From “American Idol” alum to Rob Thomas! As they finally became husband and wife, Bachelor stars Jared Haibon and Ashley Iaconetti had musical performances and playlist appearances from the artists who have played powerful roles in their lives and romance.
The two tied the knot in a waterfront ceremony in Rhode Island, New York, on Sunday and given how much they bonded over music in the early stages of their relationship, it’s not surprising that performer and song choices were just as important as the dress.
ET Canada chatted with the pair in the months leading up to their big day, as they dished on how their musical wedding dreams were coming together.
First and foremost, Iaconetti, 31, scored “one of my very ultimate favourite artists,” “American Idol” alum David Cook, for the ceremony, noting that he had arranged shows around the date. A longtime fangirl of Cook, the media personality admitted on her podcast I Don’t Get It that she’s such a Cook fangirl that she once went on an extreme diet (cutting out her five weaknesses of white carbs, fried food, soda, alcohol and sweets) for a month before his concert and was “glowing” by the time the big night arrived. (She later enforced the same diet for two weeks leading up to Men Tell All, where she would see Haibon for the first time since “Bachelor In Paradise”.)
Iaconetti also lived out her musical dream of waking up on the morning of her big day to the song “It’s Your Wedding Day” from “The Wedding Singer” musical, posting the clip on Instagram.
Meanwhile, Haibon’s well-publicized love for Matchbox Twenty frontman and solo artist Rob Thomas was represented via the couple’s first dance song, “Ever the Same,” which Cook performed. In April, Haibon explained how he had always envisioned the beautiful ballad, from Thomas’ debut solo album Something to Be, playing an important part in his special day.
“His music really touches heartstrings,” Haibon said. “I always imagined that as being my first dance song and Ashley loves it too. It’s just such a great song.”
After hanging with the couple backstage at a Sidewalk Angels Foundation benefit gig in California in March, Thomas told ET Canada that Iaconetti had filled him in on their plans to use the beautiful track for their first dance. “She told me that and I thought that was very, very sweet,” Thomas said. “But my first question when I met her was, ‘So, do you hate me at this point? Are you sick of me?’”
The question came thanks to Thomas being well-aware of Haibon’s fanboy-showcasing time on “Bachelor In Paradise”, during which the 30-year-old star memorably declared that he was “passionate” about Thomas and that he was looking for a woman “who loves movies and Rob Thomas.” Since then, Haibon has hung with the Grammy winner at several concerts and donated 10% of proceeds from the sales of his and Iaconetti’s children’s book, Lucy and Clark: A Story of Puppy Love, to the Sidewalk Angels Foundation (founded by Thomas and his wife, Marisol, to help animal shelters and rescues.)
Naturally, fans were wondering if Thomas might also perform at the ceremony, but when asked in April, the “Timeless” singer joked he was waiting for his invite. While Iaconetti (who met Haibon on “Bachelor In Paradise”, but dated Canadian hunk Kevin Wendt on “Bachelor Winter Games” before she and Haibon got serious) said the pair were always planning to invite Thomas to the wedding, his comments encouraged them to ensure he got the memo pronto and sure enough, when the couple attended Thomas’ Chip Tooth Smile concert in June at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles, they enthusiastically showed ET Canada a wedding invitation addressed to “Rob and Marisol,” which was safely tucked away in a copy of their book, ready to be handed to the couple after the show.
While their planned post-show catch-up fell through, they were instead able to deliver the invitation at a further Chip Tooth Smile gig in Boston, Massachusetts, in July. And, although the singer wasn’t able to attend, he sent a sweet apology and was still part of their first dance.
As for other music which guests enjoyed throughout the evening, chances are the playlist included some New Kids on the Block (with Donnie Wahlberg and wife Jenny McCarthy also invited and sending their apologies,) as well as the Backstreet Boys, who helped the two bond during the early stages of their friendship-turned-romance.
“I’m a big Backstreet Boys fan — one of the first things we bonded over was the fact that she was like, ‘You’re a guy and you like boy bands?’” Jared explained. “When I was growing up, I had an older sister who loved Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC and whatever she liked, I thought was the coolest. So, I was 12-years-old singing ‘Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)’ in my room, then going to school singing ‘Larger Than Life’ … and thinking, ‘Why don’t I have friends?’”
“To be honest, the Backstreet Boys have been more influential in my life than a lot of my cousins,” Iaconetti added, while the pair contemplated which family members they could cut from the guest list if the boy band decided to make a surprise appearance.
The singers already serenaded Iaconetti on stage at an iHeartRadio gig in 2016 but weren’t able to make the wedding due to being on the road with their DNA World Tour. The couple instead spent the weekend before their wedding rocking out to the “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” singers during their sold-out Los Angeles, California, show at the Staples Center.
And while the quintet couldn’t attend the ceremony, songs like “I Want It That Way,” likely rocked the reception — Iaconetti pointing out that the track doesn’t make much sense, while Haibon noted how it still holds a special place in their relationship.
“It’s in our love story,” he explained. “After we met in ‘Bachelor in Paradise’ — and I was obviously in love with her, but just an idiot — for her birthday I made her a video of me singing ‘I Want It That Way.’ So, it would be a full circle moment to hear it at our wedding.”
The couple kicked off their festivities with a gorgeous sunset cruise in Rhode Island on Friday, following by a rehearsal dinner at the OceanCliff Hotel on Saturday. The wedding fun culminated in Sunday’s ceremony, where Iaconetti donned an Ines Di Santos ballgown accessorized by Brooke Rayn Jewelry. Attendees included fellow Bachelor Nation alum like Canadian star Kaitlyn Bristowe and Jason Tartick, Carly Waddell and Evan Bass, Ben Higgins, Becca Tilley, Dean Unglert and Nick Viall.
Congrats to the newlyweds!
For more photos of the wedding, check out the new issue of People on newsstands nationwide this Friday.