Tuesday, September 21, 2010

John F. Kennedy and Carolyn Bessette: A perfect Moment in Time

Long before George Clooney became the great white whale of eligible bachelors, always chasing never catching, there was John F. Kennedy Jr. The favorite son from perhaps the most famous family in western politics, he was an American royalty. Since his time at his father’s feet in the white house, Kennedy Jr. had captivated the attention of the nation. And by the early 1990’s there was no more notorious bachelor around. Not in the U.S. and certainly not in his home of New York City.

The world watched as he dated actress Sarah Jessica Parker in 1988, and actress Daryl Hannah from 1989 to 1994. But it was Carolyn Bessette, a publicist for Calvin Klein, who eventually led Kennedy down the aisle.

The couple, who became an immediate paparazzi target, was married in secret on September 21, 1996. The two exchanged wedding rings on Cumberland Island, off the coast of Georgia with only 40 guests in attendance.


The bride, dressed in a $40,000 Narcisco Rodriguez silk gown, Manolo Blahnik sandals, and a hair clip once owned by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, was the picture of modern elegance. The groom wore a dark blue wool suit and white vest by Gordon Henderson, and accessorized only with his father’s watch and later his wedding ring.

The wedding was a rare moment of peace for the two, who were media fodder even in their death. Unfortunately the couple, along with Bessette’s sister, did not survive a 1999 plane crash on the way to Martha’s Vineyard.

However, September 21st was a magical evening in the storybook of their relationship, and blessedly free of paparazzi. The ceremony took place in a small wooden framed church lit by lanterns and candles. The guests later adjourned to the Greyfield Inn for a quiet reception where they were toasted by Kennedy’s uncle Ted, and danced to Prince’s “Forever in my Life.”

Today would have been the couple’s 14 year wedding anniversary, so let’s take a moment to remember this iconic couple and their unfortunately short, but sweet romance.

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