Entertainment & Arts

Kim Kardashian, Kanye West wedding keeps up with the Medicis

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West wedding
People gather around Kim Kardashian, center, and Kanye West, left, as they leave their residence in Paris on May 23, 2014, ahead of their wedding.
(Kenzo Trilbouillard / AFP/Getty Images)

FLORENCE, Italy — The Medicis met the Kardashians here as reality TV star Kim Kardashian married rapper Kanye West on Saturday in a 16th century fortress built by the fabled Florentine family.

Kardashian, 33, wore a Givenchy dress to wed before a wall of white flowers at the Forte di Belvedere, with opera star Andrea Bocelli and singer John Legend serenading about 200 guests flown in by private jet.

As the sun set over Florence, family members, music industry notables and TV stars sat at a marble table in which their names were purported to have been inscribed in gold. Dishes dusted with edible gold leaf were complemented by $80 bottles of lush Brunello di Montalcino wine.

It was a scene that might have been appreciated by the more extravagant members of the Medici clan, who ran the city for centuries, married into royalty and produced popes including Leo X, who painted a young boy head to toe in gold to parade before him when he entered Florence.


One guest said on Sunday that the Kardashian-West nuptials reflected their status as nobles of the reality TV age.

“This is our royalty,” said Andre Leon Talley, a Vogue contributor. “Kanye West redefined high society this weekend.”

West, 36, flew his guests into Florence for the wedding because his daughter by Kardashian was conceived in the city, but the rapper has also been studying fashion here with local designer Ermanno Scervino.

For their part, Florentines over 30 were generally unaware of the couple — or like many Americans, still confused why Kardashian is famous. The town council appeared to take a blasé view, putting up posters warning neighbors of “a social dinner with musical accompaniment.”


Prince Ottaviano de’ Medici di Toscana, a descendant of the Medicis, said he was furious that the fortress his ancestors built was being used as a “ball room,” even if the couple were sweetening the deal with a 300,000 euro (about $410,000) check to the council.

Mobs of teenagers waited behind cordons at the fort and camped outside the hotels hosting guests. Of the dozens of journalists in town for the event, the more intrepid discovered they could stand in Florence’s Boboli Gardens and peer through a back gate toward the fortress entrance to see the arrival of guests, who said they had signed nondisclosure agreements and would not reveal details of the event.

Rich Wilkerson Jr., a pastor from Trinity Church in Miami, officiated the ceremony, People magazine said. Reports before the wedding speculated that Jay Z was to be best man, but on Sunday the Associated Press reported that the wedding party consisted of Kim’s sisters Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian and her half-sisters Kylie and Kendall Jenner.

Airspace over the fortress was shut down while arriving guests were frisked and asked to give up their cellphones. But one local newspaper on Sunday offered crystal-clear pictures of the bride and groom exchanging vows, proving the country that gave the world paparazzi still has what it takes.

The day before, the couple celebrated in Paris and arranged for the closure of the Palace of Versailles for their pre-wedding party. Among the guests reported by E!, the network that carries the reality show “Keeping Up With the Kardashians": film director Steve McQueen, magician David Blaine, tennis star Serena Williams and fashion designers Valentino and Alexander Wang.

Kington is a special correspondent.

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