Sunday, May 20, 2018

The Many Weddings of Lucy & Desi

Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz were the ultimate Dynamic Duo. Married in real life, they perfectly complemented each other. Not only were they paired in the classic and groundbreaking TV show I Love Lucy, they also shared the screen in two movies (they met on the set of Too Many Girls in 1940 but don't share the screen much). And in both of those films, The Long, Long Trailer (1953) and Forever, Darling (1956), their characters were married.

Searching for wedding pictures of Lucy and Desi on the internet is not an easy task as every on-screen wedding can be, and usually is, labeled as their REAL wedding. The couple actually eloped on November 30th, 1940, just six months after they met. In 1949 they renewed their vows, which we have photos of.

For the Catholic Church service, Lucy wore a blue satin dress with a full skirt and portrait neckline, which she paired with a chic white flowered hat, ruffled gloves, and strappy peep-toed heels. Desi looked sharp in a white suit.

In season 1 of I Love Lucy, Lucy and Desi had their first on-screen wedding. In "The Marriage License," which aired on April 7, 1952, Lucy finds a misspelling on her marriage license and believes her marriage to Ricky (Arnaz) isn't legal. Lucy makes Ricky recreate his proposal and the two get married at their hotel (which incidentally was the Byram River Beagle Club in Greenwich, Connecticut where Lucy and Desi had been married in 1940). You can watch the full episode here.


Lucy wore a full skirted dress with spaghetti straps, a lovely tulle veil attatched to a floral headpiece, multi-strand pearl choker, and satin peep-toe heels with an ankle strap.

For The Long, Long Trailer (1953) Lucy wore an exquisite lace gown designed by Helen Rose. It had a strapless bodice with a lace overlay featuring a high stand-up collar and long sleeves. A lace apron-like skirt fell over a full skirt. A flowered headpiece worn on the back of the head held the long tulle veil.

In Forever, Darling (1956) Lucy wore a similar dress with a more elaborate veil, this one designed by  Eloise Jenssen. The headpiece has lace and flowers that frame the face closely and the dress has a dramatic pleated skirt.

The sketch by Jenssen shows a different veil. To see more photos check out my more in-depth post.

Lastly, here are some wedding anniversary photos that could be mistaken for wedding photos.

This post is for the Dynamic Duos in Classic Film Blogathon hosted by Once Upon a Screen and Classic Movie Hub. Be sure to check out all of the other Dynamic Duos!


  1. I really liked this interesting angle on a show business super couple. Lucy certainly understood quality when it came to her fashion. I believe that is why her "look" is timeless.

  2. Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz were beautiful together. I love "I Love Lucy"
    It's interesting how many civil weddings took place in the 40's. The Second World War, might have had an impact!!
    Nuwan Sen's Film Sense

  3. The wedding dress she wore in “The Long, Long Trailer” was gorgeous. Considering that lace is the ‘in thing’ at the moment, I would not be surprised if I see a bride in a gown like this.