David Bowie and Iman’s wedding celebration in Florence, Italy

David Bowie and Iman Abdulmajid married in a private ceremony in Switzerland on 24 April 1992. Several weeks later, on 6 June, they held a public celebration in Florence, Italy.

The contrast between the two occasions could not have been greater. While the wedding had been attended by just an interpreter and two witnesses, the Florence event was attended by celebrities including Bono, Brian Eno and Yoko Ono, and the day was commemorated over 23 pages in Hello! magazine.

The service, conducted by Reverend Mario Marziale, took place at St James Church in Florence. It began at 4pm and lasted for 50 minutes. Bowie’s 21-year-old son Duncan Jones – then known as Joe – was his best man.

Hundreds of fans assembled outside the church, and the ceremony was attended by family and close friends. Sixty-eight guests were invited to the reception, which was held at the Villa la Massa hotel, a former Medici estate.

U2 singer Bono missed his flight and didn’t make it to the service, though he arrived in time for the reception and photographs.

The ceremony was a non-traditional event. Iman entered to the sound of a Bulgarian folk song titled ‘Kalimankou Denkou’ (The Evening Gathering), by Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares, a female choir from Bulgaria. Other music in the service was composed by Bowie himself.

The couple were dressed in black and white. Bowie sported a Herve Leger suit, while Iman wore a Thierry Mugler oyster dress with a train. Both stars had their hair styled by Teddy Antolin, who had introduced the couple to one another at his LA birthday party in 1990.

It was stunning. David was very happy, he never looked better, he was so sharp. He did make a speech and after dinner we went to dance.

David had put together a really great tape, disco and dance music and a few of his own but not too much. It was a fun party.

Teddy Antolin, 2016
The Sunday People

The music included several pieces written by Bowie. Some – including ‘The Wedding’, ‘The Wedding Song’ and ‘Pallas Athena’ – ended up on his 1993 album Black Tie White Noise.

Writing [the music] brought my mind around to, obviously, what commitment means, and why I was getting married at this age and what my intentions were and were they honorable? [Laughs] And what I really wanted from my life from now on.
David Bowie
Boston Globe, 1993

David and Iman left the party at 1am the following morning, leaving later that day for their honeymoon in Indonesia and Japan.

My honeymoon was my best vacation ever! We got married in Florence, Italy and then went to Bali for two and a half weeks, then to Kyoto, Japan for one week. Just a divinely sexy trip.
Iman
FurtherMore, 2012

Their daughter Alexandria, known as Lexi, was born in 2000. Bowie and Iman remained together until Bowie’s death in 2016.

In October 1995 Bowie was interviewed by music writer Simon Witter, who asked what the singer considered to be his greatest achievement. Bowie instantly replied: “Marrying my wife. That’s the most successful thing I ever did in my life.” Witter followed up by attempting to elicit an answer about his music career, but Bowie brushed it off saying: “Nothing else counts.”

David Bowie marries Iman
Album release: Tin Machine Live: Oy Vey, Baby
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