One guest at the late-afternoon ceremony at Meadow Brook Hall in Rochester Hills said Marshall Mathers and his bride, ex-wife Kimberly Mathers, appeared genuinely radiant and happy during what another attendee described as "a real classy, intimate affair."
Both guests asked not to be named because of sensitivity to the privacy of the event.
One called the ceremony "a surprisingly mellow, but very touching" event, as the bride and groom exchanged vows and rings before about 85 guests in the lower area of the popular wedding venue's main hall.
Eminem's entry was accompanied by the piano line of his song "Mockingbird," performed by Luis Resto, the Detroit instrumentalist who has cowritten several of the rapper's biggest hits.
The bride wore a traditional, tasteful white gown, an observer said, while Eminem - spotted earlier with a red baseball cap when he arrived by limousine - was dressed in a crisp, black suit.
Saturday's wedding was the second for the couple, whose sometimes-rocky relationship has been famously chronicled and dramatized by Eminem on his platinum-selling albums. Their romance began 17 years ago, when they were teenagers, and the couple had a daughter, Hailie Jade, in 1995. Four years later, they married in a then-secret ceremony, but divorced in 2001 amid ongoing legal problems.
Guests enjoyed a dinner of steak and lobster in an adjacent banquet room, arrayed in lavender, where a family-oriented reception stretched into late Saturday night.
Eminem's best man, Detroit rapper Proof, gave a brief, amiable speech in which he talked about the importance of marrying one's best friend. The dance floor was occupied mostly by children, including 10-year-old Hailie, as a DJ spun contemporary rap and Top 40 hits.
The guest list was made up mostly of family members, though several key figures either were not invited or chose not to attend, including Marshall Mathers' mother, his maternal grandmother and Kim Mathers' twin sister, Dawn Scott. The few celebrities in attendance were all from Eminem's hip-hop circle, including 50 Cent, Obie Trice and - with the exception of rapper Bizarre - the members of the Detroit group D12. Those rappers' colorful, over-the-top public personas were muted for the occasion, one guest said.
"The sensibility was appropriate for the night," said the guest. "In a lot of ways, it felt like an utterly ordinary wedding."
The modest atmosphere, an insider said, was a refreshing change of pace from the frenzy of media attention and family drama before the wedding. The couple's efforts to keep their plans secret were stymied when a member of Kim Mathers' family sold a wedding invitation to Star magazine last month, multiple sources told the Free Press. The celebrity tabloid published an image of the invitation with only the event's location blacked out.
Saturday afternoon, along an entry road to Meadow Brook Hall on the Oakland University campus, news helicopters buzzed overhead, and police and private guards kept dozens of reporters, photographers and fans in check as guests' vehicles drove through. Once inside the hall's doors, a source said, the security presence was unobtrusive.
"I think much of the reception staff seemed surprised at how unassuming it all was," the guest said.
For Marshall and Kim Mathers, Saturday's wedding capped a reconciliation that began about a year ago. As the Free Press reported in July, Kim Mathers moved into the rapper's 15,000-square-foot mansion, a $4.8-million Oakland Township home he purchased after their divorce. There, the couple have been tending to Hailie and 3-year-old Whitney, Kim Mathers' daughter from a former relationship whom Eminem has legally adopted.
The remarriage is also Eminem's latest step in an ongoing series of moves to focus on his family and personal affairs while backing away from the breakneck pace of life as a pop star.
"It was one of the most peaceful weddings I've ever been to," said one of the guests. "This is exactly what Marshall has been looking for."
BY BRIAN McCOLLUM, FREE PRESS
Contact BRIAN McCOLLUM at 313-223-4450 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gannett News Service