Jackie Kennedy Had The Most Beautiful Wedding Ever

There are certain weddings throughout history that leave a lasting impression on society. Whether that's because of the location of the wedding, the couple who is saying "I do," or the dress, there are many factors that go into a memorable wedding.

When it came to John F. Kennedy and his bride, Jackie Bouvier, this was a couple that the whole world watched on their wedding day. Prior to being president and first lady of the country, the couple was just John and Jackie — except for the fact that Kennedy was already well known in politics and Jackie was a former debutante who came from a well-off New York family.

Their wedding day, September 12, 1953, had many waiting in anticipation, whether they were invited to attend or just wanted to catch glimpses of photos from the big day. It was that day that Jackie Bouvier became Jackie Kennedy, and her wedding was ultimately memorable for far more reasons than just who tied the knot. Let's take a closer look at Jackie Kennedy and the most beautiful wedding ever.

It was the major social event of the season

What started with dinner parties in Georgetown attended by two young, established socialites quickly became a relationship — and eventually a commitment to marriage.

According to Vogue, the woman whose name would become Jackie Kennedy just a few short years later hit it off with her future husband right away after their first meeting on the dinner party circuit they both frequented. They couple then dated for two years before the future president proposed to his girlfriend, with a ring that would make anyone starry eyed — a 2.88-carat diamond with a 2.84-carat emerald. Impressive.

When it came time for the Kennedy wedding, everyone had their eyes on the couple, expecting a lavish event. This is exactly what they received. And it was no small affair with just family and close friends — there were 800 guests in attendance. As Vogue reported, this included notable people like senators, diplomats, and others. Top class came to the top wedding.

Location for the ceremony was a no-brainer

Choosing the location for a wedding can be one of the most difficult decisions for a bride and groom. But for the future president and his future wife, the decision was actually quite easy. 

St. Mary's Church in Newport, Rhode Island had been an important location throughout the couple's relationship and was the obvious choice. As the Los Angeles Times reported, the couple spent much time during their summers together in Newport, where Jackie's family owned property. During that time they attended church together at St. Mary's, always sitting in the tenth pew together.

Following the Kennedy wedding, the location became an instant tourist attraction. Father Kris von Maluski, a priest at St. Mary's during the Los Angeles Times interview in 2017, shared stories of the days following the wedding. Locals would go in to see the special location and actually "walked out with armfuls of flowers" from the big day.

A personalized blessing from the pope

Yes, the couple's wedding was extravagant. And, yes, the guest list was huge, creating the ultimate party. However, these were not even the most unique and major moments from Jackie Kennedy's wedding day with Senator John F. Kennedy. 

There was one key element of the couple's wedding that was different from many others' walk down the aisle. The Kennedys received quite the blessing on their big day. Literally.

Marrying at St. Mary's church, the couple wed in a traditional Catholic ceremony. As LIFE Magazine (via Time) reported, Cardinal Cushing, the Archbishop of Boston at the time, performed the marriage rites. There was something exceptional about these rites, as they included a "special blessing from the pope." Yes, the pope.

Truly a one-of-a-kind wedding, this social event involved a clear element of faith, and the couple was viewed as American royalty, coming from well-off families on the East Coast.

The beginning of Camelot

Guests of the Kennedy wedding viewed the newlyweds as a certain level of royalty as well. As one guest shared with LIFE (via Time) at the time, the wedding was "just like a coronation."

The couple was viewed this way long before the John F. Kennedy's presidency was in sight. As People reported, one could say it was their wedding that was the beginning of the couple's reign, suggesting that, Camelot — the term often used to describe the Kennedy presidency — was born on their wedding day. With such a beautiful wedding, admirers saw perfection and an ideal couple. The Kennedys were all-American and happy. This was a sentiment that would continue for years to come.

The wedding also gave focus to Jackie and her fashion sense, giving the world a preview of the future "style icon." She was perfection as a bride, and now many would keep an eye out to see what fashion choices she would be bring out next.

