Exclusive: Jenna Dewan Opens Up About Her Wedding and Finding True Love
Life is starting to pick back up again, and Jenna Dewan is here for it. The actress, dancer, author and former model is emerging from quarantine with excitement—and for good reason. She welcomed her second child in March of 2020, just as the world began to shut down. The timing meant she had a full year to hunker down at home with her new baby and her new fiancé, Broadway star Steve Kazee. After a postpartum pause, she's ready to get back on screen and back down the aisle again too. I chatted with the Come Dance With Me judge about finding love again, her connection with Mother Earth and her plans for throwing a sustainable wedding.
Lauren Kay: It's safe to say 2020 was a chaotic year to say the least—but also a good one for you! You got engaged and welcomed your son, Callum Kazee. Congratulations! Can you take us back in time to the very beginning of your and Steve's story?
Jenna Dewan: Despite everything, there's been a lot of good stuff going on. And yes, it's a good story. About nine years ago, I happened to be in New York, so I took my mom to see Once on Broadway. We cried our eyes out and fell in love with the show—in particular, the lead actor, Steve Kazee. We thought he was just so talented. And funnily enough, my mom had the biggest crush—she couldn't stop saying, "he's the cutest, so sensitive, so handsome." She just kept going on and on. So I said, "let's wait for him at the stage door so you can say hi." So we did. We waited for a few minutes, and he appeared. I was pushing her forward to say hi, and Steve and I just had one of those eye-catching moments. It was very quick, but it struck us both. It was a moment. My mom and I told him what a great job he did and how it was such an amazing show, and that was it. We both went off into the night. But I never forgot the moment. Life went on, as it does. Many years later, we were in different situations. I was single again, he was single. He messaged me and said something like, "Hey, I don't know if you remember me, but how are you?" And I was floored. Of course I remembered him. And that moment in 2012. And it was just kind of fate—it was totally meant to be.
LK: So was it love at first sight?
JD: It was. I think it was a remembrance at first sight, or that's kinda what I like to call it. We just both thought, "hmm." You go through life and you know those moments don't happen every day.
LK: True kismet. What about the proposal, was it a "moment" too?
JD: Oh, yes. I was pregnant with Callum and it was the weekend of my baby shower. My mom was in town and all my close friends were there too. My baby shower for Evie was more traditional, but this time I wanted something different. I like to say I'm a very spiritual-minded person, so I had a blessingway. It's more like a ceremony and a celebration of motherhood than a baby shower. So everyone sat in a circle and shared words of wisdom and offered a blessing to Callum and to Steve and me, and while we were doing that, we wove this dream catcher together. Everyone brought a crystal or a token to weave into it. When the dream catcher got to Steve, he said, "I have a song," and got out his guitar. He had written this song and halfway through he sings, "will you marry me?" And everyone gasped. Meanwhile, this had been in the works for months. My daughter, Evie, knew it was happening—I still have no idea how she kept it a secret. She's only seven! She and Steve had a whole thing and she came running out. We were all in tears. That moment was just really special, and there was a feeling in the air that day. Nothing in my life has been really traditional. Things have happened and there have been a lot of transitions. I like that we're doing this our own way.
LK: What a special moment. Yet, somehow you forgot to mention that epic sparkler. Tell us about the ring.
JD: Oh, yes, the ring is really amazing. One of our good friends is the actress Nikki Reed. She lives a very sustainable life and walks her talk. She started this jewelry line called BaYou with Love, and she designs these incredible engagement rings and wedding bands and all kinds of jewelry. Everything is made from sustainable materials—like they melt down Dell computers and use the gold. She grows these beautiful diamonds in a lab too. Steve had been working with her for months to design the ring. I am just obsessed with it.
LK: So Steve knew sustainability was important to you?
JD: Oh, yes, he knew. He knows my connection to sustainability and the planet and living a healthy life. For me, it's really all about the connection. If we all realized just how connected we are in this life, we could appreciate how our actions truly affect everyone—and that extends to Mother Earth. Sure, it can be difficult at times to try and live sustainably, but it's also amazing. Like who would have thought a ring like this could be sustainable? And yet it is. It's gorgeous! And hands down my favorite piece of jewelry. It's more about the thought, that idea of connections.
LK: Can you share more about your desire to live a green life? You've adopted a plant-based diet. Is that one of the ways in which you are trying to live more sustainably?
