Children of Political Figures Wed in Union Dubbed “Cuomolot″
WASHINGTON (AP) _ 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 the late Robert F. Kennedy and is executive director the human rights center in New York City which bears his name. The groom, 32, is the New York Gov. Mario Cuomo’s son and chief political adviser; he currently heads a Manhattan foundation to help the homeless.
The elaborate, closed wedding, attended by 300 people, was at the Cathedral of St. Matthew, a Catholic church about a half-mile from the White House and the one where President John F. Kennedy’s funeral was held in 1963. Kerry Kennedy, the late president’s niece, was just 3 years old when he was assassinated, just 8 when her father was gunned down. She was the seventh of Robert and Ethel Kennedy’s children.
The bride walked the aisle alone as the entire Kennedy clan, including Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and a planeload of Cuomo relatives and intimates looked on.
The guest list remained secret, but it included New York Mayor David Dinkins, film maker 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 the Rev. Gerard C. Creedon of County Cork, Ireland, a longtime Kennedy family friend now performing Catholic 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.″
Kerry Kennedy wore a Scaasi-designed dress of gleaming silk 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 suits.
The maids of honor were Kerry’s younger sister, Rory, 21, and friend Mary Richardson, 30. Sisters Courtney Kennedy and Kathleen Kennedy Townsend were among 13 maids of honor.
Andrew Cuomo’s younger brother, Christopher, 19, was best man. Ushers included brothers-in-law Kenneth Cole and Robert Perpignano, and Kerry’s brothers, Christopher, Douglas, Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III, D-Mass., Max, Michael and Robert Jr.
The bride carried a cascade of white roses, lisianthus, stephinotis, gardenias, sweet peas and bouvardia. Her attendants held bouquets of pink florabunda roses and sweet peas, and her flower girls wore halos of baby roses.
The coupled drew warm cheers and applause as they emerged from the hour- plus ceremony. And cries of ″Jackie, Jackie, Jackie″ greeted John Kennedy’s widow, dressed in an all-white business suit.
A three-abreast, block-long flotilla of stretch limousines then carried the wedding party and virtually all their guests to a reception at Hickory Hill, the McLean, Va., home of Ethel Kennedy, the bride’s mother.
The ceremony blended classical and African-American music, and featured Ruth Brown, the star soloist of New York’s ″Black and Blue.″
The wedding had been informally billed as the creation of ″Cuomolot,″ a successor to the fabled land of Camelot so revered by John F. Kennedy. But friends and family alike pleaded for an abatement of any political speculations.
″This isn’t the Middle Ages where the Duke of Normandy and the Duke of Avignon get together and decide on a marriage,″ said William Cunningham, an adviser to Gov. Cuomo, a day earlier. ″This is not a dynastic accomplishment, this is two people who decided to get married.″
But Frank Mankiewicz, former press secretary to Robert F. Kennedy, wrying observed that if a new dynasty emerges, ″It’s got awful good bloodlines. It’s like they say in baseball - it’s one of those trades that helps both clubs.″
Both Andrew Cuomo and Kerry Kennedy Cuomo are law-school graduates. They had dated for nearly two years before he offered her a diamond ring last Valentine’s day.
She is graduate of Brown University and Boston College Law School. He is a graduate of Fordham University and Albany Law School.
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 re-election 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 non-profit corporation to build temporary housing for the homeless, is in Manhattan.
Seven years ago, a family biographer asked Kerry Kennedy what she hoped her life would be like in 10 years. She replied: ″I want to be married and madly in love and have a million children. I want to be working hard and my husband working hard and I want both of us to be involved in something caring and constructive. Something we can put our hearts and souls into.″