President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden hosted the wedding of their granddaughter, Naomi Biden, at the White House last week in an event that celebrated the history of the place with lovely details and historic accents.
Naomi was the star of the moment, but she had been told that the White House had suggested that the event be private. However, that didn’t stop her from having a photo shoot with her fiance and Jill Biden for Vogue. It's the equivalent of Brangelina’s public-relations team asking for privacy while selling the baby photos of their children to People magazine.
For the Mid-Atlantic-themed wedding ceremony on the South Lawn – the first of its kind –
bride Naomi took inspiration from Tricia Nixon's Rose Garden wedding in June 1971. She also drew inspiration from Luci and Lynda Johnson's ceremonies in 1966 and 1967 through a review of older editions of Time magazine.
In her list of inspirations, Naomi revealed to Vogue she chose to wear a custom high-necked and long-sleeved Chantilly lace Ralph Lauren gown that featured a cathedral-length silk organza veil to be worn for the ceremony as an homage to the iconic Grace Kelly’s wedding gown that she wore when she married Prince Rainier III of Monaco in 1956. Interestingly, the designer who created Grace Kelly's bridal gown also created Tricia Nixon's wedding dress. Kelly's dress was created by the famous Helen Rose. She also designed Elizabeth Taylor's first wedding dress.
It's quite a challenge mixing three decades of bridal ceremonies – 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s – especially when you consider that the deflated skirts that were popular in the 1970s stood in striking contrast to the glitz and frivolity of the 1950s.
Naomi's dress is definitely an eye-catching piece; however, adding shades of color to her sweet pea and lily of the valley bouquet would have made the perfect accent to ensure hers stood out from the floral arrangements outside the White House, which served as the backdrop to the wedding ceremony.
During the Vogue shoot, depending on the historic beauty of the White House's Green Room was a stellar option, as the color palette enhanced Naomi's timeless look.
It seems as if Jill Biden always tries to destroy these looks, regardless of whether it was the dark teal Reem Acra coat she wore to the wedding ceremony or the Reem Acra seafoam-blue frock that she donned at the reception, complete with glitter pumps. Did she investigate the theme of the wedding prior to deciding on her outfits?
In the same way, it would have been preferable if Naomi had opted for the more traditional approach and worn her Ralph Lauren ceremony gown for the reception, too. Instead, she changed into a Reem Acra strapless, ivory, silk body-con dress that had little in common with the traditional style of the event.
It’s difficult to critique Naomi's wedding without looking at Tricia Nixon's, which is still the top choice among all the White House weddings for many. This wedding was particularly memorable since it was the first one in the White House's Rose Garden, which, luckily for Tricia, was redesigned just a decade earlier by then-First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy and turned into a central part of the complex.
Tricia’s wedding dress was fashioned in the style of Priscilla Kidder, also known by the name of Priscilla of Boston, who also created Luci Johnson's wedding gowns as well as Julie Nixon's. The Edwardian-inspired gown featured silk organdy, lace, silk crepe, and embroidered lilies. It made the perfect match for the gorgeous gazebo made of white iron under which the couple were wed and the light yellow flowers scattered in every possible spot.
Particularly, the delicate pavilion is one of the elements that has fallen out of fashion with the trendy but is a feature that should be restored. It is the centerpiece of an outdoor wedding and makes the wedding couple the main focal element. The wedding gazebo where Tricia's wedding was held is now in the Nixon Library.
In contrast to Jill Biden, Pat Nixon's Priscilla of Boston dress, which was designed for Tricia's wedding, was likely among the more fashionable dresses she wore while in the White House. With its pastel-colored flowers in yellows, blues, golds, and pinks, the dress had an identical scalloped hem and neckline to that of Tricia's dress. In addition, everyone looked as if they were all at the same party.
Cohesion was the key word. Tricia made sure that her wedding cake, which was multi-tiered, resembled the gazebo under which she was married.