friends” And at the time I was like “huh? What a weird thing to say.” But it was totally true! It happened to us!


Kyle: Yeah.  But still, I don’t think I would have changed it too much…


Eva: But come on, that is so weird right? You have some people who literally watch you get married and then you more or less never speak to them or hang out with them again? It’s a strange thing.  And I feel like that fact alone taught me so much about relationships.


Kyle: Yeah, a wedding in a weird way kind of feels like a graduation.  You’re graduating from a previous life and thanking people, and seeing people– and some of those people don’t stay on the journey with you.


Eva Amurri Martino gets lifted in the air at her Charleston wedding.


Eva:  It’s interesting. Ok, so the lead up to our wedding was VERY stressful. (both laugh). How do you think we could have avoided that? Do you think intense stress is just kind of a bride and groom rite of passage? Or is there a way we could have avoided that? What advice would you pass on?  For example, I would warn against a destination wedding. I think it would have really changed my experience to not have that as a factor in my stress– and even though I love how my wedding turned out, I would do that differently. If I were advising myself….or maybe our daughter in a few years. (laughs)


Kyle: If I could distill it down to one thing that would have relieved a bit more stress, I wish that we were selfish in a calm and communicative way.


Eva: Right


Kyle: I wish that early on we had really set up what was needed and necessary for us to have ownership of the wedding and making sure we weren’t doing too many things for other people. And so, I tried early on to do that– and I think I created some extra stress because I didn’t communicate it in a way where some people felt like they were still a part of the process and excited about the process and the wedding.  It created a division early on, and I think if we had avoided that things would have been less stressful for us. 


Eva: I agree


Kyle Martino breaking it down at his wedding to Eva Amurri


Kyle: I think early on we should have had a really deep talk about what we wanted– and when we saw our wedding planner we had kind of set our mind already to a few things based on what other people wanted.  I think you and I should have really sat down before and broken it down and shared our concerns and wishes and everything with each other and talked it out before.


Eva: I think we should have talked about the dynamics together rather than the details.


Kyle: Exactly


Eva: Like we should have gone deep with each other and had a conversation about if there were dynamics we were worried about, things we wanted to avoid or to promote or whatever in terms of moments and feelings and all of it. I think we talked a lot about what we wanted the ceremony to be like, or the party– but the conversation we should have been having was about deeper things. That way we could have supported each other through our stress a bit better and protected ourselves and each other I think.


Kyle: I think a wedding planner also has to have a PHD in Psychology (Both laugh)


Eva: Ok, and then just to finish it up…what was your most favorite thing about our wedding ?


Kyle: We made a decision that was a bit contentious originally– to have everyone check their cell phone at the door when they came in to the wedding. And I could tell at the beginning of that that people were upset, and I was worried it had been a bad idea at first. People were struggling to leave their world or their social media world at the door.  But there was a moment during the reception when you got up on stage, and you were singing with the incredible band…


Kyle Martino dipping his bride Eva Amurri at their wedding in Charleston.


Eva: I wasn’t singing! I would never traumatize our entire wedding by singing! (both laugh) I was dancing with the singer of the band…


Kyle: That’s right, I guess I had a few southern cocktails at that point.  But I looked up at the stage, and you were just glowing and having such a good time. And I turned around, and everyone was on the dance floor.  And there, having a good time.  So present. Instead of trying to capture the moment individually, which can sometimes separate everyone, everyone was just there enjoying the same moment together.  And I could feel that. There was a great energy about that.


Eva:  So basically if you want to have a fun wedding, take everyone’s phone?


Kyle: Out of everything we did, that was the most successful in terms of creating a shared experience.  Right?


Eva: No, I totally agree. Everyone was having such a blast together.


Kyle: Yeah, and the pictures that we took with our incredible photographer were available to them anyway.  It was great, we did all the work for them! (laughs)


Wedding Photographs by Tec Petaja.

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  1. Carol says:

    Hey guys!
    I really liked this blog (well I like them all) but to see your guys point of you of your wedding it really open up my eyes for a few things, but the one that stuck in my mind was the no cellphones policy.
    In today’s internet world that we leave on, is really difficult for people to let go of their phones bc they need to snapchat, instagram or fb live everything. We all forget that we still can have fun without any of that and we can actually spend a great time just dancing, eating, drinking, talking, etc. & not to be paying attention to your phones.
    I think that more people should do what you guys did.
    Everything else from looking at the photos was beautiful & hope everybody including you guys never forget how great that day was.
    Att. Carol from PR

    06.11.18 Reply
  2. Elyse says:

    Thank you for posting this, Eva! We got engaged in December and are just starting to plan our wedding. It’s definitely stressful but you guys really gave me some really good points to think about! Thanks, girl!

    06.11.18 Reply
  3. April E. says:

    I love that you’re checking in like this! It will continue to be even more important as your kids grow and you experience more complicated aspects of kids, friends, family, and marriage. We’re at the 18 year mark and it will be very important to keep you as a couple, a priority. That being said, I love what Kyle said about it kind of being a graduation from what lead you up to that point. It’s different for everyone, but I don’t really think most people realize that until down the road. We don’t talk to most of the people who were in our wedding now. It makes me sad a little, but nothing bad happened, we just changed and took a different path. We also were the first to have kids before most of our friends even married, so we were just in different stages. Lastly. I absolutely LOVE that you took cell phones away! I truly can’t picture that going over well these days, but it makes sense! Everyone was present, how special to hear you both reflect back on it. This was so fun to read! Congrats on 7 years!

