Monday, September 12, 2016


JFK+50:  Volume 5, No. 2067


Newport, Rhode Island (JFK+50) Senator John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Lee Bouvier exchanged wedding vows at St. Mary's Catholic Church here in Newport sixty-three years ago, September 12, 1953. 

 Seven hundred and fifty guests crowded into the church where Richard Cushing, Archbishop of Boston, conducted the ceremony.

The bride, who was escorted down the aisle by her step-father, Hugh D. Auchincloss, wore an ivory silk gown made by designer Ann LoweThe gown required fifty yards of material and two months of work.

Jackie also wore a choker of pearls and a diamond bracelet that was a gift from the groom.  The bride's bouquet was of pink and white spray orchids and gardenias.  The future first lady also wore the Lee family veil, an "equisitie rose point lace veil" first worn by Margaret Merritt Lee at her wedding to James T. Lee in 1903.*

Jackie's sister, Lee Canfield, was the matron of honor while her half-sister, Nina Auchincloss, was maid of honor. Robert F. Kennedy, the groom's brother, was best man.

Ushers included brother Edward M. "Ted" Kennedy, brother-in-laws Sargent Shriver and Michael Canfield as well as close friends Lem BillingsRed FayTorbert McDonald, Senator George Smathers and Charles Bartlett.

After the wedding ceremony, 1300 guests gathered at Hammersmith Farm overlooking Naragansett Bay for a luncheon reception.

*The Lee Family Veil was also worn by Jackie's first cousin Mary Ryan in her wedding to William A.V. Cecil, grandson of George Vanderbilt, in 1957.  The veil was just recently on display at the Biltmore Legacy in Antler Hill Village & Winery.


"Carrying on a wedding tradition: the Lee Family Veil," by Judy Ross, January 4, 2016, Open House:  The Official Blog of Biltmore,

"The Kennedys:  America's Emerald Kings," by Thomas Maier, Basic Books, New York, 2003.

Mr. & Mrs. John F. Kennedy
Hammersmith Farm
Photo by Toni Frissell
Library of Congress