What we know about Naomi Biden’s White House wedding

5. White House
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden on the White House South Lawn, in Washington, October 24, 2022. (File photo: NYTimes)
A White House wedding has historically been the sort of rare event that can add a modern sheen to the dustiness of the presidency. It can — for an afternoon, at least — turn the press from restive to fawning. And it can give the president a needed feel-good story.اضافة اعلان

President Joe Biden and Jill Biden, the first lady, might welcome another one: After Democrats performed better than expected in the midterm elections, on the heels of a lengthy trip to Egypt and Asia and on the day before his 80th birthday, their eldest grandchild, Naomi Biden, will marry her fiance, Peter Neal, on the South Lawn.

Invitations have been distributed to guests, but the White House is taking a state-secret approach to much of the planning. The couple is “approaching the wedding as a private celebration for their friends and family”, according to a person familiar with their wishes.

Here is what we know:

The couple
Naomi Biden is the 28-year-old daughter of Biden’s son Hunter Biden and Kathleen Buhle, who divorced in 2017. Naomi Biden, as the president often publicly says, was named for his firstborn daughter, who died in a car crash along with Joe Biden’s first wife, Neilia, in 1972.

In 2019, the bride called a family meeting to urge her grandfather to run for the presidency against Donald Trump, who was seeking a second term. At the time, Joe Biden was hesitant to subject his family to attacks from Trump. But Naomi Biden — along with her two younger sisters, Finnegan and Maisy, and their cousins — urged him to get into the race.

Neal, 25, is from Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and is the son of Drs Mary C. Neal and William C. Neal of Jackson Hole. He has three siblings, Eliot, Betsy, and Willie, who was killed in a roller-skiing accident in 2009.

The couple share a love of politics. Naomi Biden was born into it, and Neal started his career in Democratic politics in 2015, while he interned at the White House during the Obama administration, when Joe Biden was vice president. Later, he worked on Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential campaign, calling the experience a “wild, wild” journey.

“Nothing comes easy, and no one understands that better than Hillary Clinton,” Neal wrote in a since-deleted Instagram post after Clinton lost the 2016 presidential election. “She has set the bar for what it means to be a public servant, and it’s time for all of us to take notes, buckle down, and follow suit.”

Naomi Biden and Neal, who did not respond to a request for comment, were set up on a date by a mutual friend in New York City in 2018, according to the White House. Neal proposed on September 4, 2021. Biden is an associate at the white-shoe law firm Arnold & Porter. Neal graduated from law school at the University of Pennsylvania this year. He is an associate at Georgetown Law’s Center on National Security. They live in Washington — Biden and Neal live at the White House, according to two people familiar with their living situation.

The planner
Bryan Rafanelli, the wedding planner responsible for high-profile, political-world events including Chelsea Clinton’s wedding in 2010, was hired to carry out the proceedings. He has been known to require confidentiality agreements with his vendors, which is something the White House also requires.

“This is how I run my business, protecting the privacy of my clients,” Rafanelli said in an interview shortly after Clinton’s wedding. Clinton, who wrote the foreword for Rafanelli’s 2019 book on party planning, emphasized that he had paid “special attention” to her family’s wishes throughout the planning of her wedding.

The fashion

According to people who know the couple, there is a short list of possibilities for wedding-wear designers. Jill Biden is close to Lebanon-born designer Reem Acra, who could be an option, people familiar with the planning said.

Naomi Biden is interested in fashion — she once interned in the public relations department for designer Tom Ford — and she favors several designers, including Christian Siriano, Veronica Beard, and Valentino, which she wore to Joe Biden’s inauguration. Only one designer has been publicly and repeatedly associated with Naomi Biden since the beginning of her grandfather’s presidency: Ralph Lauren. She has made reference to the American designer on her Instagram page, and attended the Ralph Lauren Fall/Winter 2022 fashion show with her sister Finnegan in March.

The president wore Ralph Lauren to his inauguration. The brand offered no comment when asked about its involvement in the wedding.

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