Over the weekend, Sarah Kennedy’s wedding doubled as a homecoming for herself and many of the guests in attendance. The bride picked the iconic Kennedy Compound in Cape Cod to host her nuptials. The six-acre grounds in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, have served as the setting for numerous lavish celebrations and provided a gathering spot amid the myriad tragedies that have befallen the famed family for nearly a hundred years. “We chose to host our wedding weekend events at the Kennedy Compound and surrounding family homes because of how special it is to us as a backdrop to our lives,” Sarah, daughter of Chris Kennedy and a granddaughter of Robert F. Kennedy and Ethel Kennedy, told People. “It is where we have celebrated the great times and come together in heartbreaking times. It truly feels like coming home.”
The family’s ties to the trio of white clapboard houses that make up the compound began in 1926 when Joseph P. Kennedy rented 50 Marchant Avenue, a 1904 build known as Malcolm Cottage, according to the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum. Two years later, the businessman bought the property for $25,000 (about $447,000 when adjusted for inflation) and expanded it to accompany his growing family with his wife, Rose. At the time, the pair had just given birth to the eighth of an eventual nine children. Per Business Insider, the renovation (which—quite novel for the time—included the addition of a basement cinema) doubled the home’s square footage. The family gave it the nickname The Big House.
In 1953, John F. Kennedy, who was nine years old when the Kennedys moved into the coastal enclave, brought Jacqueline Bouvier to Hyannis Port to meet the family ahead of their September wedding. Three years later, the couple moved into a neighboring home at 111 Irving Avenue. Shortly thereafter, Ted Kennedy bought 58 Marchant Avenue, which he later sold to Robert and his wife, advocate Ethel Kennedy—who, at 95, still resides on the premises. A swimming pool, a tennis court, rolling lawns, and a four-car garage round out the seaside properties.