Wednesday marks the 65th wedding anniversary of former president John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier. The couple wed on Sept. 12, 1953, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Newport, R.I. At the time, Kennedy was a senator from Massachusetts; Bouvier had recently left a position as “Inquiring Photographer” for the Washington Times-Herald.
According to archives of wedding coverage published by the Globe and The New York Times, the ceremony was so well-attended that some guests — many of them notable leaders in politics — had to stand at the back of the church. Boston Archbishop Richard Cushing, prior to performing the ceremony, read a blessing of the marriage sent from Pope Pius XII, according to Globe archives.
A Times wedding announcement recapping the ceremony noted over 800 invited guests in attendance. A crowd of nearly 3,000 onlookers gathered outside the church to catch a glimpse of the festivities as the wedding party entered and exited, according to the announcement.
Following the ceremony the couple celebrated with a reception at Hammersmith Farm, the Newport summer home of Bouvier’s mother and stepfather, Janet and Hugh Auchincloss. The newlyweds departed later that evening for a honeymoon in Mexico, according to Globe archives.
The couple was married until Kennedy’s death a decade later. Jacqueline Kennedy married longtime friend Aristotle Onassis, a Greek shipping magnate, in 1968.