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

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Naomi Biden married Peter Neal on the South Lawn of the White House late Saturday morning, in the first wedding for a presidential family member held on the grounds since the Clinton era.

The impressive backdrop almost made up for cold temperatures. President Biden’s oldest granddaughter donned a long-sleeve, ballgown-style wedding dress with a high lace collar on a blue-sky, 40-degree day. The White House’s south portico was decorated with white and green flower garlands, and a floral arch and wreaths festooned the doors. The decor was faintly visible to a crowd of uninvited journalists and onlookers, who huddled outside the White House perimeter with telephoto lenses and ineffective phone cameras.

Guests had been told to leave their phones behind and dress warm. They arrived at the White House’s pedestrian entrances in leather boots and wool coats, and found white scarves waiting on their chairs.

The ceremony itself lasted about an hour. Naomi, 28, was walked down the aisle by her father, Hunter Biden, and her mother, Kathleen Buhle to the song “Bitter Sweet Symphony” by the Verve. President Biden escorted the 25-year-old groom’s two grandmothers, one on each arm, then turned around, jogged back up the aisle, and returned to the altar with first lady Jill Biden, according to guests who spoke to The Washington Post.

The bride’s sister, Finnegan, was maid of honor and the groom’s brother, Robert, was best man. The navy-blue-dressed bridesmaids included Naomi’s other sister, Maisy, and her new sister-in-law, Katherine “Betsy” Neal. Ashley Blazer Biden — Naomi’s aunt and the president’s daughter — read from the New Testament: “God is Love.”

The couple wrote their own vows. “They reminisced about their experience with each other and what brought them to today,” said Linzi Lane, a friend of the Neal family. “It was beautifully done. … I don’t think there was a dry eye.”

Lane said a bee landed on Naomi’s dress during the ceremony, and Peter tenderly brushed it off in a rare unscripted moment.

Peter and Naomi, both lawyers, met on a date arranged by a mutual friend in 2018 and have been living on the third floor of the White House.

The 300 or so guests were mostly family and close friends, with some VIPS in attendance. Former senator Chris Dodd was spotted. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his wife, Evan Ryan were invited, too. But few White House officials were expected to be in attendance.

It was the 19th White House wedding ceremony in history, and the first for a presidential relative since Hillary Clinton’s brother, Anthony Rodham, was married in 1994. It was also the first for a presidential grandchild. A strictly private affair, the ceremony was paid for with the Biden family’s funds, so taxpayers are not on the hook, according to the first lady’s office.

A history of White House weddings

Guests began streaming out of the White House shortly after noon. Few wanted to talk to the crowd of waiting reporters, who were eager to glean details.

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

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

correction

An earlier version of this article misspelled Maisy Biden’s name.

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