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Elizabeth Smart marries ahead of schedule
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Elizabeth Smart married her fiance Matthew Gilmour at the LDS Laie Hawaii Temple Saturday afternoon.

Ed Smart said his daughter looked beautiful as she and Gilmour were married by Temple President H. Ross Workman.

"The bride and groom were beaming as they left the LDS Temple," Elizabeth Smart spokesman Chris Thomas said in a statement.

As of about 5:15 p.m. Utah time, Ed Smart said, the family was getting ready to head to a reception and luau.

"We're just thrilled that she's married," Ed Smart said.

The kidnapping and survival story of the now 24-year-old Elizabeth Smart, a senior at BYU, captivated the nation.

Initially, it appeared she planned to marry in July, but the family opted to push it forward because of the attention the couple's upcoming nuptials were receiving, Thomas said.

"[It was] kind of a spur of a moment thing in a way," Ed Smart said of the ceremony.

Thomas said the couple's wedding was attended by a small group of immediate family members.

"Elizabeth's desire was for what most women want — to celebrate her nuptials in a private wedding with family and close friends ... ," he said. "She decided, about a week ago, the best way to avoid significant distraction was to change her wedding plans and to get married in an unscheduled ceremony outside of Utah."

Thomas said the couple will go on an extended honeymoon in an undisclosed location.

People magazine reported the couple will return to Salt Lake City to live. The magazine reported Smart and Gilmour, who met while doing Mormon missionary work in Paris, had initially planned to wed this summer in Aberdeen, Scotland.

Ed Smart referred additional comments to Thomas.

Elizabeth Smart has become increasingly visible as an advocate for crime victims after her nine-month kidnapping ordeal at the hands of Brian David Mitchell in 2002 and 2003.

At Mitchell's 2010 trial, Smart testified that he raped her almost daily during nine months of captivity, which included a journey to California and back to Utah. Smart was rescued — and Mitchell and his wife, Wanda Eileen Barzee, were arrested and later convicted for their roles in the crime — after the three were spotted on a Sandy street in March 2003.

Elizabeth Smart has used her experience to form the Elizabeth Smart Foundation, aimed at protecting children from abuse with a focus on prevention, education and teaching children about calling 911 and making defensive moves against attackers.

"Her wedding further demonstrates it is possible to rise above challenging circumstances to lead a happy and productive life," Thomas said. "Once Elizabeth returns from her honeymoon, she looks forward to continuing her child advocacy work."

jstecklein@sltrib.com

Twitter @sltribjanelle

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