When Naomi Biden, President Joe Biden’s granddaughter, and Peter Neal were married on November 19, 2022, the couple made history: This was the first time a sitting president’s granddaughter tied the knot at the White House. The couple’s wedding planner, Bryan Rafanelli of Rafanelli Events, shared photos from their romantic ceremony on the same day they said “I do,” and the world was instantly mesmerized by the elegant setup of white flowers and greenery as well as the bride and groom’s timeless fashion. Now, the planner is taking fans behind the scenes of the couple’s luncheon reception, which was held at the White House’s State Dining Room, with photos captured by wedding photographer Corbin Gurkin. On Tuesday, April 11, 2023, Rafanelli and Christine Traulich of RedBliss Design, the duo’s wedding invitation designer, dedicated two joint Instagram posts to the celebration.
In the first post, the vendors kicked off the series with a photo of minimalist wedding invitations on white cardstock with ornate calligraphy in black ink. “Designing your wedding invitation was such a pleasure, especially with every detail so thoughtful and meaningful to you. ❤️,” the stationer writes. Traulich proceeds to explain that the White House’s architecture and décor inspired the design. “Naomi and Peter have a sincere admiration for not only the traditions of the White House but also of its architectural beauty and design history. Taking this into consideration, we designed their wedding invitation suite with a neoclassical influence using specific references to the fan windows, ornamental interior moldings, and period chandeliers.”
The stationery designer mentions in the caption that each facet of the invitations had a deeper, symbolic meaning. For instance, according to the post, the curved corners resemble the curvature of the fan windows in the White House. Likewise, the embossed detailing on the envelope liner was inspired by the State Room chandeliers, which also influenced their wedding cake.
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The next photo shares a glimpse of the bride’s wedding dress, a custom long-sleeve Chantilly lace gown with a mock neck and organza floral embroidery by Ralph Lauren. The post also shows a shot of an intricate gold mirror and matching table flanked by light fixtures decorated with greenery, a common motif seen throughout the ceremony and reception. Then, the carousel unveils the reception site. Banquet and round tables were draped in white linens and lined with elegant centerpieces featuring white blooms and greenery and green candle holders. The same floral arrangements were suspended from the fireplace mantel. Gold chandeliers towered above the seating arrangements. The final photo in the roundup shows a floral wreath composed of white roses and hydrangea.
The wedding vendors also documented more details from the reception a few hours later in a follow-up post with images that Gurkin also photographed. Besides pictures of the layout, they revealed a closer look at the place settings: gold-rimmed chargers with a pop of navy, luxe silverware, crystal glassware, place cards on a gold stand, and menus that followed a similar design as the invitations. The post also included a sweet snap of the bride and groom sitting beside one another while listening to what appears to be speeches or toasts from their wedding guests. “WHITE HOUSE RECEPTION // As the sunlight bounces off the menu of Naomi and Peter’s wedding luncheon, you can see the special details that were carried through from their wedding invitation (see previous post)—the cut, the beading, the seal—while sitting amongst all the beauty created by @bryanrafanelli @rafanellievents in the White House State Dining Room,” the caption says.