Hillary Rodham married Bill Clinton in 1975, after turning him down three times. As for why she rejected, she’s said in the past that she was worried about his political aspirations potentially holding her own dreams back. “I was terrified about losing my identity and getting lost in the kind of wake of Bill’s force-of-nature personality,” Hillary said in an interview.
Eventually Hillary said yes to Bill’s proposals, and they married on Oct. 11, 1975. Their ceremony was simple and it took place at their home in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The two had to compromise, as Bill wanted a huge wedding bash and Hillary barely even wished to have an engagement ring, so they settled for a small ceremony and large reception. A local Methodist minister and his wife officiated the ceremony as 15 of their closest friends and family looked on. Following the intimate ceremony, Hillary and Bill’s friends hosted a reception in their backyard where a few hundred friends gathered to celebrate.
As for Hillary’s dress, the story goes that Hillary didn’t have her gown ready the night before the ceremony. This horrified her mother, so she immediately took her daughter to purchase a dress at the local mall. That dress was just $53.
Hillary chose to keep her maiden name, which was OK with Bill — but it wasn’t OK with his mother, Even so, Hillary wanted to make a statement about her identity with this move. In 1975, many women were keeping their last names instead of adopting their husbands, and Hillary wanted to follow suit.
Eventually, she decided to adopt Clinton as her last name — but that was years after the wedding. And she received flack from other politicians for first keeping her last name and then changing it, too.