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F. Scott Fitzgerald Marries “The First American Flapper” 95 Years Ago Today

On April 3, 1920, the writer and Zelda Sayre exchanged vows at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City in what would become one of the most iconic weddings of all time. Here, the story behind their love story.

F Scott and Zelda
F. Scott and Zelda on their wedding day.

Their marriage started with a novel. When First Lieutenant F. Scott Fitzgerald met Southern socialite Zelda Sayre while stationed in her hometown of Montgomery, Alabama, he was instantly smitten with the Charleston-dancing beauty (whom he would later dub “the first American flapper”). He dedicated the next few years to writing his first novel, This Side of Paradise, in hopes of making enough money to marry her. To prove his love, he rewrote the lead character of the novel, Rosalind Connage, to be more like Zelda herself. In order to marry her sooner, he even convinced his publishers to push up the release date of the book, which became an instant best seller. With the novel a success, F. Scott and Zelda became husband and wife on April 3, 1920, inviting eight attendees to join them for an intimate ceremony at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City.

Photography by: Everett Collection/REX USA
Read a Love Letter From Zelda to F. Scott Fitzgerald
About the Author

Jason Galloway

After working the reference desk and managing the costume collection for the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising library in San Francisco for eight years, Jason packed up his dogs, Guido and Begonia, and moved to sunny Palm Springs, CA. The midcentury architecture and old Hollywood past of the city are perfect inspirations for his musings on food, fashion, and life on his...


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