Ben Mulroney, the eldest son of former prime minister Brian Mulroney, was married during a private ceremony in Montreal Thursday night.


Ben Mulroney and his bride, Jessica Brownstein, leave St. Patrick's Bascilica in Montreal after their wedding ceremony on Thursday. ((Graham Hughes/Canadian Press))

Mulroney, 32, was wed to Jessica Brownstein, 29,  in an evening ceremony at St. Patrick's Basilica.

"Fantastic," Mulroney said as he ushered his bride to a waiting limousine. Brownstein was draped in a white fur cape when she arrived for the ceremony, but was not wearing it after the service.

"We've got to get her in the car," Mulroney said as he led his new wife through a crowd of journalists.

The former prime minister, who attended the service with his wife Mila, said about 75 people attended the wedding. A rabbi blessed the ceremony, while a priest conducted the service, he said. 

 "It was very moving, very impressive," Brian Mulroney said.

He also said the couple wrote their own vows, which he described as "poignant" and "lovely."

"He's the oldest of three boys and he's been a very good son and we love him dearly," Brian Mulroney said.


Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, with his wife Mila, arrive for the wedding of their son Ben Mulroney in Montreal Thursday. ((Graham Hughes/Canadian Press)

"We think that the best decision he's made in his whole life is today, so we're very pleased."

The bride and groom have known each other since childhood, having both grown up in Montreal's tony Westmount neighbourhood.

Mulroney proposed to Brownstein, a Montreal fashion designer, over lunch last year at a Greene Avenue deli, after they had been dating for about six months.

"I feel great. It was my idea," Mulroney said as he walked into the church around 7 p.m.

Earlier Thursday, Montreal Gazette columnist Jennifer Campbell said "reliable insiders" had told her the ceremony would be an intimate and traditional affair for family members, followed by a blowout celebration on the weekend.

Brian Mulroney said he expects about 350 guests to attend a reception Saturday night.  

Montreal businessman Paul Desmarais was one of the few society notables who attended Thursday's service.

"I wish for them to be as happy as I have been with my wife for 55 years," Desmarais of Power Corp. said before the ceremony.

The younger Mulroney is host of the reality singing show Canadian Idol, as well as the entertainment program e-Talk Daily.

Mulroney's older sister, Caroline, married stockbroker Andrew Lapham in 2000 in Montreal in a large star-studded wedding that included former U.S. president George Bush, former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher and talk show host Kathy Lee Gifford.

Lapham is the son of Lewis H. Lapham, former editor of Harper's Magazine and current editor of Lapham's Quarterly.

With files from the Canadian Press