They danced, they drank, they stepped on the bride's veil, the bride's mother cried and the guests made off with the wilted centerpieces. The Caroline Bouvier Kennedy-Edwin Schlossberg nuptials this weekend had all the ingredients of a typical wedding, throwing together two groups of people who have nothing in common except for being related to two people who decided to get married and settle down with their fish poacher.

"They seemed to be beaming at each other," said one guest.

Maybe Carly Simon doesn't get up and sing "Chapel of Love" at every reception, and maybe not every bride and groom have to push past 400 sweaty photographers and 1,000 screaming people hanging from tree limbs outside the church, but it's not every day that the only daughter of John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis ties the knot.

For one brief shining moment Saturday afternoon, the clouds parted, the bride smiled radiantly and her thin, beautiful mother cried and rested her head on her brother-in-law Sen. Edward Kennedy's shoulder.

"It was a very emotional day," said one guest.

"Very moving," said Carolina Herrera, Venezuelan socialite turned designer, who stitched the bride's clover-applique'd gown. Herrera, wearing a short peach crepe dress and peach hair pulled back in a peach bow, was more visible than most of the ultrasecret wedding guests, who were apparently under a gag order by Onassis.

Reporters, including the scribe from a major East Coast daily who said she hadn't even told her editors that she was invited to the Wedding of the Summer because her private life was "my business," scrambled for any tidbit of news. The leaks were few and far between, and the line between fact and fiction often blurred.

Fact: Maria Shriver danced barefoot. It was the groom's 41st birthday. The band played "The Girl From Ipanema" and Carly Simon sang "Loving You's the Right Thing to Do." Fiction: The families were not getting along. The bridesmaids' gowns had been stolen. The groom was 42.

If you parked yourself in the lobby of the Dunphy Hyannis, the unofficial wedding headquarters, you would have seen:

Lee Radziwill, Onassis' sister, returning from the rehearsal dinner Friday night on the arm of Manhattan architect Richard Meier. "Divine," Radziwill cooed in response to a query on the evening's festivities. Her smile frozen in a toothy Bouvier grimace, she turned away and down the hall, guarded by two ever-present Secret Service agents.

Former Connecticut senator Abraham Ribicoff with his wife Casey, who all the tourists thought was Jackie O because she has dark hair and wears sunglasses indoors. He said the weekend was like "a family reunion. We go back a few years."

Christopher Lawford, son of the late Peter Lawford and a cousin of Caroline, carrying a bottle of mineral water and smoking a cigarette, with his wife Jeannie Olsen, who owns an aerobics studio in Boston.

Willi Smith, who designed the groom's baggy blue wedding suit and the groomsmen's violet linen jackets and white pants, yukking it up before the wedding and scotching the rumor that the bridesmaids' dresses had been stolen.

Former presidential speech writer Theodore Sorensen, in a red polo shirt with the collar jauntily turned up, packing a red Subaru station wagon with former Kennedy adviser McGeorge Bundy, in tennis hat and Reeboks, and setting off yesterday morning with their wives for New York.

You would not have seen:

Andy Williams, who was on the guest list but never showed. Something about a car problem in Aspen.

Lacey Neuhaus, close friend of Sen. Kennedy. "I don't know Caroline," she said last week in Washington.

If you happened to be at Barnstable Airport shortly before noon on Saturday, you would have run into Teddy Kennedy Jr., in shorts and a T-shirt, waiting for the Gull flight to Martha's Vineyard. He was surreptitiously reading Boston Herald gossip columnist Norma Nathan, whose novel greeting to the parents of the groom ("Mazel Tov!") didn't get her any further than the rest of the press.

Wasn't young Teddy going to the wedding? Apparently not. He said he was going to race in the Edgartown Regatta and might be back later for a glass of champagne.

Most Embarrassing Moment: When Mae Schlossberg tripped and fell on the church steps after the ceremony. Her husband Alfred, a textile magnate from New York and Palm Beach, wrapped her ankle in ice, and later, said one relative, "she danced. There was some pain, but not excruciating."

But that was only the tip of the Schlossberg. A story in The Cape Cod Times quoted the mother of the groom as saying that she felt shut out of the proceedings. Later she said she had been misquoted. "That's ridiculous," she said. In fact, Onassis had ridden to the rehearsal dinner with her and invited her back later for a drink. She was said by a family member to have been upset, however, when her son failed to show for a family brunch she threw the morning of the wedding.

