- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 22, 2005

PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The bride’s gown was worth more than most American homes. Her diamond-studded ring cost more than many yachts. But the groom’s hair? Self-styled.

Donald Trump married Slovenian model Melania Knauss yesterday with all the glamour, glitz and gold that money and star power can buy.

The couple slipped into Mr. Trump’s Mercedes-Benz Maybach parked near a side entrance after the 30-minute ceremony and drove past hundreds of cheering spectators with the help of a police escort.

“Oh, it was beautiful. It was all just lovely,” singer Tony Bennett said.

Another guest, Kathy Hilton, the mother of hotel heiress Paris Hilton, said: “It was very romantic. Everything was just beautiful. She looked like a princess. They exuded confidence.”

And when Mr. Trump kissed his 34-year-old bride? “It was very romantic, and it was a long one,” Mrs. Hilton said.

The setting for the opulent reception was Mr. Trump’s new $42 million Versailles-inspired ballroom at his Mar-a-Lago estate and club, complete with 24-karat gold moldings, custom-made crystal chandeliers and marble floors covering 11,000 square feet.

About 400 people lined the street outside the church yesterday afternoon for a glimpse of a celebrity — or even the bride. Cheers erupted as the limousines began dropping off guests and a few yelled, “It’s George!” when Trump business and legal adviser George Ross arrived.

The guest list offered a mix of European royalty, Hollywood celebrity and Palm Beach money, including “The Apprentice” producer Mark Burnett. Other guests included television personalities Barbara Walters, Star Jones, Matt Lauer, Kelly Ripa, Regis Philbin, former New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani and boxing promoter Don King.

The nuptials marked the third trip down the aisle for Mr. Trump, 58, and — coincidentally or not — came just days after the start of the third season of his TV show.

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