Naomi Biden, the president’s granddaughter, marries on South Lawn of White House

WASHINGTON — The eldest granddaughter of President Joe Biden was married on the South Lawn of the White House on Saturday, marking the 19th wedding in the history of the executive mansion.

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Naomi Biden, 28, and Peter Neal became the first couple to marry on the South Lawn of the White House, The Associated Press reported. The couple exchanged their wedding vows during a chilly ceremony as temperatures hovered in the low 40s, according to the news organization.

It marked the first wedding of a president’s granddaughter at the White House.

The bride is the daughter of Hunter Biden, son of the 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, was raised in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and is the son of William Neal and Mary C. Neal, who are both doctors, the newspaper reported. The couple was engaged in Jackson Hole in September 2021, CNN reported. Peter Neal recently graduated from the University of Pennsylvania law school, according to the AP.

He works at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, the newspaper reported.

The wedding came on the eve of the president’s 80th birthday. Joe Biden’s birthday is 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 after the 11 a.m. nuptials, a luncheon was scheduled for the family and wedding party. A black-tie evening reception was also was scheduled.

“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 those rooms and the high ceilings, whether you choose to get married in the Blue, Green or Red rooms. Or if you marry out on the lawn, it’s those columns and the magnificent view of the nation’s capital.”

In a statement, the Biden family said that the wedding was privately funded -- “consistent with other private events hosted by the first family and following the traditions of previous White House wedding festivities in prior administrations.”

“Most of the weddings, at least in the early part of the 19th century, those are much more private, smaller family affairs. So typically, you see presidents’ family members getting married,” White House Historical Association historian Lina Mann said, according to The Hill. “It’s not really until the latter half of the 19th century and in the 20th century that you see a lot of buzz and national attention being brought to these White House weddings.”

The couple was set up by a mutual friend and met on a date in New York City in 2018, while Naomi Biden was in law school at Columbia University, the Post reported.

“These two fell in love after two days,” a friend, Asha-Kai Grant, wrote in a caption for a photo of the couple she posted on Instagram in 2021.

A wedding reception at the White House for a first family member has not been held since 2008, when Jenna Bush, daughter of then-President George W. Bush, hosted her party with Henry Hager at the White House following a Texas ceremony, according to The Hill.

The last wedding to take place at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. was on Oct. 9, 2013, when then-official White House photographer Pete Souza married Patti Lease in the Rose Garden while President Obama watched, The Hill reported.

According to the White House Historical Association, the first wedding at the White House took place on March 29, 1812, when Lucy Payne Washington -- the sister of first lady Dolley Madison -- married Supreme Court Associate Justice Thomas Todd.

The first child of a president to be married at the executive mansion was Maria Hester Monroe, the daughter of President James Monroe, according to the association. She married the president’s private secretary, Samuel L. Gouverneur, on March 9, 1820. Gouverneur was also the nephew of first lady Elizabeth Monroe.

The last relative of a president to marry on the White House grounds was Anthony Rodham, the brother of Hillary Rodham Clinton and brother-in-law of President Bill Clinton. He married Nicole Boxer in the Rose Garden on May 28, 1994.

The only president to marry in the White House was Grover Cleveland, who said his vows with Frances Folsom in the Blue Room on June 2, 1886.

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