By now, ALL MY CHILDREN fans have heard that Kelly Ripa (Hayley) and Mark Consuelos (Mateo) were married in real life on May 1 in Las Vegas. As their nuptial news spread — more than two months after the fact — the obviously in-love actors spoke with Digest about their courtship and married life.
Digest: When did you fall in love?
Consuelos: As far as I’m concerned, instantly — before we ever had a scene together. We’ve been spending 12 hours a day together for the past year and a half.
Ripa: We just understood each other really well. If two people were ever supposed to be together, I’d say it was us.
Digest: How did you decide to fly to Las Vegas and get married?
Ripa: It was very weird and very simple. Mark just said, “Let’s go to Vegas.”
Consuelos: It was the best kind of engagement. I didn’t want to fight with Kelly about how many of her girlfriends she was going to have at the wedding and which relatives we don’t like. To me, marriage has nothing to do with anybody but me and my wife.
Digest: Was the wedding very difficult to arrange?
Consuelos: No. Have you ever been to Vegas? You just open the Yellow Pages and see a hundred places you can go.
Ripa: We could have gotten married at the hotel, but we were like, “We came this far, let’s go to a chapel.”
Digest: Were you nervous?
Ripa: Beforehand, I was very nervous, and Mark seemed very strong.
Consuelos: I was acting!
Ripa: I was crying and being very emotional, and I just kind of looked at Mark the whole time. I didn’t even look at the man. What was his name? We can’t remember.
Consuelos: Reverend something. I think it was Elvis.
Ripa: Anyway, as soon as the ceremony was over, we had an overwhelming sense of peace. It just seemed like it was supposed to happen that way.
Consuelos: It was a great wedding.
Digest: Did your parents understand why you chose to run away and get married?
Consuelos: They understand me. They know who I am. I’ve never been traditional, and I hate conforming to anything. I want to do what I want to do, and I found somebody who agreed with me. I would have liked to have told my mom face-to-face, but I didn’t have that luxury. [AMC Executive Producer Francesca James] urged the couple to call their parents when a Las Vegas radio reporter alerted James to the secret nuptials.
Ripa: We’ll make it up to them. We’ll have a small ceremony with them in a Catholic church, because we were both raised Catholic. [Our wedding] was a simple and beautiful thing, and I’d do it over and over again the same way.
Digest: How was your honeymoon?
Ripa: Beautiful! We went to Rome and Capri for a week. We’ve actually had a few honeymoons, because Mark’s taken me to Puerto Rico and to Florida a few times. The first half of the year, we’ve been on one big vacation.
Consuelos: She deserved a beautiful place to go, and I couldn’t think of a more beautiful place than Italy.
Digest: So, how does it feel to be a married couple?
Consuelos: It’s an adjustment. We’re going to get a new apartment that’s totally ours. I had an ex-girlfriend in mine and she had an ex-boyfriend in hers, so it’s not cool. There are ghosts there.
Ripa: For the first couple of weeks, it was like, “Hey! My stuff goes there.”
Consuelos: We’ll get two bedrooms, one that we’ll make into an office with my cable TV so I can watch sports.
Ripa: Sports have been the big bone of contention, I have to say. ESPN 2 and 3 and 12 — it’s on 24 hours a day.
Consuelos: The Yankees are my team.
Ripa: But if baseball’s not on, he’ll find racecar driving or midget tossing.
Digest: Is it a challenge to live together and work together?
Consuelos: The only time I notice stress in our relationship is when I’m not with her. I’m like, “Where is she? Where is my right hand?”
Ripa: We got cellular phones so we can be in constant contact with each other.
Digest: Your Roman numeral wedding rings came from Tiffany. Will you register for gifts there, too?
Consuelos: No! Between her stuff and my stuff, we’ve got enough stuff. Just say “Congratulations” and be happy for us. That’s the only present we want.
This interview originally appeared in the August 27, 1996 issue of Soap Opera Digest.