They met at the Kentucky Derby in May 2002 and instantly fell for each other. The couple are parents to three sons.
Melissa Joan Hart is hard to forget. The 90s star kept us entertained during several seasons of Clarissa Explains It All, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and Melissa & Joey. The 45-year-old actress became a household name by the mid-1990s thanks to her girl-next-door charm. However, instead of opting to fit herself into Hollywood's mould, she found a niche for herself in family-friendly and accessible roles, and that's where she has stayed.
While her career was making waves, she met Mark Wilkerson, 44, the lead singer and guitarist for rock band Course of Nature, at the Kentucky Derby in May 2002 and they instantly fell for each other.
"He tried to play it all cool, but he knew who she was," Wilkerson's sister Sally recalled to People in 2014. "I screamed and I told my friends, ‘My brother just met Melissa Joan Hart and she asked for his number.'"
Hart was equally head over heels and even told her mother that she had met "the boy that she was going to marry," according to Country Living. And she was right.
A little more than a year later, they tied the knot in Florence, Italy, which was televised on the ABC Family miniseries, Tying the Knot. "The most memorable part of my wedding was during the vows," said the funny woman. "Mark was crying so hard and we were supposed to put our heads down, but his nose had filled up! I had my grandmother's handkerchief in my cleavage, so while the priest was speaking, I reached into my dress and everyone giggled—that was the only part of the day that didn't get caught on camera," she added.
During their 19 years together, the couple welcomed three sons, Mason Walter Wilkerson (2006), Braydon Hart Wilkerson (2008), and Tucker McFadden Wilkerson (2012). Like any other couple, it can be hard to keep the romance alive with three children, but this couple has their priorities sorted.
"We do day dates, we do lunches, we work out together a lot," she told People. But, they still have to cope with long distances as she works out of LA, at times. She travels between LA and Tahoe, where her family is, on weekends. Wilkerson has been a supportive husband who has been caring for their kids while she works in California. During that time, they spend more time on "phone calls, texting, and sending each other dirty gifs."
For Hart, her role as a mom is important but she doesn't want her kids to be the focus of her life. "My husband and I, while the kids were always a priority, we also made them fit into our lives instead of us fitting into theirs," she was quoted as saying by Insider. "One of my favorite things was making sure the kids napped in their car seat. That was always a really big deal. Making sure that they could sleep anywhere as opposed to only in their crib. Kids are kids but for me, if I'm out at dinner and ran a little over their sleep schedule, it wasn't the end of the world. I was more laid back about it," she added.
However, she warns that what worked for her might not do so for others. "You have to be careful where you get your advice," she said. "I think it's always good to ask friends, ask family, ask your mom how they did it and what their tips are, and then take what works for you and leave the rest. Don't try to make someone else's routine fit into yours," she added.
Perhaps, that's why the couple makes sure to fit working out together into their schedule. Hart revealed that Wilkerson helps her maintain her 40 lbs weight loss by training her. "This is a good way to join together and spend time – just the two of us – away from the kids," says Wilkerson to People. "It also helps] get her back in shape after three babies," he adds.
Cover image source: Getty Images | Photo by (L) Kevin Winter (R) Jemal Countess