June is traditionally a month for weddings, as the late spring weather is at the peak of perfection. The country is awash with flowers, and romance is in the air on warm days and balmy nights: Perfect for wedding celebrations that bring family and friends together. One of the most ideal ways to individualize a wedding, is to have it at home.
Home Is Where The Heart Is
The ultimate “at home” wedding venue is the White House in Washington D.C. Since America’s house was designed and built in 1812, there have only been nine White House weddings for Presidential children, and only one Presidential marriage. An additional seven White House weddings were planned, beyond the immediate family, mainly for those very close to the President.
The very first White House wedding was an elegant candlelit occasion. On March 9, 1820, James Monroe, the fifth American President, and First Lady Elizabeth Monroe, planned an elaborate family-oriented wedding for their 17-year-old daughter Maria Hester, to Samuel Lawrence Gouverneur, one of her father’s White House secretaries. The ceremony was conducted in what is now called the Blue Room. Following the nuptials, 42 relatives and friends adjourned to the State Dining Room for a feast. Only six years earlier British soldiers had set fire to the White House during the War of 1812, so all the furniture was new, much of it designed by President Monroe and made to order by Pierre-Antoine Bellangé, “the finest cabinet maker in Paris.”