Grace Kelly's Wedding

American actress Grace Patricia Kelly married Prince Rainier III of Monaco in 1956 in two separate ceremonies: a civil ceremony on 18 April and in a Catholic Mass on 19 April. The wedding was called "The Wedding of the Century" and is still considered one of the most beautiful weddings ever.

Jump to the dress, the jewels, the flowers, the guests, Wedding in Monaco film, newsreels, books, trivia, pictures, and photos & posters.

Grace Kelly's Wedding Dress

Grace Kelly's wedding gown was designed by Helen Rose, who had dressed her in High Society and The Swan. The gown was the most expensive dress that Rose had ever made.

The wedding dress consisted of a rounded collar, full skirt of ivory peau de soie, and a fitted bodice made from Brussels lace embroidered with seed pearls. The lace was over a century old and had flower designs in it. 25 yards of silk taffeta and 100 yards of silk net were used in the construction of the dress.

Under her wedding gown, Grace's petticoats had tiny blue satin bows.

The Jewels

[With This Ring] The story of Grace's engagement to Rainier is told in With This Ring: The Ultimate Guide to Wedding Jewelry by Penny Proddow and Marion Fasel.

The Engagement Ring

Grace's Cartier engagement ring from Rainier featured a 10.47-carat emerald-cut diamond and two baguette diamonds mounted in platinum. She wore the ring as her character's engagement ring in High Society.

The Friendship Ring

On 28 December 1955, Grace started to let people know about her engagement to Rainier. Rainier gave her a friendship ring, a band with diamonds and rubies, until the diamond engagement ring could be made.

Other Jewelry

[Van Cleef & Arpels] Grace also received a beautiful jewelry set created especially for her by Van Cleef & Arpels, consisting of a necklace, bracelet and earrings of diamonds and pearls. She can be seen wearing it in Van Cleef & Arpels by Sylvie Raulet.

Create your own diamond ring at Amazon.com.

The Flowers

Grace's bridal bouquet was of lily-of-the-valley, and the ribbons of her bouquet had small sprigs attached to them. She left the bouquet on the altar of the Chapel of St. Dévote after the wedding.

Grace Kelly's "Juliet cap" headpiece was decorated with orange blossoms. Reproductions of the headpiece can be purchased at Long Live the Marriage.

Grace's matrons of honor carried bouquets of tea roses, and the flower girls carried white daisies.

The Guests

Cary Grant, David Niven, Gloria Swanson, Aristotle Onassis, Ava Gardner, and Aga Khan all attended the wedding.

Wedding in Monaco Film

Grace Kelly's wedding was filmed and released as Wedding in Monaco, which occasionally airs on Turner Classic Movies. TCM is has a voting mechanism for requesting the release of the film on DVD. Please vote on their website for it to be released on DVD.

Newsreels

Grace Kelly's wedding to Prince Rainier III of Monaco was highly publicized, and appeared in numerous newsreels.

Books

Grace Kelly: Icon of Style to Royal Bride

Grace Kelly: Icon of Style to Royal Bride by H. Kristina Haugland

A wonderful book, full of fantastic photographs of your favorite bride. The book starts by giving a good overview of Grace's personal style, and then goes right into the details of the wedding, with a strong focus on her wedding gown.

Synopsis: One of the most admired women in the world, Grace Kelly (1929–1982) is remembered for her beauty, grace and style. Her 'fairy-tale' wedding to Prince Rainier of Monaco in 1956 was one of the most celebrated of the century. To commemorate its 50th anniversary, this lovely book tells the story behind her wedding gown, cap, veil, shoes and prayer book, all given by the new princess to the Philadelphia Museum of Art shortly after the ceremony. Philadelphia-born Grace Kelly rocketed to Hollywood stardom, becoming a major box-office draw and winning an Academy Award. She also was an icon of classic American style, which became known as the 'Grace Kelly Look'. After examining the development of the star's on- and off-screen style, the book focuses on her magnificent wedding dress, designed by Helen Rose and made by MGM Studios under top secret security. Public interest in the star's wedding dress was intense, and it remains one of the most popular objects in the Museum's collection. Stunning colour images detail the wedding dress, accessories and attendants' dresses, which are also owned by the Museum. Numerous historical photographs illustrate the actress's career, style and the famous wedding in Monaco.

Legendary Brides

Legendary Brides by Letitia Baldrige

This book focuses primarily on the weddings of Grace Kelly, Jacqueline Bouvier, and Lady Diana Spencer, and includes photos from many other famous weddings. Grace has her own chapter, "From Star to Princess: The Wedding of Grace Kelly", which contains quite a few interesting facts about and photos of Grace's wedding to Rainier, including one of the few rare color wedding photos of the ceremony that we've seen.