    06.11.18 Reply
    • Thank you! yes, so important to check in, and so true that people grow and change xo

      06.14.18 Reply
  4. Glenda says:

    Love the convo between you and Kyle; reminiscing about your wedding. At the end of the day I always said ” Don’t invite out of obligation” invite because those are the people that have shared in your life and you want them to continue sharing. Unfortunately, sometimes it doesn’t turn out that way and there will be some people that will get upset, but life goes on! Some people are in your life for a few chapters. Relationships do change as everyone around us change and grow. It’s life! Beautiful wedding! and your dress! LOVE!

    06.11.18 Reply
  5. Emma says:

    This was such a great post to read, and Kyle’s perspective on a wedding as a kind if graduation from a previous life has struck a huge chord with me. For various reasons, most of the friends at our wedding aren’t in our lives anymore, and that’s something I’ve really struggled with for a few years now. The idea of it closing a chapter of your life is really powerful, and that idea makes me feel like I could find some peace in it, finally. I’m loving this whole wedding series ❤️

    06.11.18 Reply
  6. Sarah says:

    Loved reading this post!!! I love that you took the time to sit down and discuss what you’d do differently. I only got married 4 months ago and there were things I would change already! Thanks for sharing 🙂 Love this series!

    06.11.18 Reply
    • Ha! I have a feeling everyone has a few things right off the bat 😉

      06.14.18 Reply
  7. Monique Riley says:

    This post is so ironic… last night I was just talking to my husband about how we got married (we didn’t have a wedding). We talked about if we thought we had missed out by not having one and we shared our idea of what we thought our wedding would have looked like years ago. It’s so true that back then everyone that we thought we would have wanted in our wedding party we don’t speak with now, and our massive guest list that we had in mind would be totally out of the question if we had a wedding today. If we did eventually have a wedding we both agreed it would be very small and intimate, but in total honesty we are content with never having one. To us a wedding day is suppose to be about your love and focus on the two of you. I loved your perspective on your wedding and actually sent this read to my husband!

    06.11.18 Reply
  8. Alyssa says:

    Eva and Kyle, this was so fun to read. As someone who got married a few years ago, it was really fun to reflect on my own wedding and think about what I would keep and change. I think my husband and I realized we definitely invited a lot of people out of obligation, and I would change that if I could because there are people in the photos I hardly recognize. But at the same time I wouldn’t change a thing.

    06.11.18 Reply
    • Isn’t that so weird about the photos?! I feel the same way

      06.14.18 Reply
  9. Savannah says:

    I connected so much with the part of the conversation about friends not being friends after your wedding. It’s so true for us, it is a bit like a graduation, they get us to where we’re going, then fade into the background. Our wedding was also full of drama caused by family who were invited out of obligation… If I could go back, I would’ve not invited anyone I didn’t feel in my heart I actually wanted to be there. But all in all, perfect day, perfect guy… Perfect weather etc. Your wedding was so beautiful… Almost makes me wanna do it again!

    06.11.18 Reply
    • I feel the exact same way! In general, I feel less obligated socially than Kyle does. It has been a sticking point at times in our marriage!

      06.14.18 Reply
  10. Jo says:

    Sadly my marriage didn’t work out. We made it to 15 years married, together for 20 but we did have a lovely wedding day. We were clear from the start that we wanted a wedding done OUR way, without too much guilt/pressure to arrange things just to make parents/family happy. My Father was furious. He wanted to lead the planning, choose the venue and mostly he wanted to be the host, to be in charge. We wanted a non-religious (unheard of in my family), less formal feel to our day. He was so put out that from that point he refused to be involved in planning or contribute financially if he couldn’t lead. Thankfully he did attend and he did walk me down the aisle and seemed to enjoy the day. About a week later, a letter arrived, from my Dad. He wrote to say what a beautiful, happy day it had been and what a great job we had done with the planning. That he had been wrong to doubt us.
    His extended family had all enjoyed our wedding so he hadn’t been embarrassed. It is the only letter he has ever written to me.
    Although part of me was upset he ever doubted us or that his motivation had been to look good in front of his peers rather than simply to ensure my happiness, it was the nicest gesture he ever afforded me and a very special moment. I still read the letter occasionally. My marriage didn’t stand the test of time but I wouldn’t change a thing about my wedding. I understood my Dad a bit better because of it x

    06.12.18 Reply
  11. Lynn says:

    I enjoyed reading this recent post,full of honesty and love. Our daughter and son in law were also married 7 years ago and did a special effort on every wedding detail with input from us. My one surprise was the next day at a larg breakfast we hosted for 50 people at our home was some criticism I overhead from a few family members. I was crushed because we made such huge efforts to include and make everyone feel welcome and appreciated. There are always a few little moments that go not as planned but to voice a unkind remark is so unkind. Now with 2 grandchildren in the mix we cherish the day with loving memories.

    06.15.18 Reply
  12. I’m so glad I was clicking away with my morning coffee because this blog post is wonderful! I’m sharing! And yes you’re so right, a wedding planner should ideally have a phd in psych. Fortunately I at least have 3/4 of a masters in marriage and family therapy. Shhh it’s a secret. ?
    Ashley Douglass

    11.28.18 Reply