Kerry Kennedy and Andrew Cuomo were married Saturday in a ceremony that merged two of America’s most powerful political families.
They swore mutual commitment to the oppressed–“the people who have disappeared in El Salvador, the children in shelters in New York.”
The bride, 30, is the daughter of Ethel Kennedy and the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy and is executive director of the human rights center in New York City that bears his name. The groom, 32, is New York Gov. Mario M. Cuomo’s son and his chief political adviser. He also heads a Manhattan foundation to help the homeless.
About 300 people attended the elaborate, closed wedding at the Cathedral of St. Matthew, a Catholic church about half a mile from the White House. It is the church where President John F. Kennedy’s funeral was held in 1963.
Kerry Kennedy was 8 years old when her father was assassinated in a Los Angeles hotel shortly after winning the California Democratic presidential primary. She was the seventh of Robert and Ethel Kennedy’s 11 children.
The bride walked the aisle alone as the Kennedy clan, including Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and a planeload of Cuomo relatives and intimates looked on.
The guest list was not disclosed, but it included New York Mayor David N. Dinkins, filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola, newspaper columnists Jimmy Breslin and Art Buchwald and dozens of others who occupied a swarm of photographers and hundreds of sightseers who lined the sidewalk across from the church.
Kerry Kennedy’s cousin, Maria Shriver, the groom’s father and several brothers and sisters of both the bride and groom gave readings during the wedding Mass, celebrated by Father Gerard C. Creedon of County Cork, Ireland, a longtime Kennedy family friend now performing charity work in nearby Alexandria, Va.
Creedon said the couple affirmed a pledge to uphold “family traditions and their commitment to human rights and justice.” He charged them in the ceremony, at their request, to always “cherish the people who have disappeared in El Salvador, the children in shelters in New York.”
The bride wore a Scaasi-designed dress of gleaming silk and white satin with a Basque bodice, a sweetheart neckline, puff sleeves, a voluminous skirt and a cathedral train. It was ornamented with crystals, silver bugle beads and hearts of pearl. The groom and his 15-member party wore morning dress.
The maids of honor were the bride’s younger sister, Rory, 21, and friend Mary Richardson, 30. Sisters Courtney Kennedy and Kathleen Kennedy Townsend were among 13 bridesmaids.
A three-abreast, blocklong fleet of stretch limousines carried the wedding party and virtually all their guests to a reception at Hickory Hill, the McLean, Va., home of Ethel Kennedy.
The ceremony blended classical and African-American music and featured Ruth Brown, the star soloist of Broadway’s “Black and Blue.”
Both the bride and groom are law school graduates. They had dated for nearly two years before he offered her a diamond ring last Valentine’s Day.
Cuomo has worked for his father’s political campaigns since he was a teen-ager and managed his gubernatorial victories in 1982 and 1986. He plans to run his father’s campaign for reelection this year as well.
Following a six-day honeymoon in the Caribbean, the couple plans to settle in Queens, N.Y. Andrew Cuomo’s current office, as head of HELP, the nonprofit corporation to build temporary housing for the homeless, is in Manhattan.