If you were invited to a wedding at the White House, would you write your Social Security number on your RSVP card? You would, apparently, if you were a guest at the wedding of Naomi Biden, President Joe Biden’s granddaughter, which happened Saturday on the White House’s South Lawn (or, as Naomi calls it, “someone’s backyard”). Vogue, which is where all extravagant weddings go to be cemented in history, dutifully recorded every obsessively polished detail, and may I just say: It is all fascinating.
Naomi and her fiancé, a fellow lawyer named Peter Neal, fully moved into the White House to live with her grandparents during what I imagine was an extensive wedding-planning period, conducted with her grandmother, a.k.a. First Lady Jill Biden. Naomi’s actual parents, who walked her down the aisle to “Bitter Sweet Symphony,” a.k.a. that song from Cruel Intentions, are mentioned a whopping one (1) time in Vogue’s account of the wedding day. Instead, most of the attention is trained on Jill’s intimate involvement in the planning.
Naomi and Jill’s creative process included watching and loving Top Gun: Maverick in the White House private theater and going to SoulCycle together. Also their dogs made friends. Nice. Somewhere between all this spinning and fresh popcorn making, they planned the 19th ever White House wedding — with the help of Chelsea Clinton’s wedding planner. Naomi claims they spent six hours deciding on the font color on their invitation before deciding on … black.
In terms of the actual event, the ceremony began at 11 a.m. — absurdly early for a wedding, if you ask me, made far worse by the fact that it was conducted outdoors in 40 degree weather. To help their 250 guests endure the hour-long ceremony, the Bidens provided white scarves and hand warmers. (Somewhere, Bernie Sanders is scowling.) After the ceremony, there was a luncheon involving either turkey sandwiches or chicken pot pie or both — it’s unclear which but clear that a lot of time and energy was spent deciding — and then everyone went home to get ready for the black-tie reception that night. There, the couple served a collection of absurdly large desserts, including a 20-inch apple pie and a seven-foot lemon cake that the couple had to climb a ladder to access. Thanks to Vogue’s photos, I also know the ladder looks as if it was constructed from the legs of an antique White House couch.
They also served Joe some special ice cream from a brand called Graeter’s, which Naomi claims is an upgrade from his former favorite ice-cream brand, Breyers. Please, give the president his cheap supermarket ice cream!
Despite this abundance of bizarre details to fixate on, I feel I must know more. Did they serve a signature wedding cocktail? Who got the cake leftovers? Was there a presidential ice-cream scoop on the wedding registry, or do they get those for free? How did the young Bidens’ dog fare with Major, the unruly black sheep of the president’s pets? These questions will plague me, but not nearly as much the luncheon’s entrée selection tormented Jill Biden — according to Naomi, she “lost sleep over the fact that I was planning to serve turkey sandwiches.”