I am obsessed with Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis. She always appeared so classy, stylish, elegant and lady like. Oh and beautiful!! I thought it would be fun to highlight her wedding with John F. Kennedy.
Research of the wedding doesn't tell much, basically just highlights. I learned that Jackie (its shorter to type!) was born in 1929 to a prominent New York Family. She graduated from George Washington University in 1951 and imagine my surprise to find that her job was as a photographer for the Washington Times-Hearald!! She met young Senator John Kennedy at a dinner party in Georgetown. They dated for two years, Life Magazine posted this photo on their cover (note that the magazine cost 20 cents!):
In 1953, John proposed to Jackie with a 2.88 carat diamond and emerald ring from Van Cleef and Arpels. John was 36 years old and Jackie was 24. It was the society wedding of the year!
Like any other wedding, this one wasn't without its last minute emergencies. Jackie's dress almost didn't make it to the ceremony. Disaster struck when a pipe burst in designer Ann Lowe's New York city studio, covering the wedding gown and the bridesmaids dresses in water 10 days before the ceremony. All 11 dresses were recreated with Lowe and her team working around the clock for the next week.
Jackie bridal gown was made of ivory-colored silk taffeta and a huge round skirt made out of 50 yards of ivory silk taffeta. The skirt featured interwoven tucking bands and tiny wax flowers. The gorgeous veil belonged to her grandmother and was draped from a tiara of lace and orange blossoms. Jacqueline wore a choker pearl necklace and diamond bracelet, both gifts from John. Her bouquet was pink and white spray orchids and gardenias. It was later written that Jackie didn't like the gown, she wanted something simple and sleek.
The wedding day was September 12, 1953. Jackie's father, ‘Black Jack’ Bouvier, who was supposed to walk her down the aisle, but was found drunk in his suite in the Viking Hotel at ten that morning. He was discreetly shipped back to New York in an ambulance and his place was taken by Jackie’s stepfather, Hugh Auchincloss. Inquisitive reporters were told that poor ‘Black Jack’ had been suddenly stricken with flu. The ceremony was held at St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church in Newport, Rhode Island. Tenor soloist Luigi Vena sang the classic Ave Maria as she walked down the aisle.
The ceremony was performed by Archbishop Cushing, a friend of the Kennedy family, and he was assisted by four other priests, including the former president of Notre Dame and the head of the Christopher Society. Before the mass, a special blessing from Pope Pius XII was read.
The bride's attendants, dressed in pink taffeta, included her sister, Lee; Mrs. Michael T. Canfield as matron of honor; her stepsister Nina G. Auchincloss as maid of honor; and 10 bridesmaids, among them the groom’s sister, Jean, and sister-in-law, Ethel, as well as the bride’s former boarding school roommate, Nancy Tuckerman.
Wedding party youngsters - Jackie's half sister Janet Auchincloss was flower girl, and half brother James Auchincloss served as a page.
The reception was held on the terrace of the 300-acre Auchincloss oceanfront estate, Hammersmith Farm. Depending which article you read there was anywhere from 800-1200 guests there.
Guests were served a luncheon of fruit cup, creamed chicken, and ice cream. Their five-tier wedding cake was 4 feet tall. The Meyer Davis Society Band played at the reception. There are two different photos of them cutting the cake and I never found an explanation why. One appears to be inside (in front of the venetian blinds!) and one outside.
I'm tickled at the bridal party photos - appears even at society weddings the photographer has trouble getting everyone to look at the camera!!
The couple danced to the Meyer Davis Orchestra’s version of “I Married an Angel.” Davis also performed at Jackie’s parents’ wedding and at Kennedy’s inaugural ball.
Jackie and John honeymooned at the Waldorf-Astoria in Manhattan, then spent two weeks in Acapulco, Mexico, before going to a hillside suite at the San Ysidro Ranch in Montecito, California.