Over the years LIFE photographers have covered a great many weddings. These include the unions of royals such as Queen Elizabeth, Princess Margaret and King Hussein. They also include the nuptials of American versions of royalty, with movie stars such as Elizabeth Taylor, Rita Hayworth, Elvis Presley and Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall.

Quite possibly the greatest wedding LIFE photographed is that of John and Jackie Kennedy—a political couple with celebrity qualities. They were married in 1953, years before JFK reached the White House, which helps explain the unusual intimacy of the photographs. Four shots from that remarkable set are included in this survey, but for a deeper dive, click here.

This story also includes some novelty weddings—the bride and groom underwater! Four sisters in one ceremony! Others document ordinary people celebrating the life-changing day—some of the most charming pics are of an everyday couple who married in a Nebraska farmhouse.

The magic of the wedding day is precious, and perhaps all the more so because the romance and optimism of the moment can prove fleetting. The phrase “till death to us part” was certainly a promise unkept for 18-year-old Elizabeth Taylor’s and her groom Nicky Hilton, the hotel heir. They divorced after only 205 days, and he was the first of her eight husbands.

That may explain why it’s hard not be charmed by the last photo of this set, of an unknown bride and groom captured walking on the streets of Paris. The bride and groom walk arm-and-arm, but they have no giddiness to them at all. They are not even in the foreground of this photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt—that place of honor goes to an older woman who walks alone, grimacing in either physical or mental discomfort. The contrast is pure, and the photo is richer for it.

Senator John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline at their wedding reception, Newport, Rhode Island, 1953.

Lisa Larsen The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Jacqueline Kennedy dances with her husband, John F. Kennedy, at their wedding reception,

Jacqueline Kennedy danced with her husband, John F. Kennedy, at their wedding reception, Newport, R.I., Sept. 12, 1953.

Lisa Larsen/Life Pictures/Shutterstock

"Flower girl Janet Auchincloss, half sister of bride, talks to Kennedy while bride looks out window at guests waiting to go through receiving line."

Flower girl Janet Auchincloss, half sister of the bride, talked to Kennedy while the bride looked out the window at guests waiting to go through the receiving line.

Lisa Larsen/Life Pictures/Shutterstock

John and Jackie Kennedy with groomsmen and other guests on their wedding day, Newport, R.I., Sept. 12, 1953.

John and Jackie Kennedy with groomsmen and other guests on their wedding day, Newport, R.I., Sept. 12, 1953.

Lisa Larsen/Life Pictures/Shutterstock

Royals on the balcony of Buckingham Palace: (l. to r.) King George VI, Princess Margaret Rose, unidentified, Princess Elizabeth, Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mother Mary after wedding of Elizabeth and Philip.

The marraige of Elizabeth and Philip. Royals on the balcony of Buckingham Palace: (l. to r.) King George VI, Princess Margaret Rose, unidentified, Princess Elizabeth, Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mother Mary after the wedding of Elizabeth and Philip, Nov. 20, 1947.

William Sumits / LIFE Picture Collection

Bride and groom facing each other on their wedding day during World War II, Holland, circa 1945.

George Silk/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

Elizabeth Taylor wedding to Nicky Hilton, 1950

Liz Taylor on her (first) wedding day, May 6, 1950. The marriage to Nicky Hlton would last less than one year.

Ed Clark The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Actress Elizabeth Taylor, age 18, in beautiful satin wedding gown (cost $1,500, a gift from MGM studios) holding hands w. her husband Nicky Hilton outside church after their wedding ceremony, 1950.

Seamstresses work on Grace Kelly's wedding dress and veil, conceived by MGM's wardrobe designer, Helen Rose, Hollywood, Calif., 1956.

Seamstresses work on Grace Kelly’s wedding dress and veil, conceived by MGM’s wardrobe designer, Helen Rose, Hollywood, Calif., 1956.

Allan Grant The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier kneel during Mass at their religious wedding, April 1956.

Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier kneel during Mass at their religious wedding, April 1956.

Thomas D. McAvoy The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Bride and groom kiss after underwater wedding.

Bob Smith and Mary Beth Sanger kiss after their underwater wedding in San Marcos, Texas, 1954.

John Dominis The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

The Aquarena in San Marcos Texas, where underwater weddings are performed.

Mary Beth Sanger and Bob Smith emerge from a tank during their underwater wedding, 1954.

John Dominis The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Elvis and Priscilla Presley on their wedding day, May 1 1967, at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas.

Photo by Frank Edwards/Fotos International/Archive Photos/Shutterstock

BOGART/BACALL WEDDING

Lauren Bacall fed wedding cake to her groom, Humphrey Bogart, after their marriage ceremony in Ohio, 1945.

Ed Clark The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

The royal coach transporting Queen Elizabeth to the wedding of Princess Margaret, 1960

Loomis Dean/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

Queen Elizabeth (L) with Prince Charles (2L) and Elizabeth II at Princess Margaret’s wedding, 1960.

Loomis Dean/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

The Hund sisters—all four of them—got married on the same day in a group ceremony in San Bernardino, Calif., here the mother of the brides, Mrs. Justin Hund (R) leading her four daughters and attendants to the church.

Bill Eppridge/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

The Hund sisters—Jeanette, Janice, Joanie and Judith tossed their bouquets in unison after getting married in a quadruple ceremony in San Bernardino, Calif., in 1971.

Bill Eppridge/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

The wedding of King Hussein of Jordan and Toni Avril Gardiner who was British, 1961; the couple reportedly met while she was working as an assistant on the set of the movie Lawrence of Arabia.

JAMES BURKE/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

Bride prepares for wedding, in traditional white gown, 19th century wedding dress. (Photo by Michael Rougier/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

A bride prepared for her wedding, wearing a 19th century wedding dress, 1962.

Photo by Michael Rougier/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

Bride Barbara Alvin attending her kitchen shower before her wedding, 1947.

Nina Leen/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

Bride Barbara Alvin shopping with her mother for a wedding cake for her wedding, 1947.

Nina Leen/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

The wedding reception of actress Rita Hayworth and Aly Khan at Chateau de l’Horizon in France; their initials float in the pool, 1949

NAT FARBMAN]/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

Prince Aly Khan watched his bride, actress Rita Hayworth, cut into their wedding cake with a glass sword at Khan’s Riviera Chateau de L’Horizon in France, 1949.

Nat Farbman/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

The wedding of Sherita Lambrecht and Edmund Dean Harlow in Nebraska, 1961.

MICHAEL ROUGIER/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

High school sweethearts Sherita Lambrecht and Edmund Dean Harlow left the church after their wedding in Nebraska, 1961.

Michael Rougier/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

Wedding of Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher, 1955

Wedding of Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher, 1955

Alfred Eisenstaedt The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Elderly woman walking along street while bride and groom walk behind, Paris, 1963.

An elderly woman walked along that street while a bride and groom strode behind, Paris, 1963.

Alfred Eisenstaedt/Life Pictures/Shutterstock

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