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Stories of the Year: Celebrity wedding creates a stir at Hotel Baker

Published: Monday, Dec. 29, 2014 9:17 p.m. CST

ST. CHARLES – During the afternoon of Aug. 29, celebrities Jenny McCarthy and Donnie Wahlberg were spotted entering the Hotel Baker in St. Charles. At the time, news reports were suggesting they were supposed to have been in New York for their wedding.

By the afternoon of Aug. 30, word was spreading that the wedding was, in fact, taking place during the Labor Day weekend in St. Charles. And crowds started to gather in front of the hotel on Route 64.

McCarthy previously was a co-host on the ABC-TV show “The View,” as well as a model and actress. Wahlberg was in the music group New Kids on the Block and also is a prominent actor.

Throughout the weekend, people were finding reasons to visit downtown St. Charles. Some were standing across the street from Hotel Baker, aiming their cameras at the scene. The outside dining area at Zaza’s Italian Steakhouse, which sits across the street from the hotel, was full.

Those who gathered spoke of celebrity sightings throughout the weekend. Some said they could see McCarthy at the Rox City Grill restaurant at the Hotel Baker. Some reported seeing guests arrive, such as Sherri Shepherd, McCarthy’s former co-host on “The View,” and Jordan Knight, who was in New Kids on the Block.

One person who showed up, South Elgin resident Sharon Wells, summed up the scene, saying, “It’s fun. What else are you going to do on a holiday weekend?”

Eventually, it was announced that a 10-episode series, “Donnie Loves Jenny,” was headed to A&E next year. The series will include a one-hour wedding special featuring McCarthy and Wahlberg.

– Al Lagattolla