Biden’s granddaughter’s wedding offers a youthful reflection for the 80-year-old president
President Joe Biden turns 80 this weekend, but the big party at the White House will be very different and youthful. Naomi BidenBiden’s eldest granddaughter is set to marry Peter Neill on the South Lawn of the White House on Saturday.
The day after the wedding, Biden will mark his place as the only octogenarian president in American history, a numerical milestone that will focus on a key issue that pits Biden against his opponents: his age. Despite a string of recent victories — better-than-expected midterm elections for Democrats, relatively easy travel to Egypt and Asia, and presidential announcement Biden is not shying away from his old rival Donald Trump to become the oldest commander in chief America has ever had.
But when a glitzy wedding of two twenty-somethings kicks off a new chapter in life with music, dancing and fun, an 80th birthday weekend can have a youthful glow. Two people familiar with the wedding planning say it’s no coincidence that Naomi Biden’s wedding weekend falls on President’s Day — noting that the “age issue” was never something Biden wanted to emphasize.
“A wedding is a bit of a secret,” says one of the people.
According to CNN, the wedding guest list will include the extended Biden clan, as well as the couple’s friends and family, and the Bidens have been closely linked to start discussing whether Joe Biden should run. for the second term.
Soon after the wedding, Jill Biden and Joe Biden visit Nantucket, Massachusetts, for the Thanksgiving holiday; Christmas will pass quickly as the clock ticks for Biden to speak Will it be in 2024?, or out. Both the president and first lady said they would weigh the pros and cons of a runoff, which Biden had previously said was “possible.”
The wedding itself has three parts, a person familiar with the planning told CNN. The ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. ET on the South Lawn – a location that has never been used in the history of White House weddings. There will be no roof, it can be cold outside in the morning; Temperatures for Saturday are forecast to be in the mid 40s. After the vows are exchanged, there will be a small, family and wedding dinner at the White House, and in the evening guests will return for an evening dessert reception and dancing. indoors.
By the way, 28-year-old Naomi Biden is having a White House wedding mostly because of her passion. Biden, a partner at the Washington law firm Arnold & Porter, pushed his grandfather to run for office the first time.
Despite being a patriarch, there is Joe Biden always includes his extended family circle, including five oldest grandchildren as they weigh life choices. The sensitivity to his feelings and the invasive nature of the nasty political battle weigh heavily on his mind.
In a video interview played at the 2020 Democratic National Convention, Naomi Biden said, “I don’t think there was any decision, big or small, that we didn’t make as a family.
Although usually convened by members of the extended Biden family, it was Naomi Biden who convened the most important, private, comprehensive family meeting that would have the most impact on Joe Biden’s future. Biden expressed concern — but they weren’t.
“He thought we’d call a meeting to discuss whether we wanted him or not [run,] but really he was told, “Enter this race! Hurry up!” – said Naomi Biden. Since then, Naomi has been the most vocal about democratic issues and advocates for her grandfather on her social media channels. On Nov. 12, he tweeted, “Democracy won in the Senate. Never think your voice doesn’t matter.”
Naomi is also a granddaughter closest – literally – to grandparents. She and Neal, 25, a recent University of Pennsylvania law graduate who works at Georgetown University’s National Security Law Center, moved into the White House last August, a person familiar with the household told CNN.
The proximity of the couple to the wedding ceremony increased their involvement in the planning. The wedding planner is Brian Rafanelli, founder of Rafanelli Events, a source familiar with the details told CNN. Rafanelli is no stranger to throwing fantastic parties at the White House; he oversaw seven state dinners during Barack Obama’s presidency, including the glass-topped tent on the South Lawn and the Italian administration’s finale, which included a performance by Gwen Stefani.
He also planned and hosted Chelsea Clinton’s wedding in 2010.
A wedding made by Rafanelli is not expensive. Most of his events start at around $300,000 and can reach into the millions. “In line with other private events organized by the First Family and in keeping with the tradition of previous White House weddings in previous administrations, the Biden family will pay for weddings at the White House,” said Elizabeth Alexander, director of communications for Jill Biden. CNN.
Naomi’s father Hunter Biden. His mother is Kathleen Buhle. His parents, who divorced in 2017, wrote memoirs about the struggles of their relationship, many of which included Hunter Biden’s years-long struggle with addiction.
Neal’s family is from Jackson Holden, Wyoming, and the couple married in September 2021. (Neal’s grandmother has an engagement ring band and it was made by a D.C. jeweler, a person with knowledge of its construction tells CNN.)
The designer of Naomi Biden’s wedding dress has yet to be identified, although several fashion insiders contacted by CNN speculate that the job went to Ralph Lauren, perhaps the most famous American fashion designer alive today. Joe Biden is partial to Lauren’s suit, which he wore on Inauguration Day, and Jill Biden has also been photographed with the label. In March, Naomi and her sister Finnegan, 23, and Neil attended Ralph Lauren’s fall 2022 fashion show in New York, sparking much speculation that she will wear the designer for at least one of her weddings. The White House has not commented on the speculation about the dress.
Photos of the wedding will be released to the press on Saturday afternoon, sometime between the morning ceremony and the evening reception, a person familiar with the planning said.
The wedding will undoubtedly be the social event of this year’s White House, and perhaps the entire Biden administration. This is the 19th White House wedding, the most recent being in the Rose Garden in 2013 by Pete Souza, Obama’s chief photographer. The last presidential daughter to be married at the White House was Jenna Bush in June 2008. Bush held his wedding and reception a few months ago at the Bush family’s ranch in Texas, but his father, George W. Bush, hosted about 600 guests at the White House. House for daughter’s second reception.
But the scope and scale of the Biden wedding match those of Lucy Johnson, who held her reception in the East Room after marrying Patrick Nugent, and Linda Johnson, who married Charles Robb in the East Room of the White House in 1967. Tricia Nixon married Edward Finch Cox in June 1971 under a flower-filled white gazebo in the Rose Garden. All these weddings were media cats, with newspapers publishing recipes for 6-foot-tall wedding cakes.
Pieces of the Johnson girls’ and Nixon’s cakes were sent to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. (Nixon has now hardened to a 2-by-2-inch piece that looks like a dried sponge, according to the White House Historical Association.)
Like the taste of Biden’s cake, or the aforementioned White House weddings, guests take home a piece at the end of the party.
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