By Janelle Walker/For Sun-Times Media
A few hundred people crowded on the sidewalk across from the Hotel Baker in St. Charles on Sunday, hoping for glimpses of celebrities past or present.
They were hoping for glimpses of former “The View” co-host and Splash columnist Jenny McCarthy and “Wahlburgers” star Donnie Wahlberg, who tied the knot at the historic hotel Sunday.
Advance details about the wedding plans were scarce, but that didn’t stop fans from showing up in attempts to get photos and autographs with the wedding guests.
Amanda VanDerHeyden, 37, of St. Charles got her wish when she saw Wahlberg’s New Kids on the Block bandmate Jordan Knight walking into the hotel at about 2 p.m. With no traffic on Route 64 at that moment, VanDerHeyden made a dash across the street to ask the former teen heartthrob for a photograph.
Knight turned her down — he and his wife had to get inside and get ready — but VanDerHeyden was happy. She did touch his arm, she laughed.
She’d heard about the pending nuptials from an aunt who heard about them on TV and knew about VanDerHeyden’s love of the 1990s boy band. She made her family come down to lunch at McNally’s Irish Pub, and stayed behind afterward to catch a glimpse of the celebrities anticipated Sunday.
When her husband called later, she told him about the encounter. “He said: ‘What does that mean, do you want a divorce now?’ ” laughed the mother of two girls.
“I have loved Jordan since I was 12 years old,” she added.
Knight wasn’t the only NKOTB band member at the wedding.
Joey McIntyre and his wife were seen walking in downtown St. Charles and signed autographs at the Starbucks down the street. Knight also reportedly took photographs with fans and signed autographs when he went to the coffee shop later.
Another early arrival was Sherri Shepherd, McCarthy’s former co-host on the morning chat-fest “The View.”
After Shepherd was dropped off at the front door, she came back out a few minutes later to wave at fans. She then turned the tables and apparently used her phone to record the crowd waving at her.
Not seen was Wahlberg’s movie-star brother Mark, who had sent his regrets and posted a video declaring, “We’re very happy for you.” He was surrounded by his wife and four kids, who all shouted, “Congratulations!”
McCarthy, who grew up in Chicago and graduated from Mother McAuley High, wore a gown she picked up at Bergdorf Goodman, a source told People.com, after the couple was spotted at the store’s bridal shop in July.