Wedding dress of Jacqueline Bouvier

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Wedding dress of Jacqueline Bouvier
Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis2.jpg
ArtistAnn Lowe
Year1953 (1953)

The wedding dress of Jacqueline Bouvier was worn by Jacqueline Bouvier in her wedding to John F. Kennedy on September 12, 1953. The dress is one of the best-remembered bridal gowns of all time.[1]

The gown was the creation of African-American fashion designer Ann Lowe, [2] who never received credit for it during her lifetime. Instead, when asked who made her dress, Jacqueline Kennedy said it was a "colored woman."[3]

The dress is now on display at the Kennedy Library in Boston, Massachusetts.


Janet Lee Bouvier, Jacqueline's mother, hired Lowe to design and make the entire bridal party's outfits. (Lowe had made Bouvier's dress for her wedding to Hugh Auchincloss.)

The bridal gown, of ivory-colored silk taffeta, featured a portrait neckline and huge round skirt. The skirt featured interwoven tucking bands and tiny wax flowers.[4] Jacqueline's lace veil had belonged to her grandmother; a lace-and-orange-blossom tiara tied the veil to her hair. Her bridal bouquet was made of white and pink gardenias and orchids.

Jacqueline wore little jewelry with the dress, but what she did wear had personal significance. The single-strand pearl necklace was a family heirloom; she also wore a diamond pin from her parents and diamond bracelet from her groom, John F. Kennedy.[5]

Dress Nearly Lost[edit]

A flood in Lowe's Lexington Avenue workshop 10 days before the wedding ruined the bride's gown and nine of the bridal-party's dresses. The designer and her staff worked through eight days (the original time was eight weeks) to reconstruct the gowns and get them delivered on time. Instead of an estimated $700 profit, Lowe lost $2,200 on the project.[6]


The dress was crafted in a very traditional design (particularly the skirt), per the wishes of the Kennedy family; it won worldwide acclaim. However, Jacqueline had wanted a simple dress, with firm lines, to complement her tall, slim figure.[7] She later told friends privately that she didn't like the dress' portrait neckline because, she felt, it emphasized her small bust.[5] She also said that, in her opinion, the skirt looked "like a lampshade."[8]


  1. ^ Daniels, Maggie; Loveless, Carrie (23 February 2007). Wedding planning & management: consultancy for diverse clients. Butterworth-Heinemann. p. 214. ISBN 978-0-7506-8233-6. Retrieved 30 April 2011.
  2. ^ "Bridal Icons and their influence on Modern Bridal Gowns". Augusta Jones Collections. Retrieved 2 May 2011.
  3. ^ Christopher Andersen (1997). Jack and Jackie: Portrait of an American Marriage. Avon. ISBN 978-0-380-73031-5. Retrieved 2 May 2011.
  4. ^ "Jackie Kennedy Wedding Dress 1953". Retrieved 2 May 2011.
  5. ^ a b Tracy, Kathleen (1 May 2008). The Everything Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Book: A Portrait of an American Icon. Everything Books. p. 95. ISBN 978-1-59869-530-4. Retrieved 30 April 2011.
  6. ^ Johnson Publishing Company (December 1966). Ebony. Johnson Publishing Company. p. 140. ISSN 0012-9011. Retrieved 2 May 2011.
  7. ^ Tina Santi Flaherty (5 April 2005). What Jackie Taught Us: Lessons from the Remarkable Life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Penguin. pp. 18–. ISBN 978-0-399-53080-7. Retrieved 2 May 2011.
  8. ^ Ronald Rothstein; Mara Urshel; Todd Lyon (5 March 2002). How to Buy Your Perfect Wedding Dress. Simon and Schuster. pp. 21–. ISBN 978-0-7432-2581-6. Retrieved 2 May 2011.