Weddings bring an extraordinary kind of excitement. In the last decade, the world was drawn to two British royal weddings: when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge tied the knot in 2011 followed by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in 2018. These popular events established the relevance of the monarchy to a new generation. While these nuptials created a stir in recent memory, let’s take a look at other famous weddings that made a mark in history.
Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier III of Monaco
A beloved Hollywood actress during her day, Grace Kelly transformed from being part of silver screen royalty into a real-life princess when she wed Prince Rainier on April 18, 1956. They were introduced to each other at the Cannes Film Festival in 1955 and from there, their whirlwind romance took off. When the prince went to the U.S. later that year for diplomatic reasons, he also asked for Grace Kelly’s hand in marriage.
Grace Kelly’s bridal dress was so modern that its silhouette is still in fashion today. The high neckline gown, which was adorned with multiple small pearls and had layers upon layers of petticoats, took six weeks to make.
The wedding took place in St. Nicholas Cathedral with 600 people in attendance. Among them were shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis and hotel tycoon Conrad Hilton. The wedding banquet had, at its center, a 200-pound cake with six layers.
After the wedding, the couple went on a seven-week cruise for their honeymoon.
Jacqueline Bouvier and John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy was still a young senator when he met Jackie in the dinner-party circuits of Washington. They dated for two years before JFK popped the question with a Van Cleef & Arpels ring set. Their wedding took place in the morning of September 12, 1953 at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Newport, Rhode Island.
Jackie was a vision in her wedding dress. The fabric was ivory tissue silk, which was used to create the portrait-neckline bodice and bouffant skirt. Her rosepoint lace veil was an heirloom from her grandmother. She also wore a choker made of pearls and a diamond bracelet that Kennedy had given her.
Diplomats, politicians, and other notable people graced the nuptials, which had more than 800 guests in attendance and 2,000 fans standing outside. The ceremony was officiated by the Archbishop of Boston, who also read a special blessing from no less than Pope Pius XII. For their honeymoon, the couple flew off to Acapulco, Mexico.
Lady Diana Spencer and Prince Charles
Perhaps the most talked about wedding in history, Prince Charles’ and Diana’s was watched by around 750 million people from around the world when it was broadcast live on television on July 29, 1981. It looked every bit like a fairytale. The young and charming Diana would wed her strapping prince.
St. Paul’s Cathedral in London was the fitting venue for this historic event. When the bride emerged from the glass coach at the steps of the church, everyone was in awe of her ivory taffeta dress covered in 10,000 pearls. Her 25-foot train was the longest in royal history.
A crowd of 600,000 people flocked the streets of London hoping to catch a glimpse of the newlyweds. Around 3,500 were present at the ceremony itself including the Queen and the rest of the Royal Family. With so many guests, there were 27 wedding cakes served at the reception. It was speculated that the wedding cost around $48 million.
After the festivities, the couple was whisked away to Broadlands, an English country house in Hampshire, where they stayed for three days before flying off to Gibraltar to begin their 11-day Mediterranean cruise.