Close to four years ago, Jenny McCarthy and Donnie Wahlberg exchanged vows in an intimate Chicago wedding before 90 of their closest family members and friends. “It totally makes me feel so dreamy now that I’m thinking of the experience,” McCarthy, 45, tells The Knot in an exclusive interview. “When I was walking down the aisle and looking at Donnie? I’ll never forget that. I remember that I was exactly where I was supposed to be.”
“I was just blown away,” Wahlberg adds of the moment. “There are a lot of things going through your head—getting married is an out of body experience—but for me it was sort of like everyone else in the room disappeared and it was just the two of us.”
The most vivid memories from the wedding day itself involved music, ranging from Joey McIntyre’s emotional toast performed with the Chicago Children’s Choir to TV personality Sherri Shepherd leading the dance floor throughout the night. Not to forget: the Regina Belle performed the mother-son dance song live. Understandably, the couple struggled just a bit to narrow down their favorite music moments, but they can now claim that the entertainment portion of their wedding reception was top notch. Here, in conjunction with SiriusXM’s Wedding Party with The Knot, the two reflect back on little known highlights from their wedding day.
The Couple Chose Two First Dance Songs
“We didn’t really choose one, we chose two,” Wahlberg, the founding member of New Kids on the Block, tells The Knot. “The first dance was to Edelweiss [from The Sound of Music], and the second was ‘You’re the One That I Want’ by John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John from Grease.”
“I always wanted to be Sandy and find my Danny and I did: I found my Donnie,” McCarthy adorably adds. “It was something that was a dream come true. Then we went into Edelweiss, which isn’t a common wedding song. We danced to it at a charity event. It was such a fairytale moment.” The significance of Edelweiss, Wahlberg adds, was that the pair danced to the tune early on while dating at the same exact location where their wedding was held. “It was the same song that we shared our first dance together,” he muses.
Joey McIntyre Made Everyone Cry… With a John Legend Song
During the reception, while people gave speeches, the groom’s close pal and bandmate Joey McIntyre walked up to give a toast—in song. “He sang of ‘All of Me’ with the Chicago Children’s Choir. It’s not the most unique wedding song of course, to have ‘All of Me’ by John Legend, but when your bandmate sing it with a choir and he sings it in a way—that I’ve worked with Joey for 35 years and I’ve never heard him sing this way—it was really the most beautiful tribute ever, Wahlberg recalls. “Everybody in the room was crying, including all the other New Kids on the Block. We don’t cry. We don’t do that. Everyone cried.”
“It was really actually perfect,” McCarthy adds.
Regina Belle Offered to Sing in Person
Unless you’re Taylor Swift, most celebs require payment to perform live at weddings, sweet 16 parties, you name it. However, boy band royalty and talk show divas have friends who willingly offer up their services—making it all the more special. “Whenever one of my mom’s kids get married, she always dances with them to ‘If I Could’ by Regina Belle,” says Wahlberg. “Figuring that this might be the last wedding of her kids, Jenny and I had the idea to get Regina Belle to come to the wedding and sing it live. And she did! We just asked Regina if she could do it, she said yes… She kept saying, ‘I want to do this.’ I guess she had a fondness for my mom from the TV show.”
“To see her face when Regina walked in the building, she was so overwhelmed with joy and tears,” McCarthy adds of Alma Wahlberg. In fact, she opted to abstain from a father-daughter dance to spotlight Donnie’s dance with his mom. “I told my dad I wanted to save it for Donnie and Alma and make that a real moment. I know it’s not traditional but it was more important to highlight Alma and Donnie,” she adds. “And my dad was totally cool with it.”
McCarthy hosts an exclusive SiriusXM show, The Jenny McCarthy Show, Mondays through Fridays on SiriusXM Stars channel 109.