Carolyn Bessette Kennedy Turned Down John F. Kennedy Jr.'s Initial Proposal

How do you say no to a proposal from the world's most eligible bachelor?

Updated 06/29/17

Tyler Mallory

How does one say no to a proposal from the world’s most eligible bachelor? A new People magazine profile on Carolyn Bessette Kennedy suggests that she may have turned down John F. Kennedy Jr.’s marriage proposal at first.

People’s latest cover story, remembering the life of Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, reveals that she did not at first say yes to JFK Jr.'s marriage proposal. JFK Jr.’s former assistant RoseMarie Terenzino told People earlier this week that the world’s most eligible bachelor initially had his marriage proposal turned down by the blonde beauty. After proposing in 1995 during a fishing trip in Martha’s Vineyard, Bessette kept John Jr. in suspense for almost a month. 'She held off the proposal for about three weeks.

I think it made him all the more intent on marrying her,' said Terenzino to People. 'He went into this thing about how everything's better with a partner, not just fishing but life,' Terenzino added about Kennedy’s proposal.

The couple pulled off the ultimate secret wedding on September 21, 1996 on the small isolated Cumberland Island off the coast of Georgia. Bessette's Narciso Rodriguez minimal silk-crepe wedding dress, a gift from the designer estimated at $40,000, and elbow-length gloves, became instantly iconic, as did her subtle barely there makeup and pulled back low-maintenance bun. "It's a very sensuous dress," Rodriguez told the New York Times after the wedding. "That's what we both wanted from the beginning," he added.

The couple held a low-key reception at the Greyfield Inn, and danced their first dance as husband and wife to Prince’s “Forever in My Life.” After the wedding, the couple headed to Istanbul for their honeymoon.

Tragically, Bessette and JFK Jr. died in a plane crash, together with Bessette's sister Lauren, off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard only a few years later on July 16, 1999.

As far as proposals go, Bessette may have set the standard for this feminist move, perhaps even inspiring a young Kate Middleton, dating the future King of England, to proclaim "No, he’s very lucky to be going out with me." He definitely was, Kate!

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