What happens when a young and gorgeous Washington Times-Herald’s “Inquiring photographer” marries the handsome Massachusetts Senator? They make national headlines and their wedding day stands to be remembered through the ages. In fact, they have left their indelible mark on history and to this day, they are often referred to as “American Royalty”.
Sixty years ago this month, on September 12th 1953 to be specific, a few months after officially announcing their engagement on June 25th, Senator John Fitzgerald Kennedy married Jacqueline Bouvier in a splendid Newport, Rhode Island affair.
Their wedding was the social event of the season attended by senators, diplomats and social figures. An estimated 600 guests witnessed the couple exchanging vows at their wedding ceremony in St. Mary’s Church. Later in the day, 900 guests celebrated with the couple at their illustrious wedding reception at Hammersmith Farm; a Victorian mansion that was the childhood home of Jacqueline Bouvier.
The glowing bride, Jackie Kennedy, looked stunning in her long veil and beautiful wedding gown. New York City, African American fashion designer, Ann Lowe, designed her dress and the dresses of her bridesmaids. Today, you will find Jackie’s wedding dress housed at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston, Massachusets. As for her wedding bouquet, Jackie opted for an elegantly cascading bouquet that complemented her wedding dress perfectly. After the lavish and joy-filled wedding day, the newlyweds enjoyed a honeymoon in Acapulco, Mexico.
JFK and Jackie’s wedding was a highly publicized event. So on that day in 1953, LIFE magazine sent photographer Lisa Larsen to cover the wedding. LIFE magazine had also reported on the scene.
Here is an excerpt from an article from their issue “The Senator Weds”:
The marriage of Washington’s best-looking young senator to Washington’s prettiest inquiring photographer took place in Newport R.I. this month and their wedding turned out to be the most impressive the old society stronghold had seen in 30 years. As John F. Kennedy took Jacqueline Bouvier as his bride, 600 diplomats, senators, social figures crowded into St. Mary’s Church to hear the Archbishop of Boston perform the rites and read a special blessing from the pope. Outside, 2,000 society fans, some came to Newport by chartered bus, cheered the guests and the newlyweds as they left the church. There were 900 guests at the reception and it took Senator and Mrs. Kennedy two hours to shake their hands. The whole affair, said one enthusiastic guest, was “just like a coronation.”
Now, it is only fitting that on the 60th anniversary of JFK and Jackie’s wedding, we present this gallery of gorgeous and intimate photographs of one of the most high-profile American weddings.