Biden’s granddaughter Naomi to get married Saturday at White House

Biden’s granddaughter Naomi to get married Saturday at White House

Naomi Biden holds wedding at White House


Biden’s granddaughter holds wedding at White House

02: 27

President Joe Biden’s granddaughter Naomi Biden and Peter Neal were married Saturday in just the 19th wedding in the history of the White House, exchanging vows on the South Lawn in unseasonably cold temperatures in front of scores of family and friends.

The bride, who wore a long-sleeved, high-neck gown with a train and veil, and groom exchanged “I do’s” during a nippy late-morning ceremony in bright sunshine but with temperatures in the low 40s. The guests, seated in white folding chairs, wore coats and scarves.

The south side of the White House, facing the lawn and Washington Monument in the distance, was decorated with wreaths and garland bearing white flowers. The aisle led the bride from the Diplomatic Reception Room up to an altar of white flowers and shrubs.

Naomi Biden’s father, Hunter Biden, sat in the front row on one side of the aisle, holding his toddler son, Beau.

It is the first White House wedding with a president’s granddaughter as the bride, and the first one ever on the South Lawn.

White House Wedding
FILE – Newlyweds Marine Corps Capt. Charles S. Robb and Lynda Bird Johnson, center, pose for a photo with their parents in the Yellow Oval Room in the White House in Washington on Dec. 9, 1967. From left to right, Frances Robb and James S. Robb are standing. (AP Photo, File)

AP


The public is seeing none of the festivities, unlike some past White House weddings. Naomi Biden and Neal decided not to allow journalists into the ceremony, even though it was held outdoors on the grounds that the president and first lady call “people’s home”. “

Naomi Biden, 28, is a lawyer in Washington. Hunter’s first wife, Kathleen Buhle is her mother.

Neal, 25, of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, recently graduated from the University of Pennsylvania law school. He is currently employed at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington. His parents are Drs. Mary C. and William “Bill” C. Neal, both of Jackson Hole.

The couple, who have been living at the White House, was set up by a mutual friend about four years ago in New York City and have been together ever since, the White House said. Neal proposed in September 2021 near his childhood home in Jackson Hole with a ring that repurposed the band of his grandmother’s engagement ring, according to the White House.

After the 20-somethings officially became husband and wife, their families and the wedding party got out of the cold and headed back inside the White House for lunch, which is to be followed in the evening by a dessert-and-dancing reception, according to a person familiar with the planning who was not authorized to publicly discuss the wedding schedule.

Few other details were released before the ceremony.

To accommodate public interest, the president and first lady Jill Biden planned to issue a statement and release photos after the first of their six grandchildren tied the knot, the White House said.

“Congratulations Naomi and Peter! “We love you,” Mr. Biden, the first lady, and a photo of them with the newlyweds were shared on Twitter.

Congratulations Naomi and Peter! We love you. pic.twitter.com/aIEatnDQhm

— Jill Biden (@FLOTUS) November 19, 2022

President Biden and the first lady were among those who attended the wedding rehearsal dinner Friday at the Renwick Gallery steps from the White House. Neal’s parents hosted the event.

The Biden family will pay for all wedding activities, White House officials have said.

“The wedding of Naomi Biden and Peter is a private one,” Karine Jean-Pierre, the president’s chief spokesperson, said Friday. “It’s a family affair and Naomi and Peter have requested that their wedding be closed off to the media. We respect their wishes. “

There have been 18 documented weddings in the 200-plus-year history of the White House. Nine involved a president’s daughter, most recently Richard Nixon’s daughter Tricia in 1971 and Lyndon Johnson’s daughter Lynda in 1967.

But nieces, a grandniece, a son and first ladies’ siblings have also gotten married there. Grover Cleveland, a former president, also married at the White House while he was in office.

Some of the weddings were open to coverage by the news media, while others weren’t at all.

White House Wedding
FILE – President Richard Nixon applauds as his daughter Tricia and her husband Edward Finch Cox, cut a giant wedding cake at the White House, June 12, 1971. (AP Photo, File)

Anonymous / AP


Journalists were allowed into Tricia Nixon’s wedding to Ed Cox, the first wedding held in the Rose Garden. The White House Historical Association kept a three-ring black binder with notes about the media plan.

But the May 1994 wedding of a brother of then-first lady Hillary Clinton and the daughter of then-U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer — the first since Tricia Nixon’s marriage — was closed to the press. After the ceremony, Clinton’s spokesperson said that Clinton was happy to release a photo.

It was the same for the October 2013 wedding of Pete Souza, President Barack Obama’s official photographer, and his longtime partner, Patti Lease. After the private, intimate wedding at the Rose Garden, the White House issued a statement announcing the wedding.

The White House Correspondents Association, which advocates for press access to the White House and the president, said it was “deeply disappointed” that the White House declined its request for press coverage of Naomi Biden’s wedding.

“White House weddings have been covered by the press throughout history and the first family’s wish for privacy must be balanced against the public’s interest in an event occurring at the People’s House with the president as a participant,” the WHCA board said in a statement.

Stewart McLaurin, president of the White House Historical Association, said it’s important to remember that first families are families first and foremost.

“Their privacy should be respected, their wishes should be respected,” he said.

The wedding is just one half of a big weekend for the Biden family. The president’s 80th birthday is Sunday and family members in town will celebrate him at a brunch hosted by the first lady.

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