JFK & Jackie get married: The Bouvier-Kennedy wedding (1953)

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Kennedy wed in ceremony at Newport

Thousands Crowd Area Outside Church During Senator’s Marriage

Newport, Rhode Island — Sept. 12, 1953

In one of Newport’s plushiest weddings in years, Jacqueline Lee Bouvier became the bride of Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts today at St. Mary’s Catholic Church.

Leaders of society, politics. business and the arts crowded every inch of the old brown stone church. Outside a crowd estimated by police as between 3.000 and 4,000 jammed narrow Spring street for blocks.

Many crowded the lawns of the church to catch a glimpse of the brunette society girl who was a Washington newspaper photographer, when she met her husband on an assignment.

Archbishop officiates

A group of small boys leaned over the open church window to see the ceremony.

Archbishop Richard J. Cushing officiated at the wedding and nuptial mass and read a special message of blessing from the Pope.

The bride had nine attendants and her sister. Mrs. Michael T. Canfield. New York, was matron of honor.

Janet Jennings Auchincloss and James Lee Auchincloss, the bride’s half-sister and half-brother. served as flower girl and page. Robert F. Kennedy, of Hyannisport, Mass., was his brother’s best man.

14 ushers take part

The fourteen ushers, socially prominent young men from all parts of the country. included a Democratic colleague of the 36- year-old bridegroom. Senator George Smathers. of Florida.

The slim, 24-year-old bride wore a gown of ivory silk taffeta with a portrait neckline, tight-fitting bodice and full skirt.

Her veil was of heirloom rose point lace. held in place with orange blossoms. Her bouquet was pink and white spray orchids and gardenias.

The bridal party stood in line more than three hours to greet 1,700 guests at Hammersmith Farm, home of the bride’s stepfather and mother, Mrs and Mrs Hugh D. Auchincloss.

A champagne luncheon and dancing followed the reception on the terraces of the 75-acre estate overlooking Narragansett, Bay.

Minks and sables

In spite of the summery weather, practically all the women guests wore mink or sable stoles with orchids.

The new Mrs. Kennedy led the dancing under a marquee on an outdoor dance floor with her father-in-law. Joseph P. Kennedy. former Ambassador to the Court of St. James’s.

Among the guests was Mrs. Robert S. Regent Shriver, Jr., the former Eunice Mary Kennedy, whose wedding in May was one of the highlights of the New York social season.

The Bouvier-Kennedy wedding portrait

Wedding invitation

Invitation to the wedding of Jacqueline Lee Bouvier and Senator John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

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Mr and Mrs Hugh Dudley Auchincloss
Request the Honor of Your Presence
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
St. Mary’s Church
Spring Street
Newport, Rhode Island

Jackie throwing the bridal bouquet

Kennedy family

Close-up portrait of some of the Kennedy family — including Bobby Kennedy and Edward Kennedy — with the newlyweds


Jackie’s bridal portrait


Top three photos by Toni Frissell, courtesy the LOC

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