Naomi Biden and Peter Neal, granddaughter of President Joe Biden, were married on Saturday in just the 19th wedding in White House history, exchanging vows on the lawn in unseasonably cool temperatures in front of family and friends.
It is the first White House wedding with a granddaughter of a president as a bride, and the first on the South Lawn.
Naomi Biden and Neil exchanged “I do’s” during the late morning ceremony – with temperatures in the low 40s – in front of guests seated in white folding chairs. The South Portico of the White House, opposite the lawn and the Washington Monument in the distance, was decorated with wreaths and garlands of white flowers. There was no tent. Guests began arriving hours before the ceremony, with some women opting to wear open-toed shoes despite the chill.
Unlike some previous White House weddings, the public is not witnessing any festivities. Naomi Biden and Neill decided to keep reporters out, although the ceremony was outside on grounds of what the President and First Lady called “the people’s house”.
Naomi Biden, 28, is a lawyer in Washington. His parents are Hunter Biden, the son of President and First Lady Jill Biden, and Hunter’s first wife, Kathleen Buhle.
Neal, 25, of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, recently graduated from the University of Pennsylvania’s law school. He works at the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington. His parents Dr. Mary C. and William “Bill” C. Jackson Hole’s Niles.
The couple, who live at the White House, were set up in New York City about four years ago by a mutual friend and have been together ever since, the White House said. According to the White House, Neil proposed in September 2021 near his childhood home in Jackson Hole with a ring that recreated the band of his grandmother’s engagement ring.
After the 20-some officially became husband and wife, their families and the wedding party were brought out of the cold and headed back inside the White House for lunch, which was to be followed by a dessert and dancing reception in the evening. . To a person familiar with the planning who was not authorized to publicly discuss the wedding program.
Few other details were released ahead of the ceremony.
The White House said that in the interest of the public, the President and First Lady plan to issue a statement and release photographs of the first of their six grandchildren to tie the knot.
President Biden and the first lady were among those who attended the wedding rehearsal dinner Friday on the steps from the White House to the Renwick Gallery. Neil’s parents hosted.
White House officials have said that the Biden family will pay for all the wedding activities.
“The wedding of Naomi Biden and Peter is a private wedding,” the president’s chief spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said Friday. “This is a family event and Naomi and Peter have asked that their wedding be closed to the media and we are respecting their wishes.”
There have been 18 documented marriages in the more than 200-year history of the White House. Nine included a president’s daughter, most recently Richard Nixon’s daughter Tricia in 1971 and Lyndon Johnson’s daughter Linda in 1967.
But nieces, a granddaughter, a son, and siblings of the first ladies are also married. One president, Grover Cleveland, married in the White House while still in office.
Some weddings were open to coverage by the news media, while others were not at all.
The first wedding held in the Rose Garden, reporters were allowed into Tricia Nixon’s wedding to Ed Cox. Their wedding planner — a three-ring black binder in the offices of the White House Historical Association — includes extensive notes on 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 wedding – was closed to the press. Clinton’s spokesman later commented and the White House released a photo.
Such was the case for the October 2013 wedding of President Barack Obama’s official photographer Pete Souza and his longtime partner, Patti Lees. The White House announced the wedding in a statement following a small, private wedding in the Rose Garden.
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 denied 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 desire for privacy must be balanced against the public’s interest in an event at the People’s House,” 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 added.
The wedding is just half of a big weekend for the Biden family. The president’s 80th birthday is Sunday and family members in the city will celebrate him at a brunch hosted by the first lady.