Here’s a question: would you marry a complete stranger?
Well, that’s the basis for Lifetime TV’s hit reality show “Married At First Sight”. Have you been watching the romance (and drama) unfold?! Season 5 brings us three new couples that met for the first time at the altar — I’m talking minutes before exchanging vows! Not familiar with the show? Here’s the deal: applicants submit to be matched by relationship and psychology experts but will have no idea who has been chosen for them until they get married!
Check this out, just like our Mike Staff Productions offices, one of the stars of the reality show has ties to Detroit and Chicago — 33 year old Anthony D’Amico. Mike Staff Productions chatted, one on one, with the sales and marketing professional about his experience being married to a complete stranger, his wife, Ashley Petta a 30 year old restaurant manager (we triiiieeed to get the spoilers but he wouldn’t budge)!
Oh! Before we get to the questions — here’s one more fun fact — see that romantic picture of the newlyweds? Mike Staff Productions was selected to be the official wedding photographer for all three couples on their wedding day! Our photographer Larry Remiker, from our Chicago team, captured the moments these brides and grooms met each other for the first time!
Oh! Wait — here’s coming else really cool! Our interview with Anthony got picked up by WXYZ ABC News in Detroit! (Thanks guys!)
Ok! Now on to the interview…..
Mike Staff Productions: I am sure you get this question all the time since joining the show — but what motivated you to take the chance marrying a complete stranger? Was there anything significant in your life that happened or didn’t happen that pushed you to take the risk?
Anthony D’Amico: You’re correct, I do get this questions all the time [laughter]. I was so ready to be a husband and start a family. I’ve done a good amount with my life and that was the next adventure for me.
MSP: Before getting married, you had that dream about the letter “A” and a flashlight — when you learned your soon to be wifes name was Ashley — how did your feelings change? Did they go from nerves to relief? Like, maybe this was truly meant to be?
D’Amico: I felt like I had answers. I was amazed that her name was Ashley and for a moment I had a flashback to the dream – which was surreal. From there I was just anxious to finally meet her.
MSP: What went through your mind when you saw Ashley walk down the aisle for the first time?
D’Amico: Jackpot! The experts really listened! The hard part of possibly not being attracted to her was no longer an issue.
MSP: ‘Married at First Sight’ has a cool connection to our company, Mike Staff Productions. One of our photographers from our Chicago office, Larry Remiker, took your wedding pictures! Because those pictures captured your first meeting — how much do they mean to you and your new wife, Ashley?
D’Amico: Those pictures mean everything. There was so much going on that day – with will the running around, cameras and people – sometimes it was hard to remember what happened haha. I have my own special memories stashed away but the professional pictures Larry took allow me to remember what I missed and how special the day was meeting Ashley and her family for the first time. My favorite one are when we both have an expression on our face and we try to figure out what we were saying to each other then.
MSP: You gave Ashley almonds on your wedding day as a gift, how come?
D’Amico: I had no idea who I was going to be marrying or her culture. The almonds are an Italian tradition that are given to the bride and groom that represents 5 wishes for the couple. Since I didn’t know what her cultural background was I thought it would be cool to share some of mine.
MSP: Ok the wedding has passed. Honeymoon is over. Now you’re moving in together in Chicago. Let’s talk about the PARKING situation at the apartment complex you were looking at. Ashley would not budge — seems like a normal dispute to have but when you barely know each other, it could be hard. Have you had to have a discussion about ‘compromise’?
D’Amico: Each situation has it’s own rules of engagement. All you can control is yourself and how you as an individual handle situations that require compromise. My suggestion to couples is to take a second, remove the emotion from the situation and use logic to solve the issue at hand. Once I did that the parking situation was an easy compromise. You can’t put a price on safety and it made logical sense for Ashley to have a secured parking spot as oppose to having her looking for parking and then worst case having to walk multiple blocks by herself in the wee hours of the morning.
MSP: Another thing about her living situation that you needed to “deal with” – shoes… in the cupboard?! As a guy that likes to cook, that must have been a shock! lol What quirks has Ashley learned about you?
D’Amico: One that come to mind would be that I prefer to hang my wet towel over the shower curtain rather than on the hook on the back of the bathroom door. Why? Funny you should ask, BECAUSE IT GETS THE TOWEL COMPLETELY DRY FASTER! Haha. Ashley thought it made the bathroom look dirty. Different strokes I guess.
MSP: Let’s just break this down for a second: you married a stranger and the entire world gets to follow along — do the cameras make a difference?
D’Amico: Having cameras in front of you everyday for 8 weeks can be a little crazy at times. Like when you get home from a crappy day at work and all you want to do is sit on the couch and do nothing….Yeahhhhhh that didn’t exist during filming. There was always something going on which could really test your patience sometimes. Ashley told me after filming one day that I was way more affectionate after the cameras were turned off. I never realized that but looking back I can see what she was saying.
MSP: Not only do you have a connection to Chicago — but for all of the folks in Michigan watching — the mitten state is your hometown! Where did you grow up? What do you love about both cities? Plan on bringing Ashley to your hometown?
D’Amico: I grew up all over Michigan really, but the bulk of my life was spent in Sterling Heights and Shelby Township. The main thing that I love about being back home is that’s where my family and the bulk of my friends are. It’s always amazing to go back and see everyone. I wish I could go back more often and see more people but time is always an issue. I can never seem to make it to everyone who wants to grab a drink or just make an appearance.
During filming I did bring Ashley to Michigan but you’ll have to wait for that to come out on the show, don’t want to ruin anything for you. We had a lot of fun but again I wish we had more time!
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