Bridesmaids: Grace Kelly, Princess of Monaco, and Six Intimate Friends

Bridesmaids: Grace Kelly, Princess of Monaco, and Six Intimate Friends by Judith Balaban Quine (also here)

This book is about Grace's wedding, but also about her friendship with the author. It is refreshing to see Grace portrayed in a friendly light.

Trivia

  • On the night before she met Rainier, the electrical workers of France went on strike. Most of Grace's clothing was still wrinkled from travel, so she wore a hideous black dress with large flowers in it, and stick some artificial flowers in her hair.
  • The entire adult population of Monaco—3,000—was invited to the celebration following the wedding.
  • Grace and Rainier had two weddings: a civil wedding (18 April 1956) and a religious wedding (19 April 1956).
  • After the civil ceremony, a gala was given for the couple and the entire Monegasque population was invited.
  • Grace wore a Lanvin ballgown to the Monaco Opera on 18 April, following the civil ceremony. The gown, made of hand-embroidered white silk organdy, had a V-shaped decollette, a high waistline, a full bustle in the back, and was decorated with 800,000 sequins and 1,500 pearls and rhinestones.
  • Aristotle Onassis gave Prince Rainier III and Princess Grace "Deo Juvante II", a 147-foot yacht, as a wedding present. The couple traveled around the Mediterranean on the yacht for their honeymoon.
  • Princess Grace and Prince Rainier III spent part of their honeymoon at Mallorca's Hotel Formentor.
  • The people of Monaco gave Grace and Rainier a cream and black Rolls Royce convertible as a wedding gift. After the religious wedding ceremony, the couple drove through the streets of Monaco in it.
  • When their engagement was announced in 1956, Grace drank vodka on the rocks and Rainier had a sidecar.
  • Rainier gave Grace a Van Cleef & Arpels pearl necklace for their engagement in 1955. She can be seen wearing it in Van Cleef & Arpels by Sylvie Raulet on page 36.
  • As a wedding present, Rainier gave Grace a Van Cleef & Arpels set of a necklace, bracelet, and earrings.
  • The House of Creed was commissioned by Rainier to create a perfume, Fleurissimo, especially for Grace as a wedding present. Fleurissimo was subsequently worn by fellow style icons Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Madonna.
  • Singers Georgia Gibbs and Channing Pollock were featured performers at Grace's wedding to Rainier.
  • Grace carried Rev. J.M. Lelen's Bride's Manual: A Manual of Catholic Devotion with Mass for the Marriage Ceremony and the Nuptial Blessing during her wedding to Prince Rainier. The book was a gift from family friend Mrs. John F. McCloskey of Chestnut Hill and was decorated by MGM's wardrobe department.
  • The shoes paired with Grace's wedding dress were from Evins, New York, and were designed by David Evins. A copper penny was built into the right shoe for good luck. A popular belief is that Grace wore flats so that she would not be much taller than Rainier, these shoes actually have 2 1/2"-inch heels.
  • For her wedding, Grace's hair was styled by Sydney Guilaroff.
  • Joseph Hong of Neiman Marcus designed the bridesmaids' dresses, and Priscilla Kidder (a.k.a. Priscilla of Boston) made them. They were made of yellow silk organdy—a shade called sunlight—over a yellow silk taffeta underdress.
  • Of Grace's wedding, fashion designer Oscar de la Renta said:

    On her wedding day, Grace Kelly gave new meaning to the word icon. Her whole look, from the regal veil to the feminine lace details and the conservative gown, made her an ageless bride.

  • Prince Rainier III designed the uniform that he wore to the wedding himself.
  • Artist and theatrical producer Gant Gaither escorted Grace to Monaco for the wedding. He wrote the book Princess of Monaco: the Story of Grace Kelly about her.
  • As a wedding present from MGM, Grace received her entire wardrobe from High Society, as well as her magnificent wedding dress.

Photos & Posters

The Engagement

Grace Kelly
With Prince Rainier III at the announcement of their engagement
Grace Kelly
With Prince Rainier III attending a banquet after announcing their engagement
Grace Kelly
With Prince Rainier III attending a banquet after announcing their engagement

Pre-Wedding

Grace Kelly
Shopping for shoes
Grace Kelly
With her mother and sister before leaving for the wedding in Monaco
Grace Kelly
Posing for photographers outside her apartment building before leaving for Monaco
Grace Kelly
Leaving the Hollywood studio lot for last time before her marriage

The Royal Wedding

Grace Kelly