News & Politics  |  Weddings

9 Trends We Think Naomi Biden’s White House Wedding Will Inspire

Prediction: Cathedral veils, dessert receptions, and bridal gloves will be on the rise.

Peter Neal and Naomi Biden at the White House Correspondents' Dinner. Photograph by Dan Swartz.

Naomi Biden and Peter Neal married in what was the 19th ceremony (and the 23rd wedding reception) in White House history on Saturday, November 19. Though the private event was closed to press and only about a dozen photos have been released, the stately affair—and the first White House wedding in almost a decade—will likely make an impact on weddings to come. Here are some elements of the White House wedding we expect to see more of.

1. Cathedral-length veils. Brides magazine said that the veil deserved its own Insta post and they are not wrong. It might be our favorite detail so far. The drama! The glamour! We’d nearly forgotten what these look like and whew, we are here for a comeback.

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2. Wedding gowns fit for royalty. Give that veil something worthy of its grandeur, right? The Washington Post pointed out that Biden’s lace, notched mock-neck, long-sleeve gown channeled Grace Kelly—and we’re seeing some real Kate Middleton vibes here, too.

 

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3. Fancy coats. It was not even 40 degrees for the outdoor ceremony, but members of the wedding party kept warm in style. Dr. Jill Biden wore Reem Acra including a blue silk-chiffon dress under a coordinating wool crepe coat with matching gloves. (Later, for the evening reception, FLOTUS changed into a glitzy green-and-gold number.) Also: the bride’s three bridesmaids (according to the Washington Post, they were Naomi’s two sisters and her new sister-in-law), wore double-breasted blazers over their gowns. For extra warmth, according to the Washington Post, guests were given white scarves and hand warmers upon arrival.

 

 

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4. Modest-sized, freshly picked bouquets. The gown may be giving off a Princess of Wales/Monaco vibe, but the bouquet is all Duchess of Sussex. Meghan Markle catapulted smaller, sprightly, white-and-green bouquets to the spotlight when she carried one at her 2018 wedding to Prince Harry. (Swipe through for the best bouquet photos.)

 

 

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5. More flowers. A massive flower shortage, coupled with inflation costs, has resulted in an uptick in candles and other decor over grand florals at weddings. We love that look—and we suspect it may have been part of the evening reception—but we’re betting the influx of photos of the White House drenched in greenery and white flowers, from the garlands draping the railings to the archway over the door, will inspire at least a few couples to go all out with flower power, too.

 

 

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6. Formal weddings at 11 a.m. Quite a few old rules have been bent in the new wedding world, but a ceremony’s timing still seems to dictate a certain dress code. Not at the White House. Floor-length gowns and three-piece suits were among the attire of choice for the nuptials, which at 11 a.m. in another venue might have indicated something a little less formal. The evening reception was black tie, according to the Washington Post.

7. Cocktail/dessert receptions. CNN reported on Friday that the day-of events would include a morning ceremony followed by a private luncheon for the family and wedding party only. Then, guests (re)joined the newlyweds for dessert (reportedly including a seven-tier white fondant creation) and dancing that evening. The extended gap between ceremony and reception is controversial—though not unheard of for White House weddings—but the cocktail-style reception may be on the rise.

8. Performances by loved ones. We’ve seen more of this in the past six months than the past six years, and it’s a sweet touch. According to the Washington Post, in addition to a reading from first daughter and aunt-to-the-bride Ashley Blazer Biden, Peter’s father sang “Ubi Caritas” along with an ensemble at the ceremony. The Washington Post also reports that the pair wrote their own vows.

9. Bridal gloves! According to Women’s Wear Daily, for the evening reception Biden swapped her Ralph Lauren gown for a “custom white beaded fringe dress from Markarian’s Alexandra O’Neill,” and the Post says she paired it with tulle gloves.

Amy Moeller
Editor, Washingtonian Weddings

Amy leads Washingtonian Weddings and writes Style Setters for Washingtonian. Prior to joining Washingtonian in March 2016, she was the editor of Capitol File magazine in DC and before that, editor of What’s Up? Weddings in Annapolis.