WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden’s eldest granddaughter was married on the South Lawn of the White House on Saturday, marking the 19th wedding in the history of the mansion.
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Naomi Biden, 28, and Peter Neal became the first couple to wed on the South Lawn of the White House, The Associated Press reported. The couple exchanged vows during a chilly ceremony, according to the news outlet, as temperatures hovered in the 40s.
It was the first wedding of a president’s granddaughter in the White House.
The bride is the daughter of Hunter Biden, son of President and First Lady Jill Biden; and Kathleen Buhle, Hunter Biden’s first wife, according to the Washington Post. Hunter Biden and his wife divorced in 2017.
Naomi Biden is a lawyer.
Neal, 25, grew up in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and is the son of William Neal and Mary C. Neal, who are both doctors, the newspaper reported. The couple were engaged in Jackson Hole in September 2021, CNN reported. According to the AP, Peter Neal recently graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with his law degree.
He works at Georgetown University’s Law Center in Washington, the newspaper reported.
The wedding took place on the eve of the President’s 80th birthday. Joe Biden’s birthday is on Sunday.
Details of the wedding were kept to a minimum by the White House, according to the New York Times. A person familiar with the ceremony told the newspaper that an 11 a.m. luncheon was planned for the family and wedding party after the wedding. A festive evening reception was also planned.
“It’s the most famous house in the country,” Carl Sferrazza Anthony, author and presidential family historian, told the Post. “Look at the proportions of these rooms and the high ceilings, whether you decide to get married in the blue, green or red rooms. Or if you’re getting married on the lawn, it’s those pillars and the gorgeous view of the nation’s capital.”
In a statement, the Biden family said the wedding was privately funded – “consistent with other private events hosted by the first family and following the traditions of previous White House wedding celebrations in previous administrations.”
“Most marriages, at least in the early 19th century, are much more private, smaller family affairs. Typically, you see presidents’ family members getting married,” White House Historical Association historian Lina Mann said, according to The Hill. “It’s not until the second half of the 19th century and into the 20th century that you start to see a lot of fanfare and national attention being given to these White House weddings.”
Founded by a mutual friend, the pair met on a date in New York City in 2018 while Naomi Biden was studying law at Columbia University, the Post reported.
“These two fell in love after two days,” wrote a friend, Asha-Kai Grant, in a caption for a photo of the couple she posted to Instagram in 2021.
A White House wedding reception for a first family member hasn’t been held since 2008, when Jenna Bush, daughter of then-President George W. Bush, hosted her party with Henry Hager at the White House after a Texas ceremony, according to The Hill.
The last wedding that took place at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. took place on Oct. 9, 2013, when then-Official White House Photographer Pete Souza married Patti Lease in the rose garden while President Obama looked on, The Hill reported.
According to the White House Historical Association, the first White House wedding took place on March 29, 1812, when Lucy Payne Washington — first lady Dolley Madison’s sister — married Supreme Court Associate Justice Thomas Todd.
The first child of a president to be married in the executive mansion was Maria Hester Monroe, daughter of President James Monroe, according to the association. She married the President’s private secretary, Samuel L. Gouverneur, on March 9, 1820. Governor was also the nephew of First Lady Elizabeth Monroe.
The last relative of a president to be married on White House grounds was Anthony Rodham, brother of Hillary Rodham Clinton and brother-in-law of President Bill Clinton. He married Nicole Boxer on May 28, 1994 in the Rose Garden.
The only President to marry in the White House was Grover Cleveland, who tied the knot with Frances Folsom on June 2, 1886 in the Blue Room.
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