at the marriage of Mrs. Auchincloss' daughter
Jacqueline Lee Bouvier
The Honorable John Fitzgerald Kennedy
United States Senate
on Saturday, the twelfth of September
at eleven o'clock
Saint Mary's Church
First introduced at a May 1951 Georgetown dinner party, John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier saw each other frequently over the next two years. During that time, she would interview the newly elected senator from Massachusetts for her "Inquiring Camera Girl" newspaper column. In June 1953, upon her return from Europe where she covered the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth for the Washington Times Herald, Jacqueline Bouvier accepted John Kennedy’s proposal of marriage.
The Engagement Ring
Purchased in the summer of 1953, the Van Cleef & Arpels engagement ring John F. Kennedy presented to Jacqueline Bouvier consisted of one 2.88 carat diamond mounted next to a 2.84 carat emerald cut emerald with tapered baguettes. In 1962, the ring was reset to include round diamonds totaling .66 carats and marquise diamonds totaling 1.46 carats.
Jacqueline Lee Bouvier and John F. Kennedy were married on the morning of September 12, 1953, in the picturesque St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Newport, Rhode Island. The more than eight hundred guests included many notable individuals.
The bride, given in marriage by her stepfather, Hugh D. Auchincloss, wore a ivory silk wedding gown which required 50 yards of ivory silk taffeta and took more than two months to make. It was the creation of Ann Lowe, an African-American dress-maker born in Grayton, Alabama, who had designed gowns for the matrons of high society families including the du Pont, Lodge, and Auchincloss families. Ms. Lowe was 54 when she designed the Bouvier wedding dress, which featured a portrait neckline and bouffant skirt decorated with interwoven bands of tucking and tiny wax flowers. She also designed the pink faille silk gowns and matching Tudor caps worn by the bridal attendants.
The bride wore her grandmother’s heirloom rosepoint lace veil, attached to her hair with a small tiara of lace and traditional orange blossoms. She also wore a single strand of family pearls, a diamond leaf pin, which was a wedding present from Ambassador and Mrs. Joseph P. Kennedy, and a diamond bracelet the groom had presented to her the evening before the wedding. She carried a bouquet of white and pink spray orchids and gardenias
Her attendants, dressed in pink taffeta, included her sister, Lee, then Mrs. Michael T. Canfield, as matron of honor: her stepsister Nina G. Auchincloss as maid of honor: a bevy of ten bridesmaids, among them the groom’s sister Jean and sister-in-law Ethel, and the bride’s former boarding school roommate, Nancy Tuckerman. Half sister Janet Auchincloss was flower girl and half brother James Auchincloss served as a page.
Senator Kennedy’s best man was his brother Robert and among the ushers were brother Edward Kennedy, brother-in-law Sargent Shriver, cousin Joe Gargan, brother-in-law Michael Canfield, Lem Billings, Red Fay, Torbert MacDonald, Senate colleague George Smathers, and Charles Bartlett, who had introduced the couple.
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 reception was held on the huge terrace of the 300 acre Auchincloss oceanfront estate, Hammersmith Farm, for more than twelve hundred guests. The wedding cake, four feet tall, had been ordered by Joseph Kennedy. Meyer Davis and his orchestra played under a huge canopy.
To celebrate the upcoming anniversary of the day she became a Kennedy (Sept. 12), LIFE presents rare outtakes from our famous coverage of JFK's stunning, stylish wife. See photos of Jackie taken during the couple's 10 years together: on the campaign trail, and more.
gave to him on the occasion of their first anniversary.
"All this will not be finished in the first one hundred days.
Nor will it be finished in the first one thousand days,
nor in the life of this administration,
nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet.
Happy 56th Wedding Anniversary to the Kennedy's
life is a history lesson
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