John F. Kennedy Jr. and Carolyn Bessette’s mysterious 1996 wedding will be the subject of an upcoming TLC movie. The cable network’s buzzy new project was announced during Discovery’s upfront presentation earlier this week, according to Deadline. The two-hour TV movie, which has a working title of JFK Jr. & Carolyn Bessette: A Camelot Wedding, will include actual footage from Kennedy and Bessette’s secret ceremony.
Deadline reports that the official logline for the film describes the wedding of “America’s Prince Charming, John F. Kennedy Jr.,” and “the love of his life, Carolyn Bessette,” as “a ceremony that was designed to keep the media and the paparazzi away.” TLC promises footage from the couple’s fairytale wedding weekend, including an inside look at the rehearsal dinner, the ceremony, and the intimate reception. In addition, the film will include commentary from the couple’s wedding guests, friends, and family members.
John F. Kennedy Jr. and Carolyn Bessette were married in September of 1996 at Brack Chapel on Cumberland Island, off the coast of Georgia. The coastal location was isolated enough to keep the couple’s nuptials top secret. For the reception, which was held at the historic Greyfield Inn (the only hotel on the secluded island), the high-profile couple had caterers and staff sign confidentiality agreements, according to People.
In an interview with the Knot, the couple’s wedding photographer, Denis Reggie, revealed there were only 35 guests invited to witness John and Carolyn exchange vows. The ceremony took place by candlelight at the tiny, eight-pew First African Baptist Church, just as the sun was setting.
“There was one cousin from the Robert Kennedy’s, one from the Eunice Shriver’s, one from the Smith’s and so on,” he told the Knot. “It ended up being mostly those cousins who were closest to his age and it was very intimate.”
Reggie described the ceremony as simple, saying Kennedy’s mother, Jackie Kennedy Onassis, would have approved.
“I thought to myself, the choice of the setting, the simplicity of the flowers, even the dress and the design—all of it— lovely, but none of it overstated,” the photographer said.
Viewers will undoubtedly find out a lot more about John F. Kennedy Jr. and Carolyn Bessette’s wedding with the upcoming TLC film, but not everyone is a fan of the idea. Vogue has already described the movie as “sad and uncomfortable,” as it publicizes a wedding that the couple worked so hard to keep private.
Three years after their wedding day, in July 1999, John F. Kennedy Jr. and Carolyn Bessette died in a plane that John was flying after it crashed off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard — when they were on their way to a wedding.
Take a look at the video below for more on John F. Kennedy Jr. and his wife, Carolyn Bessette.