While you’re racing around town investigating venues and gasping at price tags, you might occasionally wish you could just have the wedding in your own living room. That is, if you had a really nice living room – maybe with some colonial columns and a butler. One of the perks of being president of the United States, in addition to the staff of thousands, is a really nice set-up for events. Too bad you have to spend most of your time ruling the free world. But running for president so you can stop haggling with groundskeepers over the dahlias is not the most time efficient strategy. And, as it happens, only one sitting president has ever been married in the White House.
Grover Cleveland was a confirmed bachelor with a pronounced walrus mustache and a crush on a woman 27 years his junior. But having “Commander in Chief” on your business cards really woos the ladies, so Cleveland got the girl. He married his lovely young ward, Frances Folsom, at the White House in 1886.
When the media learned that Frances was Cleveland’s intended, she became a target for the ever-persistent muckrakers. Cleveland took great mustachioed glee in banning journalists from the wedding, an elegant affair featuring festoons of flowers and John Philip Sousa leading the Marine Band. Only family, close friends, and cabinet officers were invited – and none gave the panting reporters any juicy tidbits for publication. In a final taunt, Cleveland sent two wedding guests from the ceremony in the presidential carriage. As the media dashed off frantically behind the galloping horses, he and Frances left the White House at their leisure for a honeymoon.
Frances, Cleveland, and his mustache lived happily-ever-after.