The Best White House Weddings Of All Time

President Joe Biden's granddaughter, Naomi Biden, married Peter Neal at the White House on November 19, 2022, in the 19th wedding ever held at the White House itself. The pair was first set up on a date by a mutual friend back in 2018, and both of them attended and graduated from Columbia Law School two years later. The two have played a role in Joe Biden's White House, having collaborated to create the My CARES Act Benefits quiz in 2019 (via Insider).

Neal proposed to Naomi in September 2021 while the pair was visiting his hometown in Wyoming; President Biden shared in July 2022 that their wedding would take place on the White House's South Lawn in November (per Insider).

The very first White House wedding happened in 1812, when Dolley Madison's sister, Lucy Payne Washington, and Supreme Court Justice Thomas Todd used the presidential residence as their wedding venue (via Insider). Since then, White House weddings have run the gamut from small, intimate ceremonies to elaborate parties. Here's a look at a few of the best White House weddings to date. 

Alice Roosevelt and Nicholas Longworth had the fanciest White House wedding in 1906

When it comes to White House weddings that have been real showstoppers, none have topped Alice Roosevelt's 1906 wedding to Nicholas Longworth. President Theodore Roosevelt held his daughter's wedding to Congressman Longworth in the East Room of the White House in what was described as a "national event" by the Associated Press at the time (via People). 

Alice was popular with the press, who even referred to her as "Princess Alice" during her father's time in office. She was known for her defiant streak, and was regularly seen and photographed putting down bets on racehorses or even smoking. Alice was also known for her fondness for being entertained; at one point, it was recorded that she attended 407 dinners, 350 balls, and 300 parties in only a year and a half (via Vogue).

In his book "All the Presidents' Children," author Doug Wead noted that Alice's wedding to Longworth was wildly anticipated by the public, many of whom clamored to attend. He added, "The scale of preparations and the level of anticipation were unprecedented. In the days just before the wedding, the scramble for tickets became so desperate that the president publicly begged for true friends of the family to help ease the pressure by offering to stay home" (via Vogue).

President Grover Cleveland married Frances Folsom in 1886

President Grover Cleveland was the first — and so far, the only — president to get married while in office, when he and 21-year-old Frances Folsom tied the knot at the White House in June 1886. As People has reported, the relationship between the two — who had a 27-year age difference — dated back to the day Folsom was born. Long before he was president of the United States, Cleveland was a partner-in-law with Folsom's father, and he even gave her family a baby buggy in celebration of her birth. 

Folsom's father died days after she turned 11 years old, and Cleveland assumed financial responsibility for the girl and her mother at that point. The future president began building his political career at the same time, first being voted governor of New York and then president of the United States. Folsom's mother, Emma, gave her permission to Cleveland when he asked if he could begin dating her young daughter (per People).

Despite the questionable and uncomfortable origins of their relationship, the wedding was described in favorable terms by The New York Times, which wrote, "The groom was self-possessed and happy and the bride was charming in her look of love and confidence as the most exacting person could have hoped." The couple honeymooned in Maryland and went on to have five children together. 

Tricia Nixon achieved celebrity status with her 1971 wedding to Edward Finch Cox

Tricia Nixon, the second daughter of President Richard Nixon, sent the media and the public into a frenzy when she married Edward Finch Cox in the Rose Garden at the White House on June 12, 1971.

Four hundred guests attended the wedding, and as Town & Country Magazine has noted, one of those just happened to be Alice Roosevelt, who also got married in the White House. Tricia and Cox broke ground with their wedding in that it was the first to be held outside. The outlet also noted that President Nixon played a big role in Tricia's big day. In addition to walking his daughter down the aisle, he also penned a letter to her, writing in part, "I want you to know how proud I have been of you through the years — some of them pretty difficult for you, I'm sure. The years ahead will be happy ones because you will make them so" (via the Richard Nixon Foundation).

One memorable aspect of the couple's wedding was their enormous six-tier wedding cake. Tricia later told the Nixon Foundation that she and her husband used a family recipe to put it together, largely because she and her family wanted to make sure all 700 members of the media who attended the wedding each had their own slice.

Photographer Pete Souza's 2013 wedding was hosted by President Obama

Former White House photographer Pete Souza built an excellent friendship with President Barack Obama, so it's not too much of a surprise that Souza held his 2013 wedding at the White House when he married his wife, Patti Lease, in October 2013.

The White House issued a short statement following the wedding that indicated it was very intimate. The statement read, "The ceremony was performed by Chaplain [Stan] Fornea and they were joined by roughly 35 family members and friends. We all wish them well" (via NBC News).

