WASHINGTON: Naomi Biden, the granddaughter of US President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden, was married on Saturday in what was the 19th time in history the White House has been used for a wedding.
The bride, 28, is a lawyer who has been living at the White House with the groom, Peter Neal, 25, a recent law school graduate who hails from Jackson Hole, Wyoming. He is currently working at the Georgetown University Law Center on National Security. They met in 2018.
The ceremony, with no press access allowed, took place on the South Lawn of the White House on a chilly day.
About 250 guests attended.
“It has been a joy to watch Naomi grow, discover who she is, and carve out such an incredible life for herself,” the president and first lady said in a joint statement issued after the event.
“Now, we are filled with pride to see her choose Peter as her husband and we’re honored to welcome him to our family. We wish them days full of laughter and a love that grows deeper with every passing year,” they said.
A luncheon for family members and the wedding party followed the ceremony in the White House State Dining Room. An evening reception featuring dessert and dancing was planned.
It is the first part of a festive weekend for Biden, who will mark his 80th birthday on Sunday surrounded by family.
Since former President John Adams moved into the freshly built White House in 1800, the 18 weddings there have typically featured family members of the president and first lady.
According to the White House Historical Association, the tradition began in 1812 when Lucy Payne Washington, the sister of first lady Dolley Madison, married Supreme Court Associate Justice Thomas Todd.
Grover Cleveland has been the only president to marry in the White House. He exchanged vows with Frances Folsom in 1886 in the Blue Room.
Naomi Biden is the daughter of the president’s son, Hunter Biden, and his first wife, Kathleen Buhle.
Jill Biden’s communications director, Elizabeth Alexander, said the Biden family will pay for the wedding activities that occur at the White House, “consistent with other private events hosted by the first family and following the traditions of previous White House wedding festivities in prior administrations.”
Unlike some past such ceremonies, the festivities were closed to the news media.
“Naomi and Peter have asked that their wedding be closed to the media, and we are respecting their wishes. This is something that the couple has decided,” White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Friday.