“Here Comes the Bride” will be heard very soon at the White House. Again.
Naomi Bidengranddaughter of the president Joe Bidenand Peter Neal will marry on the South Lawn on Saturday in what will be the 19th wedding in White House history.
It will be the first wedding with a president’s granddaughter as the bride, and the first at the location, according to the White House Historical Association.
A mutual friend set up Naomi Biden, 28, and Neal, 25, about four years ago in New York City and the White House said they have been together ever since. Naomi Biden is a lawyer; her father is Hunter Biden. Neal is a recent graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School. The couple lives in Washington.
Nine of the 18 documented White House weddings were to the daughter of a president.most recently the daughter of Richard NixonTricia, in 1971, and Lyndon B. Johnson’s daughter, Lynda, in 1967.
But nieces, a great-niece, a son and the brothers of the first ladies have also married there. A president, Grover Cleveland, was also married there while he was in office.
First Lady Jill Biden said she’s excited to see her granddaughter “planning her wedding, making her decisions, becoming, you know, one of hers, and she’s so beautiful.”
“So I can’t wait until you all see her as a bride,” the first lady said during a recent appearance on the singer’s talk show. Kelly Clarkson.
Stewart McLaurin, president of the historical association, said special occasions at the White House are not soon forgotten.
“If you were privileged to celebrate a holiday there or a special occasion in your life, like a wedding, it’s a very memorable occasion,” he said.
Five weddings took place in the East Room, four took place in the Blue Room and two took place in the Rose Gardenjust steps from the Oval Office.
In June 1971, some 400 guests watched as Nixon escorted Tricia up the steps of the South Porch to a waiting Edward Cox, and the couple exchanged vows in a gazebo set up in the Rose Garden for the first wedding ceremony held there.
Her planner, a black three-ring binder labeled “TRICIA’S WEDDING” and kept by the historical association, has tabbed sections for every aspect of her special day, including attendees, caseworkers, gazebo, flowers, parking, seating, menu, champagne, press and more.
Their wedding cake was a six-tier, 350-pound (159-kilogram), 6-foot-tall (1.8-meter) lemon-flavored cake decorated with blown-sugar love birds and the initials “PN” and “EC.” .
The White House released the recipe, but home bakers and food critics said it produced a “soup mess” and speculated the White House had mixed up the number of egg whites versus whole eggs, according to the wedding edition. of the White House History Quarterly.
President Nixon sent a note of thanks to Rex Scouten, the White House chief usher, for his help in coordinating the physical arrangements for the wedding. The letter is in Tricia Nixon’s planner.
“I want you to know how grateful all of the Nixons are for your lavish contributions on this very special day,” Nixon wrote.
In October 2013, Barack Obama White House Chief Photographer Pete Souza and Patti Lease were married in a private ceremony in the Rose Garden after 17 years of being a couple. Obama had gotten to know Lease because she attended some White House events.
“He kept bugging me about why we hadn’t gotten married,” Souza told Associated Press. He said Obama made what he thought was an offhand comment about having the wedding in the Rose Garden, but then “I found out he wasn’t kidding.”
He and Lease exchanged “I do’s” in the presence of about 30 family and friends. They were overwhelmed by the venue, but humbled by the president’s gesture, he said.
“It gives people the sense that I had such a unique relationship with Barack Obama that he would insist that I have the wedding at the White House,” Souza said. “I am very honored, as is my wife, to have my wedding ceremony at the White House. Not many people can say that.”
The Rose Garden helped unite two Democratic political families when Anthony Rodham, brother of then-First Lady Hillary Clinton, and Nicole Boxer, daughter of then-California Senator Barbara Boxer, exchanged wedding vows in May 1994 during a ceremony. private.
Hillary Clinton had first offered Camp David, the official presidential retreat in Maryland’s Catoctin Mountains, for the wedding, but later suggested the Rose Garden, Nicole Boxer said.
“I was kind of out of my mind excited about the possibility of doing it,” Nicole Boxer recalled during a phone interview from California. “Can you imagine a more perfect place?”
Among the approximately 250 guests were President Biden and his wife, Jill. Biden and Barbara Boxer served in the Senate at the time.
The reception was held in the first lady’s garden, followed by dinner in the State Dining Room and dancing in the East Room. President Bill Clinton played his saxophone; his daughter Chelsea was a bridesmaid.
“You just think you’re the luckiest person in the world and I think that’s something you have to appreciate,” said Nicole Boxer. “It’s like being part of the American fabric.”
A White House wedding is no guarantee of a lasting marriage. The couple divorced in 2001. Rodham died in 2019.
Lynda Johnson Robb said she never envisioned a White House wedding, but circumstances all but dictated that she and Navy Capt. Charles Robb marry there in December 1967. The year before, her sister Luci had a White House wedding. Roman Catholic Church in Washington.
“We had to get married earlier than I would have liked because he was going to go to Vietnam so we wanted to get married a little bit and that was only three months before he left,” Lynda Johnson Robb said on a Vietnamese Historical Association podcast. the White House in 2018.
The couple met because Robb was assigned to the White House as a military social worker.
They were married in the East Room to White House bride Alice Roosevelt Longworth, who married in the same room in 1906, among approximately 500 guests. The pair walked under a saber arch created by Robb’s fellow Marines as they left the room afterwards.
Following tradition at military weddings, they used Robb’s sword to make the first cut of his wedding cake: a 6-foot-tall, 250-pound (113.4-kilogram) cake with raisins decorated with sugar rolls, roses and love birds.
Lynda Johnson Robb said she was lucky. Red is her signature color and the December nuptials meant the White House was already decorated for Christmas. Her mother, Lady Bird Johnson, was spared some stress.
“They could use the same decorations and that was great,” he said. “My mother was always trying to find ways to save money.”
(with information from AP)
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