There aren't too many publicly known details about the wedding, and Souza and his wife largely live their lives as private citizens. As a former White House photographer under President Ronald Reagan, Souza shot to notoriety again during Obama's presidency after he began sharing photographs of President Obama on Instagram. He's also the author of the book "The Rise of Barack Obama" (via the Chicago Tribune).

Tony Rodham married Nicole Boxer in a private ceremony in 1994

In 1994, Hillary Clinton's brother, Tony Rodham, married Nicole Boxer in the White House's Rose Garden. Their wedding was the first at the presidential residence in over 20 years, and the pair invited around 250 guests to enjoy the half-hour ceremony (via the Los Angeles Times). Clinton's spokesperson told the outlet that the wedding was enjoyed by all, and added, "Everyone was extremely happy. There was applause at the end of the wedding and a lot of laughter."

Rodham asked his niece Chelsea Clinton to join the wedding as a bridesmaid and she obliged, wearing a teal gown as she performed her duties. Guests at the wedding were able to spend the reception indoors and outdoors on the grounds. As noted by the newspaper, Boxer was 26 years old and her groom was 39. The wedding was funded privately by the family.

Lynda Johnson cut her cake with a sword at her 1967 wedding to Charles Robb

Lynda Johnson went all out for her 1967 wedding to Chuck Robb. The two got married in the East Room of the White House in what would be the 15th wedding in the presidential home. Robb was a captain in the U.S. Marines at the time, and swords were a major part of the wedding day. Not only did the couple walk through an arch made of swords, but they also cut their wedding cake with a sword (via Town & Country Magazine).

Johnson and Robb got married only a few weeks before he was set to ship out to the Vietnam War. When he returned, Robb began a career as a lawyer and even moved into politics like his father-in-law (via Politico). He served in the Senate twice before serving as the governor of Virginia from 1982 to 1986. He and Johnson have three daughters together.

Jessie Woodrow Wilson and Francis Bowes Sayre

Jessie Woodrow Wilson was the second oldest of President Woodrow Wilson and his first wife, Ellen Axson Wilson. President Wilson was known for being very protective of his family, and White House Weddings previously shared that Jessie and her sisters, Margaret and Eleanor, spent most of their evenings together with their parents. This was true even on President Wilson's first night in office, when he turned down the opportunity to have a grand White House gala celebrating his victory in favor of spending a quiet evening at home with his wife and daughters. 

This closeness was rocked when Jessie got secretly engaged to Francis Bowes Sayre, but it seemed that everyone was happy and supportive when it was time for Jessie to get married. The press and public were also supportive of her marriage to Sayre, as Woodrow Wilson expressed in a letter to Jessie. 

Unfortunately, the Wilson family had to issue a statement indicating the wedding cake was not nearly as large as some might have believed. The statement read, "On account of the erroneous and extravagant statements as to the size and cost of the cake, which has been baked for the wedding of Miss Jessie Wilson, Mrs. Wilson wishes it stated that the cake is 9 inches high and 22 inches in diameter. It is the usual kind of bride's cake, and is not at all elaborate" (via The New York Times).

John Adams II married his first cousin at the White House in 1828

President John Quincy Adams' second oldest son, John Adams II, had his own White House wedding on February 25, 1828, per History. The wedding made headlines primarily because John married his first cousin, a practice that was fairly common in his family. In fact, President John Adams (the grandfather of John Adams II), married his third cousin, Abigail Smith.

John Adams II married Mary Catherine Hellen in what is now called the Blue Room in the modern-day White House. The two welcomed their first child together nine months after their wedding date, a daughter they named Mary Louisa. Curiously, Mary Louisa continued the family trend of marrying close relatives, as she tied the knot with her first cousin's son (her second cousin) in 1853 (via Politico).

John and Mary Catherine didn't have a straight line toward marriage. In fact, White House Weddings noted that Mary was initially courted by John's brothers, Charles and George, and was even engaged to George until the pair postponed setting a wedding date. Neither brother attended John and Mary Catherine's wedding, and the first lady was sick for the two days that followed the big day.

Eleanor Wilson married Gibbs McAdoo in 1914

Eleanor Wilson was the second of President Woodrow Wilson's daughters to get married at the White House. The marriage was a bit of a surprise, as Eleanor married a widower who was 26 years older than her, William McAdoo, who also worked in her father's White House as the secretary of the treasury. According to the Associated Press, McAdoo had Eleanor to thank for getting the role (via Roots Web). The AP reported that she suggested McAdoo for the part "because he was so attractive." Eleanor admitted after the wedding, "Father had already decided to appoint him for reasons of ability. But it remained a family joke that I had influenced his choice."

According to Eleanor's obituary at Roots Web, her wedding brought attention from around the world when it happened in 1916. The pair had two children together and were married for nearly 20 years before they divorced in 1934.