The nuptials followed a two-year courtship between Kennedy, then a young bachelor Congressman from Massachusetts and Bouvier, the daughter of a well-connected New York society family.
She was instantly smitten. In letters to family friend and priest Joseph Leonard in 1952, Bouvier wrote that her time with Kennedy gave her “an amazing insight on politicians — they really are a breed apart.”
According to the New York Times, the wedding was the social event of 1953, “a union of powerful and wealthy Roman Catholic families whose scions were handsome, charming, trendy and smart. It had a whiff of American royalty.”
Renowned as a style icon to this day, Bouvier wore an ivory taffeta off-the-shoulder dress with a bouffant skirt created by Ann Lowe, an African-American designer whose client list included the Rockefellers and the Vanderbilts.
According to a LIFE magazine feature at the time, more than 600 diplomats, senators and society figures crowded into the church for the ceremony ― and later, an estimated 900 guests attended the reception at nearby Hammersmith Farm, an estate owned by the bride’s stepfather.
As the reception wore on, the couple danced to the Meyer Davis Orchestra’s version of “I Married an Angel.” Then, as they made their exit for their honeymoon in Acapulco, Mexico, the Kennedys were showered with rose-petal confetti and rice.
Seven years later, the couple entered the White House. The pair had two children, Caroline and John Jr. before the president’s assassination on November 22, 1963.
Below, 25 more stunning photos from the couple’s high society wedding:
A smiling Jacqueline Bouvier arrives at St. Mary’s Church in Newport, R.I., on the arm of her stepfather, Hugh D. Auchincloss, for her wedding. (Photo by Pat Candido/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
Future US First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy (1929 – 1994) (in a Battenburg wedding dress) arrives at St Mary’s Church for her wedding to John F Kennedy, Newport, Rhode Island, September 12, 1953. (Photo by Lisa Larsen/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images)
Six hundred guests stand listening to wedding vows of Sen. John F. Kennedy and his bride Jacqueline. (Photo by Lisa Larsen//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)
Senator John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917 – 1963), Democratic senator for…