Music made the day

A perfect wedding would not be complete without amazing music throughout the day. As should be expected by now, Kennedy and Jackie did not disappoint when it came to their musical choices.

During the ceremony, the couple went the more traditional route. As reported by the JFK Library, they had soloist Luigi Vena sing at St Mary's Church, performing the classic and traditional Gounod/Bach "Ave Maria."

Next up came the big party at the reception. As the Kennedys were no ordinary newlyweds, their reception music went far beyond ordinary as well. The couple went all out with Meyer Davis and his orchestra playing for the big event evening. And of course, all eyes were on the couple for their first dance. Their choice for the music to accompany their first dance as husband and wife, as reported by InStyle, was "I Married an Angel," which was performed by Davis.

Her dress became an instant classic

Everyone knows that the most important part of a wedding — aside from the whole marriage and vows thing — is the bride's dress. And practically being American royalty no doubt put a lot of pressure on Jackie to pick the right dress. People were excited to see what the bride was wearing, and she did not disappoint. 

As reported by Vogue, the future Mrs. Kennedy wore a dress designed by Ann Lowe, which required 50 yards of fabric. And to accentuate the gown, the blushing bride chose an heirloom rose point lace veil. 

But this perfect dress almost wasn't part of that big day. According to the magazine, just days before the wedding a pipe burst at Lowe's studio, ruining Jackie's dress, along with all of her bridesmaids' dresses as well. Lowe and her team worked night and day over those days leading up to the wedding in order to recreate all 11 dresses. Crisis averted, and the new style icon was born.

The reception upstaged the ceremony

With 800 guests at the ceremony, one would think that the reception could possibly have less people invited. However, that's not how the Kennedys roll. In fact, the reception added a few more guests — 400 to be exact. That's right, there were 1200 guests at the party of the year.

For such a large group, one needs the perfect location. As Vogue shared, the newlyweds chose Hammersmith Farm, which was the mother of the bride's property. The farm covered 300 acres, giving plenty of room for the guests and party.

And while the reception is meant to be a time to relax and celebrate, the couple still had one job to do: greet their guests. Yes, every one of those 1200 guests. With a number like that, it was reported that it took the newlyweds about two hours to greet everyone in the receiving line. That's serious commitment to their family and friends.

The cake took center stage

One of the key focuses of a wedding reception is the food, and with 1200 guests in attendance, having enough delicious and impressive food was surely no easy feat to achieve. But the newly married couple was up for that challenge.

As Vogue shared, when guests arrived at the Hammersmith Farm, they were able to enjoy an al fresco traditional lunch, complete with a toast to the Kennedys. But the main course isn't really the main focus at a wedding. It's the dessert that gets all the attention, as it should.

The glamorous cake befitting such a glamorous wedding was a gift from Kennedy's father, Joseph P. Kennedy, and it was worthy of the social event of the year. As the JFK Library reported, the dessert was four feet tall and stood out in the reception photos. And it's a good thing that it was four feet tall — it had to feed 1200 people after all.

Fairy tale ending achieved

The difference between a good wedding and a great wedding is how it finishes, and the Kennedys had the ultimate, picturesque ending. Vogue described the moment, sharing that as the couple left the reception, they were showered not only with the traditional-at-the-time rice, but also with rose petal confetti.

And like many newlyweds, they were headed off to their honeymoon from there. The couple chose Acapulco, Mexico for their destination and, with such a high-class couple, one would expect they would enjoy their honeymoon with elegant dinners and plans. 

While that may have been the case, there aren't photos to prove it. Instead, the couple was caught on camera enjoying a simple pastime, fishing. The new groom caught a Sailfish on his fishing adventure and the photo shows him along with his blushing bride looking very impressed with the catch of the day.

After their trip, it was time to return to the United States. The newly married couple headed straight to Washington D.C. to continue their reign.