Naomi Biden, the president’s granddaughter, is married in the White House

Suspension

This developing story will be updated.

Naomi Biden married Peter Neal on the South Lawn of the White House late Saturday morning, in the first presidential wedding to take place on the grounds since the Clinton era.

The cool background is almost from cold temperatures. President Biden’s eldest granddaughter wore a long-sleeved ball gown-style wedding dress with a long veil on a bright blue-sky 40-degree day. The south gallery of the White House was decorated with white and green wreaths, and the doors were decorated with a floral arch and wreath. The decor was only dimly visible to a crowd of uninvited journalists and onlookers, who had gathered outside the perimeter of the White House with telephoto lenses and ineffective phone cameras.

Guests were asked to leave their phones behind and dress warmly, which they did. They arrived at the pedestrian entrances of the White House in leather shoes and wool coats.

The ceremony itself lasted about an hour. Her father, Hunter Biden, and her mother, Kathleen Bolto, walked the song “Bitter Sweet Symphony” for Verve. President Biden took the groom’s 25-year-old grandmothers, one on each arm, then turned, ran back down the aisle, and walked back to the altar with First Lady Jill Biden, according to guests who spoke to The Washington Post.

Sister of the bride Finnegan served as maid of honor, and her other sister Maisie and new sister-in-law Catherine Neal, who goes to Betsy’s, were bridesmaids – all dressed in navy blue and carrying white bouquets. The groom’s brother, Robert Neal, was the best man. The wedding was officiated by two officiants: Monsignor John P. Hopkins and Rev. Dr. Paul E. Hayden. Four flower girls and a ring bearer accompanied the couple. The bride’s aunt gave Ashley Blazer Biden a reading of “God is Love” from the New Testament. The poem “I Carry Your Heart With Me” by E. Cummings was also part of the ceremony.

The couple wrote their own vows.

“They reminisced about their experiences with each other and what brought them to today, and it was beautifully done and wonderfully written,” said Lindsay Lynn, a friend of Neal’s family. Lin says the president didn’t speak during the ceremony. Both the bride and groom wept, she says, as well as many of the guests: “I don’t think there was dry eye. “

But there was one moment of levitation: Lane says that during the ceremony, a bee landed on Naomi’s dress, and Peter tenderly shrugged it off.

The wedding programs were cream-colored booklets embossed with the couple’s initials and bound with blue ribbon. Lin says their initials were also on the carpets. On the program, the couple thanked their guests: “We are so grateful to be surrounded by the people we love.”

Peter and Naomi, who are attorneys, met on a date arranged by a mutual friend in 2018 and lived on the third floor of the White House. They exchanged vows and wrote their own.

The 300 or so guests were mostly family and close friends, with a few VIPs in attendance. Former Senator Chris Dodd is seen. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and his wife, Evan Ryan, were also invited. But a few White House officials were expected to attend.

It was the first White House wedding of a presidential relative since he married Hillary Clinton’s brother, Anthony Rodham, in 1994 — and the first of a presidential grandson. In a completely private affair, the ceremony was paid for with Biden family funds, so taxpayers aren’t on the hook, according to the first lady’s office.

The guests began leaving the White House shortly after noon. Few wanted to speak to the waiting crowd of reporters, who were eager to gather details.

The newlyweds stayed inside for lunch with select guests. A larger reception with wedding cake and dancing is scheduled for Saturday night.

Roxanne Roberts contributed to this report. This story has been updated.

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