When Wakefield couple Jessica Cushing and Shawn Cicerano were looking for a wedding venue, they found an unlikely and perfect spot.
After an unsuccessful search, Jessica’s 6-year-old daughter, Paige, suggested they marry at their favorite restaurant: Wahlburgers in Lynnfield.
Founded by the Wahlberg family in 2011, actors Donnie and Mark teamed with their brother Paul to create a tribute to their Dorchester roots and their mother Alma’s favorite comfort foods. Some of their fans watched the process on a TV series.
“We love Wahlburgers,” said Jessica. “Their food is really good, and the atmosphere is always great. Plus, I’ve always been a huge fan of the Wahlbergs.”
About 50 people attended the ceremony Feb. 6, including an unexpected appearance from Paul — the chain’s top chef — and Alma Wahlberg. Alma’s Macaroni Salad was on the reception menu, along with tater tots, chili, and slider versions of the burgers regularly on the Wahlburgers menu.
“Paige was starstruck when she got to meet Paul,” said Jessica. “He’s her favorite.”
The ceremony took place outside (it was before all the snow) the Wahlburgers at MarketStreet Lynnfield, complete with heating lamps. Mark Rahall, general manager of that restaurant, became ordained as a minister online and officiated the wedding.
“It was very surreal,” Rahall said. “I had just been married in September, so it was incredible to be on the other side of the aisle and to see the responsibilities ministers have. I was a part of the most important moment of their life.”
During one of their pre-wedding dinners at Wahlburgers, Shawn and Jessica told Rahall they didn’t have anyone to officiate the ceremony. Jokingly, Rahall offered to become ordained and do it himself. Much to his surprise, the couple agreed.
“I was goofing around, but they really took my bid on it,” said Rahall.
For the Ciceranos, the day was just the mixture they were looking for.
“I was just saying to a friend of mine that I wish we could do it again,” Jessica said. “It was a really good time, and we didn’t have any of the stress that comes with planning a wedding.”
Samson Amore can be reached at email@example.com.