Even though their marriage lasted only seven years, Mick and Bianca Jagger’s wedding remains one of the most iconic (and heavily referenced) weddings of all time. Forty-eight years ago, on May 12, 1971, the lead singer of The Rolling Stones, then 27, married his 26-year-old Nicaraguan jet-setting girlfriend in what they were hoping would be an intimate ceremony in the seaside town of St. Tropez.
Of course, the opposite was what actually happened. After crowds of fans and paparazzi got wind of their plans, a full-blown frenzy took over Mick and Bianca’s wedding day (you can watch part of the chaos here). For the high-profile couple, it was impossible to keep photographers at bay, due to a . French law that allowed all public citizens into public spaces, including St. Tropez’s city hall, where the couple had to legally seal the deal. The scene that day was such a commotion, Mick’s father even lamented to reporter: “I hope my other son doesn’t become a superstar,” while the Rolling Stones’s press agent remembered it as “the most difficult day in my 21 years in the business.”
But you almost can’t blame the paparazzi for showing up. After all, not only was one of the world’s most famous musicians about to get married, the guest list was full of rock ’n’ roll legends. For the wedding, Mick arranged for a private plane to fly in 75 friends in from London, including Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Peter Frampton, Elton John, Eric Clapton, and Ronnie Wood. Others such as Brigitte Bardot, Julie Christie, and Keith Richards later celebrated with the newlyweds at their after-party at the Hotel Byblos. (Richards apparently passed out well before the night was over.)
Of course, one of the main reasons Mick and Bianca Jagger’s nuptials have solidified their place in the wedding hall of fame is because of Bianca’s super chic and super unconventional bridal look. For her big day, Bianca (who was about four months pregnant with their daughter, Jade) chose a white Yves Saint Laurent tuxedo jacket and long bias-cut skirt paired with an oversized sun hat and discrete tulle veil. The elegant suit set was unlike anything brides had worn before and the tailored look continues to be a source of inspiration for many brides today, including model Emily Ratajkowski who paired a Zara suit with a large hat for her 2018 city hall wedding in New York.
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Bianca walked down the aisle of Saint Anne Chapel to a rendition of songs from the film Love Story played on a harmonium and the couple was married by a Roman Catholic reverend. Once they were declared man and wife, the two sped off in Mick’s Bentley to the Café des Arts, where a champagne and caviar reception awaited. A reggae band provided music and later Mick jumped on stage and played a set with Stephen Stills and Terry Reid. The partying continued on at the Hotel Byblos, where Bianca and Mick would later be spending their honeymoon.
While images of their wedding continue to show up on Instagram feeds and Pinterest boards today, their marriage didn’t have as much lasting power and the two eventually divorced in 1978. In fact, their union might have been doomed from the beginning. According to the Times of London, the morning of their wedding, Mick asked Bianca to sign a document waiving all claims on his property if they ever got divorced. She eventually signed it but years later came to admit: “My marriage ended on my wedding day.”