A new documentary about the life and love of JFK Jr. and Carolyn Bessette features never-before-seen footage of the couple’s secret wedding ceremony, and it is quite a sight to behold. The couple, who married on September 21, 1996, purposely kept their nuptials out of the spotlight at the time, preferring to hold that space for their immediate family and friends and loved ones.
In a teaser trailer for the documentary, JFK Jr. & Carolyn’s Wedding: The Lost Tapes, the late couple can be seen getting ready for and celebrating their big day.
“I could tell this was different. It was deeper, more mature,” Kennedy’s best friend Billy Noonan said of the notorious playboy’s love for Carolyn. “What he really loved about her was her edginess. She pushed back, which was good for him.”
Noonan is credited as the one who captured the wedding on video, albeit grainy video, and in the two-hour TV special, he and several of the couple’s friends and associates reminisce about the pair’s big day.
Footage from the wedding, held in a small church in Cumberland Island, Georgia, shows Kennedy, then 35, and Bessette, then 30, exchanging vows, chatting with friends, and even cutting into their three-tiered wedding cake. Memorably, Kennedy apparently arrived at his own wedding in the back of a pickup truck with his best buddies.
In one particularly touching scene during their wedding reception, Kennedy raises a glass in toast to his new wife.
“Carolyn has changed my life in a way that I never thought was possible, and just made me, tonight, the happiest man alive,” he said.
“This special celebration encapsulates their fairytale wedding weekend as the public has never seen, and we are honored to share it with our passionate viewers,” TLC’s president, Howard Lee, said in a press release.
The couple was married just short of three years when they both died in a tragic accident after their plane went down over the Atlantic Ocean just outside of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachussetts.
JFK Jr. & Carolyn’s Wedding: The Lost Tapes airs July 13 at 8 p.m. ET on TLC.