The happiness of Katie Couric’s wedding day hid a heartbreaking secret.
She said “I do” nearly three years to the day after her beloved father died, all to make his final wish come true, sources say.
The former “Today” show host, 57, and investment banker John Molner, 51, said “I do” on June 21 at her East Hampton, N.Y., home in front of her mother Elinor, 91, and 50 family members and close friends.
“Katie’s father was looking down on her and he was happy,” a friend told The National ENQUIRER.
“Long before John passed away, he’d come to grips with the death of Katie’s first husband, Jay Monahan. He told Katie that she needed to marry again for the sake of her daughters.
“He didn’t want his grandchildren to not have a father figure. After Katie met John Molner, she realized he was ‘the one’ and fulfilled her dad’s wish.”
As The ENQUIRER has reported, the elder Couric – a retired public relations exec and UPI journalist – made his deathbed plea before he passed away on June 22, 2011, of complications from Parkinson’s disease. He was 90.
He’d been close to Katie’s late husband, an attorney who lost his battle with colon cancer at 42 in 1998, sources said, and he’d wanted what was best for Katie’s daughters – Ellie, 22, and Carrie, 18.
“It wasn’t lost on anyone at the wedding that Katie’s dad would have been happy seeing her finally wed again,” said the friend.
“It made the nuptials bittersweet.” Katie’s father also would have loved his granddaughters two new step-siblings, Allie and Henry Molner, from John’s first marriage to wife Jane, said the source.
The newlyweds were engaged last September after dating for two years. Their friend John Ellis, who is a Universal Life minister, performed the ceremony. The bride glowed in an ivory crystal beaded and embroidered Chantilly lace halter gown by designer Carmen Marc Valvo. Katie topped off the affair with a strawberry lemon cake – her favorite.
And super-busy Katie – who wrapped up her talk show “Katie,” launched her new gig as a Yahoo! News Global Anchor, released a documentary, “Fed Up,” and celebrated daughter Carrie’s high school graduation in the past few months – set aside a tender moment for her father, said the source.
“As the sun was setting on a glorious day beyond Katie’s home, she suddenly looked heavenward and blew a long, lingering kiss,” said the friend. “That one was for her dad.”