While in Newport, RI for a weekend getaway, my husband and I attended Sunday mass at St. Mary's Parish (less than a 2 minute walk from where we stayed at the Francis Malbone House). This is the church where John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Lee Bouvier were married on September 12, 1953. During our stay we found out that their wedding reception was held at Hammersmith Farm, a 28-room Victorian mansion in Newport, RI. We actually drove by the farm (click here to see a picture I took), which was the childhood home to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and became known as the 'Summer White House' of President John F. Kennedy. It is now a private home and no longer open to the public. But, at the time when tours were offered, you could see their children's bedrooms (Caroline and John Jr.) and the balcony where Jackie had tossed her wedding bouquet. When the chief executive officer for Fruit of the Loom Inc. bought the mansion in 1997 for $6.7 million, all the furniture was sold at auctions. In 1999, Hammersmith Farm was sold again for $8 million.
I hope that someday the farm is opened up again for public tours, but until then, you can find lots of information online about the history of the Kennedy and Bouvier families, the wedding of John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Lee Bouvier, and surrounding buildings on the 48-acre property.
While looking online for additional information on their wedding I found some fun tidbits that I thought you might like to read:
- 1,200 invited guests attended the wedding reception
- receiving line was 2 1/2 hours
- Jackie loved horses, her husband was allergic to animals
- Jacqueline hated her wedding dress. Her mother had picked it out and Jacqueline thought it looked like a lampshade.
- Hugh D. Auchincloss gave Jacqueline away at her wedding (Jackie's step-father) Jacqueline's father, John Bouvier, was expected to give her away. But, Jackie's mother, Janet Auchincloss, did not invite him to the wedding reception. He had gotten drunk and wasn't able to perform his duties.
- Jacqueline was a very heavy smoker. While she smoked all the time, Jackie didn't allow any pictures of her to be taken when she was smoking.