Elizabeth Smart was kidnapped at age 14 when most girls were dreaming about boys or what they wanted to do when they grew up.
Held against her will after she was taken from her Utah home, she described that time as "nine months of hell."
Last week, Smart found her piece of heaven and some peace, as she exchanged vows on Saturday with her boyfriend Matthew Gilmour, who she had been dating for most of the past year at a private wedding in Hawaii, her uncle told Reuters.
The 24-year old Smart met the 22-year old Gilmor while she was serving a religious mission in Europe for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, tied the knot at a Mormon temple overlooking the Pacific on the North Shore of Oahu, a family member said.
A spokesperson for Elizabeth Smart, Chris Thomas, added in a statement that the couple were accompanied by a small group of immediate family and he described them as "beaming" as they left the temple on their way to a reception and luau. The couple was to depart on an "extended honeymoon" after the day's festivities, Thomas told Reuters and the Associated Press.
Smart, now an advocate for missing children and occasional television news commentator, announced last month that she was engaged to be married with a wedding anticipated for early summer.
But facing media attention that was growing "increasingly invasive," Smart decided about a week ago that "the best way to avoid significant distraction was to change her weeding plans and to get married in an unscheduled ceremony outside of Utah," Thomas said.
Smart was abducted at knifepoint from her bedroom in June 2002 by a homeless street preacher, Brian David Mitchell and was repeatedly raped and forced to wander with her captor from town to town for nine months.
She was freed after being spotted by passers-by in a Salt Lake City suburb in 2003. Her kidnapping shocked Americans and the extensive search for the missing teen was covered exhaustively in the U.S. media.
Mitchell was convicted in 2010 of kidnapping and unlawful transportation of a minor across state lines to engage in sexual activity. He was sentenced in May to life in prison. Mitchell's wife, Wanda Barzee, was sentenced to a 15-year prison term in 2010 after pleading guilty to conspiracy and cooperating with prosecutors in the case against Mitchell.
Smart testified during Mitchell's trial, describing her time as his captive as "nine months of hell."
Last July, ABC News announced that it had hired Smart, who has shown composure since her release from captivity, as a contributor on stories about missing persons.
Smart missed most of her life as a teenager, deciding what boy to date, what dress to wear at the prom and other things. Last week, while her captors sit in jail cells probably for the rest of their lives, Elizabeth Smart was starting a new part of her life.
Photo courtesy the Associated Press