An American Bride – Jaqueline Bouvier Kennedy

Previously I wrote a post about the Wedding of John Kennedy and Jaqueline Bouvier (known more informally as Jackie) which took place on September 12, 1953.  In this post, I will discuss the wedding dress and bridal accessories which Jackie wore on her wedding.  I will also discuss some of the jewelry that she received as wedding gifts from the groom, her parents and her new in-laws.

Jackie Bouiver’s wedding dress –

The wedding dress of Jackie Bouvier was designed by Ann Lowe and made of ivory silk taffeta and featured an off-the-shoulder neckline, fitted bodice and a very full skirt.  The skirt was embellished with flounces and swirls using 50 yards of crème colored faille (plain weave fabric made of silk with a lustrous finish).  To complete her wedding ensemble, Jackie choose to wear white gloves with the dress.

Jackie Bouvier Kennedy in her wedding dress

Special Note:  Jackie had always said that she intensely disliked the elaborate bridal dress that she wore on her wedding day and felt that it was too much dress for her.  Like most young brides, she had felt pressure from her mother to choose the more traditional style but personally would have preferred a wedding dress with more simple and chic lines.  Then, one week before the wedding disaster struck when the New York showroom of Anne Lowe, the dress designer, suffered severe water damage from a broken pipe.  The wedding dress and the bridesmaids’ dresses were ruined and Lowe and her staff needed to remake all the dresses in less than seven days. (it had previously taken eight weeks for the dresses to be made)

Jackie Bouvier’s wedding veil –

For something borrowed, Jackie wore her Grandmother Lee’s rose point lace veil.  The story behind the veil dates back to 1903 when Jackie’s maternal grandmother, Margaret Merritt wore it for her wedding to James Lee.  After Jackie married John Kennedy, her first cousin Mary Ryan wore the veil in 1957 when she married William Cecil who was the grandson of George Vanderbilt.

Jackie wearing her grandmother’s wedding veil

Special Note: For an additional something borrowed Jackie also carried a lace handkerchief of her mother’s.  For something blue she had the traditional blue garter and for something new she wore a diamond and pearl bracelet which the groom had given to her the night before the wedding (more on her bridal jewelry later).

Jackie Bouvier’s wedding bouquet –

For the wedding ceremony, Jackie carried a small bridal bouquet of pink and white orchids, fragrant gardenias and stephanotis.  Since the end of World War II orchids had become a very popular choice for bridal bouquet in the United States and England.  Near the end of the reception Jackie held the traditional bouquet toss from the stairs in the house at Hammersmith Farm.

John and Jackie Kennedy on their wedding day (please note her lovely bouquet)
and Jackie later at the reception doing the traditional bouquet toss

Jackie Bouvier’s wedding accessories –

As previously mentioned, on the night before the wedding John Kennedy gave Jackie a beautiful diamond and pearl bracelet which she wore on her wedding day.  Jackie also wore a pearl necklace which was a gift from her mother and step-father.  The third item that she wore was a diamond leaf brooch that was a gift from her new in-laws, Joseph and Rose Kennedy.

The diamond and pearl bracket
that John Kennedy gave Jackie Kennedy as a wedding gift

The bridesmaids dresses –

John and Jackie had a rather large wedding party – the best man and nine ushers with a matron and a maid of honor and ten bridesmaids.  The bride’s attendants wore pink taffeta dresses with a round neckline and cap sleeves.

For more information regarding the wedding ceremony and reception of John and Jackie Kennedy please click on the link.