For my money, arguably the most beautiful of all the royal weddings.
Kelly’s gown — designed by Helen Rose, an MGM costume designer (who also did Elizabeth Taylor’s wedding gown when she married Conrad Hilton, as well as the wedding gown in the original Father of the Bride, AND the white dress Taylor wears for most of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof) — was a gift from the studio. Like most Important Wedding Gowns, it has its own Wikipedia page.
Prince Rainier, per Brides magazine, apparently designed his own military uniform, which is a nutty thing to be allowed to do!
Per Unofficial Royalty, which has a fascinating and exhaustive post about this wedding that I really found useful: “For the religious ceremony on April 19, 1956, Grace asked six American friends and one of her sisters to attend her. Grace’s sister, Margaret (Peggy) Kelly Davis, was her matron of honor. The bridesmaids included Bettina Thompson Gray and Sally Parrish Richardson, with whom Grace had attended The American Academy of Dramatic Arts; Maree Frisby Pamp, who had known Grace since high school; Carolyn Scott Reybold, who had lived in the same residence hotel with Grace as they began their acting careers in New York; Rita Gam Lumet, another young actress from New York; and Judith Balaban Kanter who was, at that time, married to Grace’s agent, Jay.” The Washington Post also had an all-over-the-place article about the bridesmaids in 1989, which is surprisingly juicy and somewhat bittersweet.
Brides also reports that birds flew out of the wedding cake when they cut into it, which I am sure was meant to be romantic and symbolic — they were, of course, turtledoves — but birds flying out of my dessert is truly my worst nightmare.
Aristotle Onassis gave the happy couple A WHOLE YACHT as a wedding gift, upon which they took their honeymoon. And look, I know Ari was rich and also loved yachts, but holy crow. They also only kept it for a few years and yada yada yada, you can totally hire it for your own vacation now, so let’s do that. (It also has a very interesting history.) (Also, I guess Onassis is the one who told Rainier that it would be a good idea for him to marry an actress to bring attention to Monaco as a tourist spot. They had a very complicated friendship; that link goes the the New York Times obit for Rainier, which is quite interesting.)
Finally, here’s Movietone’s (very bombastic, yet entertaining) news coverage of the event. It’s short, and a poodle makes an appearance:
Please read the entirety of this post in that mid-Atlantic accent, thank you.