04/26/2013 at 12:00 PM EDT
's wife now has his entire family and all of his friends on her side if there's ever an argument over who gets the side of the bed closest to the bathroom.
"It's nice to say your vows in front of family," Damon told the crowd gathered Thursday at Harvard University, where he was honored for his work in the arts with 2013 Harvard Arts Medal presented by actor John Lithgow.
"That's the point of taking the vows. These are people who will hold you to them. One of my vows was I gave her the side of the bed closer to the bathroom. And if I don't stick to that, I'm gonna hear about that from my mom, brother and father."
On April 13, Damon and wife Luciana renewed their wedding vows
in front of 50 family and friends on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia, though during Thursday night's question-and-answer session, he explained why the couple had originally married at city hall.
"We were gonna get married over Christmas [in 2005], and then somebody got wind of it, and my publicist told me these people are are all going to go down to Miami where we lived at the time," he said. "We thought our whole holiday break was going get ruined with people hanging around, with helicopters and all that stuff. So we literally ran to the city on [on Dec. 9, 2005,] and just tied the knot really quickly, just to kind of nip that whole thing in the bud."
A hectic family life raising their four daughters
delayed the renewal of vows that Damon said the couple always really wanted to do.
The Boston native also said that being back in his hometown after the bombings that shook the city's iconic Boston Marathon
was emotional, and added that fellow Bostonian Mark Wahlberg's
quote about the bombings articulated just how many people feel.
"Particularly right now, it's good to be back in Boston," Damon said. "I went to school where the youngest bomber went to school, and was just talking about all the happy memories I had there. And my nephew goes to school there now. I think we're all still in shock. I certainly am still in shock, and I'm trying to figure out what this all means and how it could happen."
Reporting by MEGAN JOHNSON