BY BRIAN McCOLLUM
FREE PRESS POP MUSIC WRITER
On a June afternoon in 1999, Marshall Mathers married Kimberly Scott in a small ceremony kept painstakingly private, an attempt at showbiz image control as the rapper aimed for fame.
At 5 p.m. Saturday in Rochester Hills, the couple plan to remarry in another small ceremony, again painstakingly private, this time because Eminem’s global fame demands it.
There will be a few differences between that quiet wedding in St. Joseph, Mo., and this evening’s nuptials, which a source with close knowledge of the wedding planning says will take place at the venerable Meadow Brook Hall on the Oakland University campus.
There was no army of security manning the perimeter the first time, no high-tech floodlights illuminating hundreds of surrounding acres to deter would-be interlopers. Nobody had to sign the strictly worded confidentiality agreements required of the caterers and valets and servers on call Saturday.
In ’99, with Eminem’s first album selling steadily, about three people watched the former teen sweethearts exchange vows.
Saturday night, more than 50 million sales later, the intimate guest list of about 80 — mostly family — includes rapper 50 Cent and members of his G-Unit hip-hop crew.
Detroit rapper Proof, Eminem’s right-hand man onstage for years, will be aside him tonight as best man.
Hailie Jade Mathers, the couple’s 10-year-old daughter, will stroll down the aisle as flower girl. Eminem’s mother, whom he has battled in court and in song, was not invited, a source close the wedding said Friday.
Before Eminem and Kim Mathers became one of the most storied couples in entertainment — with the tabloids lapping up their famously rocky romance and 2001 divorce — the couple agreed to hide the news of their first wedding in his grandmother’s hometown of St. Joseph, Mo., figuring it was best for his budding public career.
Saturday’s event, which follows the rapper’s December announcement that the couple had reconciled and would remarry, has been kept so secret that even many of Detroit’s music power players were clueless about the details.
Reporters and photographers from a host of national media, including People magazine and the Star gossip tabloid, dug furiously around metro Detroit for details — mostly coming up short as the Eminem camp maintained a tight grip on wedding information.
Contact BRIAN McCOLLUM at 313-223-4450 or firstname.lastname@example.org.