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Something Old, Something New: Alice Roosevelt

Something Old, Something New: Eight First Daughters’ Fashionable White House Weddings highlights the glamorous weddings of eight women who took their vows at the White House over two centuries and how their bridal fashion reflects both the taste of each era and their own personal styles. This exhibit was curated by Jillian Staricka, the 2023 Digital Exhibits Intern and MA student in Costume Studies at New York University.

Alice Roosevelt

Married to Nicholas Longworth on February 17, 1906

This table details the known items of Alice Roosevelt’s wedding ensemble. A wedding ensemble is comprised of all the garments and accessories worn by a bride on their wedding day. The wedding ensemble is part of the trousseau, a collection of garments, accessories, and personal items that a bride will take into their new marriage.

At noon on February 17, 1906, Alice Roosevelt married Representative Nicholas Longworth of Ohio. The next morning, The Washington Post provided front-page coverage of the fabulous social event. The ceremony, held in the glittering East Room, was packed with Washington’s beau monde. It was reported that “the United States had given to one of its best sons its very best daughter…really the daughter of the President of the greatest country known to contemporary history, but in love and affectionate regard nonetheless the daughter of all of the American people.” The first first daughter with true photographic portraits of her wedding ensemble, Alice met fashion expectations with her glamorous Edwardian-inspired silhouette. Heavy white satin, antique point lace from her mother Alice Lee’s own wedding gown, a brocaded court train, and orange blossoms embellished the dress. In her autobiography, Alice recalled her sense of calm when getting dressed that day, when even after “seeing the crowd already gathered outside the White House grounds, even a few guests arriving,” she “had not yet started to dress.” Alice’s outspoken personality and outgoing nature while growing up in the White House naturally captured the nation’s attention, and her wedding would not be forgotten in Washington for years to come.