When Chris Kirkpatrick tied the knot with longtime girlfriend Karly Skladany last Saturday, he was surrounded by the people he loved.
“It was family and friends: people I’ve known forever and people I met last year,” he tells PEOPLE exclusively.
Among the people he’s known forever: the other four members of ‘NSYNC. Clad in black Calvin Klein tuxes, Joey Fatone, Lance Bass, JC Chasez and Justin Timberlake served as ushers, escorting the 300 guests to their seats.
Kirkpatrick, 42, proposed to Skladany, 29, in Italy last year. The couple selected the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel in Orlando for their nuptials. “Our wedding had an Italian motif,” he explains. “It’s a special place to us.”
Skladany, who wore a jewel-encrusted gown by Enzoani, chose a hand-carved wedding band with diamonds set in platinum. Kirkpatrick’s featured black diamonds set in tungsten.
After the outdoor ceremony, the guests retreated to a huge ballroom decorated in white, ivory, merlot and gold. Dinner included teriyaki glazed beef medallions, shrimp scampi with roasted asparagus, and whipped potatoes.
The seven-tier cake, by cake designer Anna Cakes, was decorated in ivory, white and gold. Each tier was decorated differently with gold rhinestones, ivory scroll work, and hand-crafted, edible gold bows. The flavors: sweet lemon, coconut cake and yellow/fudge marble cake with Bavarian cream filling.
“It was beautiful,” says Kirkpatrick. “Everything was exactly how we wanted it to be.” (And leave it to Kirkpatrick to add his own flair – the groom’s cake was devil’s food with a motif of the Voltron cartoons.)
Kirkpatrick, who calls the wedding “the best day of my life,” tells PEOPLE about his special day – including the advice he got from Timberlake before walking down the aisle.
Let’s start at the beginning. What happened when you woke up on your wedding day?
It was raining, and I was like, “Oh, no!” It was the one day of the week that we had actually had rain. I was really worried, because it was an outdoor wedding. Karly had planned everything to be outside, so I knew she was going to be bummed.
Actually, it was okay. It stopped before our wedding. We were getting married in the middle of the afternoon and it cooled off perfectly. If I had been up there sweating in that tux, I would have been miserable. But the weather was perfect. We had no passing out incidents.
Joey, Justin, Lance and JC were there. What was their role?
They were my ushers. They sat the families, escorted people to their seats. Obviously, they knew what this meant to me, and it was really special that we could all be back together. It was like no time had passed. I wanted them to share the day with us.
What was it like having all the guys there with you?
We were getting ready together in the bathroom, and we laughed that the bathroom was bigger than some of our dressing rooms. We joked and laughed a lot; it really was like how things used to be. They’re like family.
What did you talk about?
Justin and Joey were giving me wedding advice. Justin was like, “You’re going to be a little bit nervous here, but it’ll be okay.” It was really funny. I’m the oldest one of us, and I never thought I’d be getting wedding advice from Justin Timberlake! They made things seem really normal.
Did anything go wrong?
Nothing big. We had a couple of mix-ups with drivers. We had hired a cigar roller because Karly’s father likes to smoke cigars. Because of the driver mix-up, he didn’t make it.
Had you seen the dress before Karly walked down the aisle?
No, she wouldn’t let me. She had pictures of it on her phone and wouldn’t let me see it. And when Karly would be looking at pictures on her computer, she made me leave the room. I felt like she was keeping a secret from me. (laughs) It felt dirty! Like she had some sort of secret life.
So what did you think when you finally saw her in it?
She looked amazing. Gorgeous. It was totally unbelievable. When she walked down the aisle, she took my breath away. I was like, “Wow.” She looked gorgeous.
You may have set the record for most adjectives ever in describing a bride.
I know, right? (laughs) Really, she looked amazing.
Was Karly a bridezilla? Or were you a groomzilla?
(laughs) Not at all. We decided that if stuff happens, we would just roll with it. This was a happy day, and we were with our close family and friends. As long as we got married, everything else was secondary.
So who else was in the wedding party?
The wedding party was huge. I have four sisters and Karly has three, plus she had two friends she wanted to be in it. We had this huge old wedding party. I had my groomsmen, and of course the ‘NSYNC guys were my ushers.
Where’s the honeymoon?
Hawaii! She had been here before, and I performed here years ago, but we’ve never gone to Hawaii together.
I hate to sound like your grandma, but are you two planning on children soon?
Yes! Karly wants to have kids really quickly, so we’re going to do that. That’s our plan. We’re definitely ready to have children – we both want them.
Where will you raise them?
For now, we’ll continue living in Orlando – I’ve lived in Orlando for most of my adult life. We’ve talked about moving, but where? We love California as well as the East Coast but if we have kids, we want to live somewhere that is good for raising them. Wherever we end up will be kid-friendly.
Twenty years from now, what will stand out in your memory?
Just seeing my friends and family with her friends and family. It was the first time that our worlds collided. We saw her friends hanging out with my friends. Random people were all sitting together and talking. It was so awesome to see.
And having the guys back together, having a great time. It brought back so many memories of being together as ‘NSYNC when we were younger. It was really a special day for us.
So all went well?
Everything went amazingly. Karly was happy with everything, and as long as she was happy, I was happy. It was a perfect day.
For more exclusive photos of Kirkpatrick, his bride and his bandmates, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.