It’s wedding day at the White House.
President Joe Biden’s granddaughter, Naomi Biden, and her fiancé, Peter Neal, werewhat will be the 19th ,
Naomi Biden and Neil exchanging “I do’s” during a ceremony scheduled for 11 a.m. — with temperatures forecast in the high 30s — on the South Lawn, which has been converted into a wedding venue for the first time Is. It is also the first White House wedding with a granddaughter of the president as a bride.
Scores of white folding chairs lined the South Lawn on Friday and rental trucks lined the driveway as event planners began setting up. The South Portico of the White House, which faces the lawn and the Washington Monument, was being decorated with wreaths and garlands of white flowers.
Unlike some previous White House weddings, the public will not be able to see any of the festivities. The bride and groom have decided to keep reporters out, although the ceremony will take place outside on grounds of what the President and First Lady call “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 wedding party would be brought out of the cold and back inside the White House for lunch, followed by an evening reception of dessert and dancing. According to a person familiar with the planning who was not authorized to discuss the wedding schedule publicly.
Few other details were released ahead of the ceremony.
The White House said that in view of the public interest, the President and First Lady plan to issue a statement and release photos following the wedding of the first of their six grandchildren.
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.