Said one Schlossberg relative: "They're such a warm, close family. Jackie goes out of her way to be pleasant and friendly." Onassis won points for dancing with all the Schlossberg men, presumably leaving escort Maurice Tempelsman, a New York jewelry dealer, to fend for himself.

The Schlossbergs also greeted matriarch Rose Kennedy, who turns 96 this week. "She didn't acknowledge me," said a relative of the groom. "But she knew something was going on."

Most Boring Quote: "What wedding?" asked former ambassador John Kenneth Galbraith. "I'm here for the lobster fishing."

Second Most Boring Quote: "It was really a nice party," said Chris Lawford of the rehearsal dinner.

Best Quote: Asked by reporters outside the church at Friday night's rehearsal what she would be called after her wedding, the bride replied, "Caroline." (She will also keep her surname.)

Second Best Quote: "She's a party animal," said a law school classmate of Caroline's back at Dunphy's Saturday night. "That's the way we all are." He went on to say that the bride "looked gorgeous. She doesn't wear makeup that much. We were all impressed. She was psyched for the wedding."

But he said Caroline is not a backslapper. "When she decides somebody is important enough, she puts out the effort."

Best Dressed: Jackie O. A pale green crepe by Carolina Herrera. A little tight, and maybe a little short, but stunning. The hair, however, was teased into a helmet, vintage 1968.

Fun Couple: Richard Goodwin, former presidential speech writer, and wife Doris Kearns Goodwin, who has just completed, after eight years of research, her authorized book on the Kennedys. "The Schlossberg ancestors and mine came over on the same boat from Lithuania," he said.

Funnier Couple: Columnist Art Buchwald and wife Ann, arriving from their summer home on Martha's Vineyard, which was fogged in Saturday morning.

Odd Couple: Arnold Schwarzenegger, new husband of matron of honor Maria Shriver, deep in conversation with Joan Kennedy on the steps of the church. The former wife of the senator looked fit and gorgeous in pale violet.

The ladies favored silk dresses, short, and the men wore dark suits, except for the groomsmen. Groomsman William Ivey Long was overheard telling friends he was wearing pink underwear.

John F. Kennedy Jr. was voted nicest and handsomest. He also gave the best toast: "It's been the three of us alone for so long, and now we've got a fourth."

He appeared to be without a date. He also got up and went swimming alone yesterday morning off the Kennedy compound beach.

There was a severe case of compound envy at Dunphy's. Lenny Holztman, the hotel's hairdresser, rented a limo to commute back and forth. He was all set to do Ethel Kennedy's hair at 9:30 a.m., but she commanded him to come back in two hours " 'when I put myself together,' " he reported. He did 17 heads in all, and several faces.

The limos were provided by the local livery service that handled the Shriver-Schwarzenegger nuptials. The Kennedys were said to be upset with the company, whose head driver blabbed to Boston Magazine details of what was said inside the limo chambers. Caroline was instructed to keep her mouth shut unless the plexiglass partition was up.

Outside the church, you couldn't see a thing unless you stood on the press platform. Inside, the guests were packed "like sardines." They were delivered by buses nearly one hour before the start of the wedding.

A six-page fact sheet was handed out, including the correct spellings of the names of the groomsmen, whom no one had ever heard of, and the bridesmaids, who looked enchanting in lilac and white silk drop-waist dresses. They fussed with Caroline's train, and she looked embarrassed by all the attention. Then Carly Simon pulled up 20 minutes late (she had been doing a sound check with the band back at the compound), escorted by the new man in her life, Richard Freedman, coowner of the Ocean Club on Martha's Vineyard, where Simon summers.

When the bride and groom got back to the compound, they were met by a few well-wishers in T-shirts reading "Caroline & Ed Fan Club," and after a brief visit with Rose Kennedy, they sipped champagne on the lawn, then kicked off their shoes for an evening of dancing.

Most of the old folks left early. Onassis' stepsister Nina Straight and her husband Michael didn't even stay for dinner -- they wanted to catch the last ferry back to Martha's Vineyard.

Sen. Kennedy gave a moving toast, saying, "We've all thought of Jack today, and how much he loved Caroline and how much he loved Jackie."

Caroline cried.

"It was like a fairyland," said one of the groom's relatives. "Chiffon was draped from the ceiling. There were lanterns. And the food was out of this world."

As for a family in the near future, he said, "Ed loves children. My only guess is that she'll finish law school first. I think it's a wonderful match.