Henri wore the black single-breasted high-necked uniform for the religious wedding. He complimented the uniform with the orange sash and eight-pointed plaque of the Order of the Gold Lion of the House of Nassau, the highest order in Luxembourg. Around his waist was a tasseled orange belt. This outfit has since become Henri’s standard outfit for most formal occasions.
For her dress, Maria Teresa chose a design by the French house Balmain, known as a leader in French fashion following World War II. Balmain had dressed several Hollywood clients, as well as Queen Sirkit of Thailand. Balmain continues to be a popular designer for the grand ducal family and other royalty around the world.
Maria Teresa’s wedding dress was made of white silk embossed with an intricate pattern. The floor-length dress had rather simple lines, with a bell skirt and subtle leg-o-mutton sleeves. It featured a jewel neckline and fitted bodice, with the cuffs, collar, and hem of the dress trimmed in fur, fitting for a winter wedding. The dress also had a train that descended from the shoulders and extended about two meters, meeting the length of Maria Teresa’s veil. The lace-trimmed veil featured a blusher worn by Maria Teresa during her walk down the aisle and part of the wedding service.
Maria Teresa wore attached to her veil the Congo Diamond Tiara, brought to Luxembourg from Belgium by her mother-in-law, Belgian princess Josephine-Charlotte. Josephine-Charlotte had worn the tiara, a gift from the people of Congo, during her own wedding ceremony. Maria Teresa’s sisters-in-law, Marie-Astrid and Margaretha, each wore the tiara on their own wedding days, both in 1982.
Maria Teresa’s wedding dress was later used to make a new dress for the statue of Our Lady of Luxembourg, Comforter of the Afflicted. The dress was first displayed on the statue in 2012, just before the wedding of Maria Teresa’s and Henri’s son Guillaume to Belgian noble Stephanie de Lannoy.
As per Luxembourg law, Henri and Maria Teresa were married in a civil ceremony at the Grand Ducal Palace on the morning of February 14, 1981. The simple ceremony was conducted by Luxembourg city mayor Camille Polfer among the couple’s closest family.
The religious service took place about an hour after the civil ceremony at the capitol city’s Notre Dame Cathedral. Maria Teresa’s sister Catalina (wearing a blue lace dress that echoed the design of her sister’s) served as a bridesmaid. Maria Teresa’s father led his daughter down the aisle.
Although the couple married on February 14, both Henri and Maria Teresa later said that they were unaware of the Valentine’s Day holiday as it was not widely celebrated in Luxembourg at the time. The date was chosen due to a state visit scheduled a few weeks later in Luxembourg. Henri and Maria Teresa did not want to wait any longer than they had to marry, so the wedding was scheduled for February.
Following the wedding, the couple emerged from the cathedral and walked under a tunnel made of swords. Members of the Luxembourg Army in dress uniform held the swords.
Despite the cold weather, Henri and Maria Teresa returned to the Grand Ducal Palace to wave and guests. The newlyweds appeared on the balcony of the palace – adorned in red velvet for the occasion – with both sets of parents. The couple shared a hug and kiss just before Maria Teresa blew kisses to the crowd below. A reception followed for the 700 wedding guests in the Grand Ducal Palace.