When asked to describe his wedding, the one word Lance Bass likes to use the most is “unique.”
“There were a lot of things we wanted to add into this wedding that are very unique,” the former ‘NSYNC member tells PEOPLE of his Dec. 20 weddingto artist Michael Turchin.
And the event did not disappoint.
Wedding planner Sharon Sacks – who orchestrated Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s wedding earlier this year – oversaw the celebration on Saturday, but Bass, 35, and Turchin, 27, were extremely involved in the process.
Just days before they headed down the aisle, the loving couple gushed to PEOPLE about every detail of the festivities, which will be televised as part of an E! special, Lance Loves Michael: The Lance Bass Wedding, airing Feb. 5 at 8 p.m. ET.
“We needed a space that really reflected our dream wedding,” Bass says of choosing to marry at the legendary Park Plaza Hotel. “We wanted it to have a royal vibe, and everything about the place is over the top and gorgeous. It was exactly the backdrop we needed.”
“The ballroom is all wood-paneled with a wood-carved celling,” Turchin adds. “It looks like you are in an old castle.”
The Guest List
“The guest list started at 750 people,” Bass says. “We had to knock it down to 300. That was the worst part of the whole planning process.”
Among those who made the cut were Bass’s pal Lisa Vanderpump, Cheryl Burke and his former ‘NSYNC bandmates JC Chasez, Joey Fatone and Chris Kirkpatrick.
(Justin Timberlake is currently on tour and was unable to attend, but Bass says the “Mirrors” singer “feels bad” about missing the festivities.)
Other guests included Darren Criss, Christina Applegate, Gabourey Sidibe, Pauley Perrette and Cheryl Burke, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Carmen Electra, Robin Antin and Jason Collins.
The Wedding Party
“Once we got engaged, we knew that we didn’t want a normal wedding party,” Bass says. “We didn’t want to choose bridesmaids and groomsmen because we thought people would get their feelings hurt.”
But Bass and Turchin did end up with a wedding party of sorts that includedtheir three dogs, as well as a fleet of supermodels as their flower girls.
“I thought it would be very unique to a gay wedding to not do the traditional little flower girls,” Bass says. “They are going to be wearing these incredible, unique dresses that our friend Oday Shakar is designing for us. They are kind of like modern-day wedding dresses.”
Though the wedding was non-denominational, the couple wanted to make sure they acknowledged the traditions of Bass’s southern Baptist upbringing and Turchin’s Jewish heritage.
“We wanted our wedding to be full of elements that we grew up with and things that we learned from our parents. It’s all about one generation passing on to the next generation how to do things,” says Bass, who partook in the traditional Jewish traditions of being married under a huppah and stepping on a glass at the end of the ceremony. “But we also wanted to create new traditions.”
One break from tradition was whom the grooms chose to officiate the ceremony: actresses JoAnna Garcia Swisher and Jamie-Lynn Sigler, who are close friends of the couple.
“You could easily go to a preacher, a pastor or a rabbi, but I don’t like that because you don’t really know them. You have a stranger in charge of the most important day of your life,” Bass says. “We loved the idea of using someone who knows us.”
Bass and Turchin had originally asked their friend Jordin Sparks to sing during their first dance. But after Sparks had to back out due to a family function, Chasez stepped up to do the honor.
“It is, of course, very meaningful to me. He has the best voice I’ve ever heard in my entire life,” Bass says of Chasez.
Earlier in the evening, the couple walked down the aisle as Bass’s longtime friend Kelly Price sang the Christina Aguilera ballad “I Am,” which Bass says “is one of our favorite songs.”
And although Bass decided he did not want to perform during the celebration, guests were treated to a special rendition of “It’s A Wonderful World” by Hope Leigh Rollins and danced the night away to tracks spun by DJ Tracy Young, who had previously only done one wedding – Madonna’s.
The flowers by Studio Fiore strayed from the wedding norm. “We didn’t just want the typical white flowers everywhere,” Turchin says. “We wanted it to be masculine so we chose these dark, rich, red and purple flowers with a lot of dark green mixed in.”
As for the lighting, the grooms went with blue, purple and red tones.
“We wanted it to be a little dark and sexier than a traditional white, flowery wedding,” Turchin says.
The food was catered by Buca di Beppo and Robert Earl, the famed restaurateur who is a longtime friend of the singer’s.
Guests noshed at several stations serving everything from salmon pesto and braised short ribs to wedding lasagne. There were also delicious hors d’oeuvres including pancetta-wrapped dates, ricotta gnudi and mini meatballs.
Guests sipped on Medea Vodka, Moët and Chandon champagne, Drake Wines and VeeV cocktails and saddled up to a 10-foot. copper-top Ole Smoky Moonshine bar (complete with mason jar glasses), where they were offered three specialty moonshine cocktails with Southern-inspired names like “The Dolly” and “Mississippi Mule” created especially for Bass and Turchin.
The grooms didn’t stop at just offering guests a slice of their seven-tier cake – which included carrot cake with walnuts and cream cheese frosting as well as chocolate almond cherry cake with a cherry butter cream frosting – from The Butter End Cakery.
Bass and Turchin also served Steve’s Ice Cream, which is famous for unique flavors like banana bread pudding, iced coffee and doughnuts and mint julep, and a selection of their favorite chocolates from Dylan’s Candy Bar.
For the ceremony, the couple – who also designed their wedding bands – wore custom tuxes they designed in collaboration with stylist Jeff Kim and Josh Yunger, president of J.Yunger.
“They are traditional black tuxedos, but each of us put a little twist on them by incorporating a little dark navy,” says Turchin, who wore a black shirt and black bowtie while Bass wore a white shirt with navy bowtie.
For the reception, the newlyweds changed into velvet tuxes, Turchin’s blue and black and Bass’s hunter green.
“We love fashion, so it was really fun to design those,” Bass says of the tuxes, which he also described as (of course!) “unique.”
While their wedding rings were designed by David Yurman, their wedding bands were designed by Turchin’s sister, Lauren Turchin.