The Only President To Get Married At The White House

Oh, if only the walls of the White House could talk — what would they reveal? Per History, the White House was built in 1792, and since then, it has been home to every successive presidential administration. It has survived several fires, and any number of world-altering decisions have been made under its roof, not to mention a long list of scandalous affairs and secrets untold. Bearing this in mind, one might expect something as common as a marriage ceremony would have taken place on the premises several times. 

The truth of the matter is, though, only one president has chosen to get married at the White House. What's more, the circumstances surrounding that wedding would be considered highly controversial by the standards of today. This particular president wasn't the first to be married in office, nor was he the first to be elected while still a bachelor — that distinction goes to James Buchanan, according to Almanac. This commander in chief was, however, nearly three decades older than his bride when they decided to tie the knot.

Grover Cleveland married a 21-year-old

Grover Cleveland is probably best remembered as the only president so far to serve two non-consecutive terms, beginning in 1885 and returning to the job in 1893 according to the official White House website. In addition, Cleveland is the only president so far to get married while chief executive. He was 27 years older than his bride, Frances Folsom, when they decided to get married in the Blue Room at the White House on June 2, 1886, according to History. Considered a great beauty in her day, Folsom was the daughter of one of Cleveland's closest friends, and Cleveland had known her since she was an infant. This significant age gap was not generally considered controversial at the time. It was, however, not the first time a romantic liaison involving the president made the headlines.

Per The Daily Beast, Grover Cleveland is known to have fathered an illegitimate child prior to winning the White House. A revelation like this might even prevent a candidate from becoming president today, and it was doubly shocking by the even more conservative standards of the 19th century. Nevertheless, Cleveland's campaign covered it up until after he became president, and Frances Folsom forgave the president for this past indiscretion following their marriage.

Frances Cleveland has her own place in history as the youngest wife (so far) of a sitting president. Together they had five children (per Biography). She would remain married to Grover Cleveland until his death in 1908.