JD: Yes, and it all started when I was 10. My mom always tells the story that I watched a documentary on TV about a slaughterhouse. I was always the kid who was very emotionally attached to animals and never liked eating meat. I cried when I saw roadkill. So that super-sensitive kid watches this documentary and declares, "I will never be eating meat again. From this point forward, I am a vegetarian." And I really didn't eat meat in my teenage years and haven't since. It began with me being aware of the interconnectedness of all of us. I wanted all animals to be fairly treated, and I had such disdain for factory farming. Then it turned toward the environment. These last few years have really highlighted sustainability for me. I want to live more sustainably and support brands with that ethos. It used to feel like it was always a trade-off, but now there are so many amazing fashion brands and larger companies that carry sustainable items. It's so much easier to adopt this lifestyle nowadays.
LK: You've described yourself as a beauty junkie. Tell me a little bit about your journey to clean beauty.
JD: When I was pregnant for the first time, I became insistent about using only clean beauty products. I slathered coconut oil, straight out of the jar, all over my body. But because I am a beauty junkie, I like products that actually work. I like to play around, and I discovered a lot of clean beauty brands that were also really effective. Same for clothing brands. It just kind of evolved from there to a place of open-mindedness. Sustainable choices are out there, and they're really great too.
LK: You got engaged, had a baby and then the world shut down. Has this year changed the way you're thinking about your wedding?
JD: It's so funny, we hadn't even had a chance to talk much about our wedding. A month after we got engaged, I had Callum and then a week later, quarantine began. We just put everything on pause. But I am a firm believer in staying in the flow of life. I know I will know when it's right. Same goes for the details of the day. I definitely think in the past few years, there's been an emphasis on simplicity and on presence. I'm much more about making what's important really count, which is each other and our family and having a great time celebrating together. It could be a destination wedding, like gathering our families and a few great friends in Palm Springs for the weekend. We have so many ideas still floating around, but they all boil down to this: presence, connection and togetherness.
LK: You said earlier that nothing about your life has been very traditional. What about your wedding? Do you think you'll incorporate any traditions?
JD: Oh, Evie would never forgive me if I did not let her be the flower girl. She would never speak to me again—that's how much it means to her. I will for sure keep the tradition of incorporating Evie and Callum in the wedding. I love the tradition of incorporating my mom and my dad too. Steve's mom has passed on, and so it's important to me to incorporate her presence into the ceremony and honor her in some way. I like the idea of writing our own vows, and we'll have someone special to us officiate. Overall, I think we will focus on having a spiritual ceremony. And of course, we'll have some kind of celebration after.
LK: Any dream catcher moments planned?
JD: I know, it's a good idea. I know we should do something like that. It wouldn't be me if there wasn't a sprinkle of dream catcher somewhere!
LK: This is your second marriage. What have you learned along the way about yourself and commitment?
JD: I think I've become a more grounded and present version of myself. When you're younger, you don't put as much thought into everything. You kind of do what you know and what's been done before. As you get older, you have a little bit more wisdom and more consciousness in everything. It's not as important to have this lavish celebration, for example. It's much more important to me to have a meaningful moment that I'll never forget, surrounded by a small group of people I know and love and who are supportive. I think your circle gets smaller and more meaningful as you get older. And especially after 2020—the pandemic made that especially clear to me. It all comes down to what's important and who are the connections and relationships you want to foster. It's also about how you want to feel and connect in life. I want all of that at the forefront of my wedding.
LK: And is there anything about your wedding that you're really focused on keeping sustainable?
JD: I think an eco-friendly wedding means having a small, intimate celebration. At this time in my life, I am definitely more drawn to the meaningful gathering rather than the lavish party. I think it would be really beautiful to have a sustainable wedding dress or work with a designer to create something that is sustainable. And I love the idea of recycled invites. There are some incredible ways to work with flowers. I worked with Forage Florals for my blessingway, and the owner was incredible. All the flowers are sourced within a five-mile radius and totally dependent on what's in season. I would love to find a local, organic, farm-to-table caterer and donate leftovers after the wedding. There are a lot of ways to be sustainable. And you can still have a gorgeous wedding and something you feel good about. You feel like you're bettering the world.
The new Sustainability issue of The Knot Magazine, which features tips for how to build a conscious registry along with eco-friendly wedding planning advice from pros, is out now.