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The excess would have made Marie Antoinette blanch, the outfit changes could have filled Barbie's Dream Closet - Ken's too! - and there were enough selfies to paper the inside of the Sistine Chapel. (Let's not give anyone ideas.) There were horse-drawn carriages, fireworks and a pair of historical sites transformed into party venues for more than 200 guests. But perhaps the biggest surprise during Kim Kardashian
and Kanye West
's wedding blowout was the groom's emotional reaction. As the bride, preceded by the couple's almost 1-year-old daughter, North, made her way to the altar at the Forte di Belvedere in Florence on May 24, the famously stoic rapper "looked like he was either going to cry or laugh," says an attendee. "But when Kim was halfway down the aisle, he broke into an enormous grin." After pastor Rich Wilkerson Jr. wrapped the ceremony, Kardashian, 33, and West, 37, celebrated the marriage (her third; his first) with Armand de Brignac Champagne, a nearly 7-ft.-tall gold-leaf cake and a performance by John Legend. "It was a roller coaster, but in the best way," says a guest of the Kimyepic event. "It was a crazy, nonstop, incredible dream."
Throughout the ceremony, "Kanye was 100 percent totally smitten," says a guest.
The bride (in Givenchy) walked down the aisle as Andrea Bocelli sang "Ave Maria." "She looked gorgeous and really calm," says an attendee. As for mother-of-the-bride Kris (holding North), "she cried the entire time."
KIM'S GO-TO GIRLS
When it came time for the bride's ladies-in-waiting (sisters Kourtney
, 35, Khloé
, 29, Kendall, 18, and Kylie, 16) to get ready at the luxe Villa San Michele outside Florence, they hit a snag. Three hours before the wedding, planners alerted them that a local marathon would be shutting down roads to the Forte di Belvedere, giving the bridesmaids no choice but to arrive early, inspiring a tantrum from Kourtney's son, Mason, 4. "The weekend was extremely chaotic," one source concedes. But after walking down the aisle in their YolanCris gowns, the bridal party got a break: "Kim's sisters didn't have to give speeches."
The bride carried an all-white bouquet.
West pal Ibn Jasper with Kourtney and her kids Penelope and Mason.
A West pal walks Kylie down the aisle.
Virgil Abloh, Kanye's creative director, with Kendall.
Guests braved the heat for the late-afternoon wedding.
Deejay Don C with Khloé
Bruce Jenner walks his son Brandon's wife, Leah, to her seat.
All About the Dress
For her "I dos," the bride opted for one of her signature design details: cut-out side panels. Designed by West's close friend Riccardo Tisci for Givenchy Haute Couture, the gown featured lace sleeves and pearl embellishments. (West and baby North also wore Givenchy; hers was custom-made.) A guest himself at the wedding, "Riccardo personally dressed Kim before she walked down the aisle," says a close source. Naturally, one look wasn't enough: Near midnight, Kardashian slipped into a Balmain mini dress by Olivier Rousteing. "It was low-cut in a nude color, covered in diamonds and pearls," says the source. "She looked hot!"
Kardashian wore her own diamond studs, while the couple exchanged wedding bands by pal Lorraine Schwartz (gold for him, diamond for her).
The couple recited self-penned vows, which featured "a little bit of humor and a whole lot of love," says an attendee. West "told me he had practiced them in front of a mirror several times to commit them to memory. He didn't make any mistakes."
WHY ROB SKIPPED THE CEREMONY
While the rest of his family partied their way across Europe, the brother of the bride, 27, was having a difficult time even before he left the States. "I'm aware that I'm fat," he tweeted on May 20 when photos of him departing L.A. sparked online body bullying. After a few days in Paris, he ditched the rehearsal dinner and wedding. "He just didn't want to see a bunch of people," says a source. Having struggled with his weight in the past year, "he's not feeling good about himself, and he's not in a great place," adds a Kardashian friend. "He's just very sad about it all."
A source says Rob (leaving L.A. on May 18) "has had trainers and nutritionists, but nothing has worked."
West (on May 24) headed for the Four Seasons, and the Kardashians stayed at the $1,800-per-night Villa San Michele on the outskirts of Florence.
North's Big Day
Just shy of her one-year birthday on June 15, the couple's daughter, nicknamed Nori, "clapped the whole way down the aisle" in grandma Kris's arms, says a source. "It was a really special moment and so sweet." A nanny was also on hand to look after her—although the littlest reveler didn't party too late. "They pretty much had her on local time, so she went to bed after the ceremony," says a guest.
"Everyone was smiling and just 'oohing' and 'aahing,' " a guest says of North (held by Kris, above, and right).
KIM'S WEEK IN COUTURE
Treating the run-up to her wedding like a one-woman Paris Fashion Week, Kardashian modeled a series of ensembles from her favorite designers. For her bachelorette night on May 22, she sported a Balmain mini inspired by a Fabergé egg. The next morning she appeared in a butterfly-themed gown from Valentino, followed by her most eye-popping look of the week: a plunging tuxedo gown - with the groom-to-be in complementary attire.
With Brittny Gastineau (left) and La La Anthony.
In a Balmain mini.
With (from left) West, Valentino and Giancarlo Giammetti.
In a Valentino gown.
In Maison Martin Margiela.
Their Cool Pastor
Leave it to Kim and Kanye to find a man of the cloth whose Instagram features a photo of himself styled after Leonardo DiCaprio
in The Great Gatsby
. Pastor Rich Wilkerson Jr., 30, who leads a youth ministry at Miami's Trinity Church, met the couple two years ago when they showed up at one of his services. Impressed, they began attending his church during trips to Miami. West later said he went to Wilkerson for advice on how to portray Jesus while performing his song "Jesus Walks."
CASTLES FIT FOR A KING AND QUEEN
For their May 23 rehearsal dinner, the bride and groom chose one of the most extravagant settings in history: Versailles, the 721,000-sq.-ft. palace outside Paris that was once home to Marie Antoinette and King Louis XVI. After lunch earlier that day at designer Valentino's 17th-century Château de Wideville, the couple hosted a private tour and dinner at Versailles complete with horses topped by riders decked out in period costumes. Then it was off to the Forte di Belvedere in Florence, a grand 16th-century fortress that initially protected the city from attackers.
The Forte di Belvedere is famed for its views of the city. Closed for five years, it recently reopened.
After a week in Paris and a wedding in Florence, the newlyweds are still on the move: The couple are planning to honeymoon throughout Europe - one reported destination is the five-star Castlemartyr Resort in Cork, Ireland. A source says the pair also will attend the nuptials of West's stylist in Prague. (They opted not to bring North, who is staying with grandma Kris Jenner.) West is due in the U.S. by June 7, when he is set to perform at the X Games in Austin. Once they're back, they will settle into some familiar digs - Kris's Hidden Hills estate - while they wait for builders to finish the Bel Air dream home that's been under construction for more than a year. And they hope to expand their family. "Kanye would have already been trying for another," says a source, "but Kim wanted to get back to feeling like herself again first."
- Reported by Jennifer Garcia,
- Aili Nahas/Los Angeles,
- Mary Green/Florence,
- J.D. Heyman/Florence,
- Peter Mikelbank/Paris,
- Philip Boucher/Paris,
- Steve Helling/Orlando,
- Emily Strohm/New York City.