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Something Old, Something New: Tricia Nixon

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.

Tricia Nixon

Married to Edward Cox on June 12, 1971

This table details the known items of Tricia Nixon’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.

Tricia Nixon, the last presidential daughter to wed at the White House, married Edward Finch Cox on the summer afternoon of June 12, 1971. Despite some pushback due to security concerns, including those voiced by FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, Tricia insisted on having the ceremony in the Rose Garden and began a new tradition of outdoor weddings at the White House. Though the setting gave the ceremony a contemporary air, the couple maintained a traditional approach, rather than the increasingly common “casual and homespun weddings.” Tricia wore a gown designed for her by Priscilla Kidder, a transformative figure in the wedding gown design industry and iconic American fashion designer. Tricia’s dress, sheathed in silk organdy and intricate embroidery and trailed by a trumpeted court train, turned her into the vision of a princess, which Kidder publicly stated was her intention for the bride. The hundreds of guests in attendance at the American-as-apple-pie wedding were greeted by the perfumed scent of flowers displayed throughout the White House from over two dozen florists from across the nation, “almost as carefully culled as the guest list.”