On September 12, 1953, John F. Kennedy and Jackie Bouvier Kennedy wed in Newport, Rhode Island — long before the pair became the president and first lady, the beloved couple was making a splash as a budding young politician and a debutante tastemaker. 61 years to the day after their iconic wedding (JFK and Jackie married in front of 700 guests!), it's clear that one standout detail of their society wedding almost didn't make it down the aisle: the dress!
According to TIME, Jackie's traditional ball gown wedding dress, designed by Ann Lowe, complete with a portrait neckline, and a wide bouffant skirt with wax flowers, wasn't the bride-to-be's first pick. In fact, she had hoped to wear something entirely different on her wedding day. "She has wanted a simple dress with sleek, straight lines, but bowed to family pressure to wear something more traditional, despite thinking it looked like a lampshade," TIME reports.
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And one week before their vows were to take place, Jackie's gown and her bridesmaids' pink taffeta dresses were all ruined when a pipe burst in the designer's New York showroom. Lowe and her staff worked around the clock to reproduce the dresses — a feat that had initially taken eight weeks to create — and finished just in time for Jackie to don the dress for her walk to the altar.
She ultimately paired the off-the-shoulder wedding dress with a modern cascading bouquet, her trademark pearl necklace, and a long veil.
Despite Jackie's feeling that it overwhelmed her small frame, her classic wedding dress stands out as one of the most memorable gowns in our history. Its regal yet timeless appeal has stood the test of time — and is remembered fondly by brides across so many generations.