Building and Refurbishing the White House | Remaining Open to the People | Official Occasions | White House Weddings | Creating a Private Life

Packet of rice given to guests at the wedding of Luci Baines Johnson, 1966

James Monroe's daughter Maria was the fist child of a president to marry in the White House, in 1820. Her ceremony was restricted to family. Subsequent weddings have become increasingly popular events, and the public wants to know many of the details.

More recent White House brides have resorted to elaborate schemes to avoid intrusion. In 1966, Luci Johnson managed to keep her dress design secret until her wedding day. Respecting the privacy of the wedding party must be balanced with taking advantage of the tremendous political goodwill generated from these rare White House occurrences.

Wedding announcement for Grover Cleveland and Frances Folsom
Grover Cleveland married Frances Folsom in a private White House ceremony in 1886. Cleveland was the only president whose wedding took place in the White House, and at 21, Frances became the youngest First Lady. A beautiful and charming woman, the new First Lady was extremely popular. The public took great delight in the birth of two of the five Cleveland children during Grover Cleveland's second presidency.
Satin-covered cake boxes trimmed with lace and cards signed by the bride and groom were gifts given to the guests at the 1886 wedding of Grover Cleveland and Frances Folsom. This box was given to the Reverend Byron Sunderland, the minister who officiated at the ceremony.
Folsom wedding portrait
There were no pictures released to the public of Frances Folsom Cleveland from her 1886 wedding to President Grover Cleveland. This is the image she provided for family.

Courtesy of Library of Congress

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