James Bond’s Wedding
Yes, anyone unfamiliar with the James Bond series, you read that correctly – James Bond does get married. It goes about as well as you’d expect.
George Lazenby as James Bond, British secret agent now deciding to “settle down”
Portugal, Winter 1969
Film: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
Release Date: December 18, 1969
Director: Peter R. Hunt
Costume Designer: Marjory Cornelius
Despite being the first film appearance of wet-behind-the-ears Australian mechanic and model George Lazenby, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is often considered one of the finer Bond films due to its down-to-earth story, realistic but fantastic villains and situations, Bond as a character rather than an instrument, and strict adherence to the source material, which was one of Ian Fleming’s best Bond novels.
Some argue that, had Sean Connery stayed on the role for the film, it may have been the best in the series. Given Connery’s brief return two years later as a paunchy Bond in Diamonds are Forever, establishing the series’ era of over-reliance on humor, this may or may not be true.
To many, this is known as the film where James Bond does, indeed, get married. He meets his future bride, Teresa/Tracy (played by Diana Rigg), when he saves her from a possible suicide attempt in the pre-credits sequence. Naturally, she is the daughter of an Italian crime boss who might have just the information Bond needs. After trading a woman’s heart for this information – in a very Sidney Reilly-like manner – Bond realizes he is actually in love. Of course, he realizes this after bedding the female population of a Swiss “health clinic”, but let’s not split hairs. Smitten, Bond buys a ring and a neo-Edwardian morning suit…
What’d He Wear?
In keeping with Fleming’s source material, Bond is actually a casual dresser. He eschews overly complicated clothing and, if convention calls for something uncomfortable, Bond defies it. The public has an image in its mind of Bond always decked out in sharp suits and spotless tuxedoes. While there’s a reason for this, particularly with some directors dressing their Bond to the nines whether for a dinner party, night at the casino, or filling up at the gas pump, the literary Bond had a few tried and true suits in his rotation and dressed casually whenever possible.
Thus, Bond wouldn’t adhere strictly to fully formal morning wear – even for his wedding – and makes exceptions that work for him. Because why shouldn’t he?
Bond’s wedding suit can be considered “black lounge”, consisting of morning dress with a lounge coat rather than the typically-seen cutaway coat. For an example on this blog of morning dress, see what Roger Sterling wore as father of the bride on Mad Men.
The lounge coat (or stroller or Stresemann) is midnight blue, reflective of the eveningwear often worn by Bond throughout the series. It is single-breasted with peak lapels, a 2-button front, and 3-button cuffs. This differs from normal “black lounge”, which would consist of a black or dark gray 1-button coat.
Long double vents in the back allow Bond a greater ease of motion and date the jacket to the late 1960s, when longer vents were in vogue. A white carnation in his lapel signifies the importance of the occasion.
The coat also features straight flapped hip pockets and a welted breast pocket.
Bond’s waistcoat is gray with 6 dark buttons and no lapels. He wears the lowest button unfastened. This waistcoat is typical of morning dress, which also allows light-colored vests in buff or blue. Gray is, however, the most traditional choice.
The flat front trousers are gray with plain-hemmed bottoms and a sharp crease down the center of each leg. Traditional morning dress trousers would have a pattern, such as hickory stripes or a black, white, and gray check. They drape over a pair of black leather loafers and black socks. Again, this differs with the traditional morning dress footwear, which can be a cap-toe oxford or balmoral.
Bond’s shirt is white poplin with a spread turndown collar and double cuffs, worn with silver and black cuff links. His satin necktie is a light blue-gray color, fastened at the neck with a Windsor knot.
Having evidently destroyed or lost his previous Rolex Oyster Perpetual at Piz Gloria, Bond outfits himself with a Rolex Submariner, best seen in publicity photos as only the stainless bracelet is clearly visible in the film.
Kept in his car, Bond’s headgear for the occasion is a navy blue trilby. Rather than wearing it, Bond smirks and nostalgically tosses it to Moneypenny, who crushes it in her hands and lets Q blame Bond for the hat’s poor treatment.
Go Big or Go Home – Wedding Edition
Bond and Tracy are married in Portugal, near where it all began. After they hop into Bond’s dark gray 1968 Aston Martin DBS Vantage and drive down a mountain road near Arrábida National Park in Setúbal, Portugal.
Here, Bond keeps it traditional: champagne and cake. Although I’ll lay you eight to five he had a flask of something in his pocket, perhaps the Hennessy he yearned for after chasing Blofeld down the bobsled course before he branched off.
Bond’s wedding is notable for bringing together two former enemy organizations: Marc Ange Draco’s Italian crime syndicate and the British Secret Service. Draco and M even have a moment, reflecting on the success of each other’s organization. Each also bring their henchmen: Draco’s men slowly and stoically applaud their boss’s daughter marrying a man once kidnapped at knifepoint and Q and Moneypenny idly offer Bond advice for his new life.
We can only imagine, but I bet they had Louis Armstrong there singing the movie’s theme “We Have All the Time in the World”.
The Bachelor Party
While some of your BROS might prefer a vodka-and-Red-Bull-fueled night of debauchery with silicone Vegas strippers, Bond goes with a far more unique and ultimately memorable route.
As described in Fleming’s book…
The next day was occupied with hilarious meals with Marc-Ange, whose giant trailer had come during the night to take up most of the parking space behind the hotel, and with searching the antique shops for an engagement and a wedding ring. The latter was easy, the traditional plain gold band, but Tracy couldn’t make up her mind about the engagement ring and finally dispatched Bond to find something he liked himself while she had her last fitting for her “going-away” dress. Bond hired a taxi, and he and the taxi-man, who had been a Luftwaffe pilot during the war and was proud of it, tore round the town together until, at an antique shop near the Nymphenburg Palace, Bond found what he wanted – a baroque ring in white gold with two diamond hands clasped. It was graceful and simple and the taxi-man was also in favour, so the deal was done and the two men went off to celebrate at the Franziskaner Keller, where they ate mounds of Weisswurst and drank four steins of beer each and swore they wouldn’t ever fight each other again. Then, happy with his last bachelor party, Bond returned tipsily to the hotel, avoided being embraced by the taxi-man, and went straight up to Tracy’s room and put the ring on her finger.
She burst into tears, sobbing that it was the most beautiful ring in the world, but when he took her in his arms she began to giggle. “Oh, James, you are bad. You stink like a pig of beer and sausages. Where have you been?”
How to Get the Look
Bond goes his own direction when it comes to wedding attire and he pulls it off. Can you do the same?
- Midnight blue wool single-breasted 2-button lounge coat with peak lapels, welted breast pocket, flapped straight hip pockets, 3-button cuffs, long double vents
- Gray single-breasted 6-button vest/waistcoat
- Gray flat front trousers with plain-hemmed bottoms
- White poplin dress shirt with turndown spread collar and double/French cuffs
- Light blue-gray satin necktie, tied in Windsor knot
- Silver & black cuff links
- Black leather slip-on loafers
- Black dress socks
- Rolex Submariner wristwatch with black bezel/dial on a stainless link bracelet
- Navy blue short-trimmed trilby
- White carnation, worn in the coat’s left lapel
Do Yourself a Favor and…
Buy the movie.
After Q gives him some parting advice, Bond rejects it all with a smirk:
Thank you, Q, but this time I’ve got the gadgets, and I know how to use them.
Matt Spaiser, author of the excellent sartorial blog The Suits of James Bond, wrote several articles concerning Lazenby’s attire in the film that are worth checking out: