Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier III of Monaco at St. Nicholas Cathedral on April 19, 1956. The high mass was attended by 600 guests including Cary Grant, Aristotle Onassis, Ava Gardner and Gloria Swanson. It was considered the wedding of the century at the time.
The bride walked down the aisle on the arm of her father. She wore a wedding dress designed by MGM seamstress Helen Rose and a Juliet cap decorated with seed pearls, orange blossoms and a 90-yard tulle veil. Her high-neck gown had long-sleeves and a billowing skirt made of twenty-five yards of silk taffeta, one hundred yards of silk net, peau de soie, tulle and 125-year-old Brussels rose point lace. She carried a lily-of-the-valley bouquet, while the church was decorated with lilacs, lilies, hydrangeas and snapdragons.
Prince Rainier wore a Napoleonic military-style uniform which he designed.
The Catholic Mass was officiated by Monsignor Marella, the Papal Legate from Paris. At the conclusion, a message was read from the Pope.
Following the nuptials, the couple departed in an open-top car and drove through the streets of Monte Carlo waving to thousands of well-wishers.
A luncheon reception followed at the Palace Court of Honor, and for dessert, a six-tiered wedding cake was cut with the Prince’s sword.
The couple honeymooned for seven-weeks aboard the “Deo Juvante II” stopping in Villegranche, Spain, and Corsica.