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Jenna Bush wedding-updated with photos

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#1 Christine

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Posted 11 May 2008 - 08:24 AM

President's daughter Jenna married
Wedding, gown reflected her preference for the elegant over the grandiose

President's daughter Jenna married - The White House - MSNBC.com
MSNBC staff and news service reports
updated 5:44 p.m. ET, Sat., May. 10, 2008
CRAWFORD, Texas - Jenna Bush and Henry Hager said "I do" Saturday at President Bush's ranch in Crawford, in a private ceremony attended by family and close friends.

Jenna, 26, wore an Oscar de la Renta gown — organza, sheer fabric, embroidery with matte beading. Her earrings: 18-carat white gold and platinum, chain-framed minted iced quartz teardrops. The ring: Platinum with a round diamond from the groom's maternal great grandmother. The diamond is flanked by sapphires.

The president and the bride picked "You Are So Beautiful" for their father-daughter dance, according to band leader Tyrone Smith of Nashville, Tenn. Smith and his 10-piece party band, The Tyrone Smith Revue, was asked to do "Lovin' in My Baby's Eyes" by Taj Mahal for the newlyweds' first dance.

Smith, who witnessed the wedding ceremony, said afterward the groom was dressed in a dark blue suit with powder-blue tie and the bride wore a "very simple and elegant" white dress, but did not wear a veil.

Smith said Jenna Bush's paternal grandparents, President George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush, spoke during the wedding, though he could not hear their comments.

"The wedding details will be reported on for generations, influencing both present-day and future brides-to-be," says Millie Martin Bratten, editor-in-chief of BRIDES magazine and student of first family weddings.

Maid of honor
Jenna's twin sister, Barbara, was maid of honor and 14 other women were part of the "house party." Barbara Bush wore wear a long, moonstone blue dress with a low-cut back. The women in the "house party" were in seven different styles of knee-length dresses in seven different colors that match the palate of Texas wildflowers — blues, greens, lavenders and pinky reds.

The best man was the groom's brother, John "Jack" Hager. Also part of the "house party" were 14 ushers, who walked with the 14 women down the aisle to their seats, but did not participate in the ceremony.

More than 200 family and friends converged here for the nuptials on the 1,600-acre ranch where a tent was erected for the post-ceremony dinner and dancing.

The ceremony began about a half hour or so before sunset. The couple married at a cross, made of beige-colored Texas limestone, that was erected near the ranch's man-made lake. It will serve as the altar and a landmark at the ranch for years to come.

Festivities began Friday with a bridal lunch, rehearsal dinner and "Texas-sized celebration" in Salado, a tiny tourist village, which used to be a stagecoach stop, more than an hour's drive south of Crawford. Jenna and her sister and mother were in Salado all day and the president arrived in the evening by motorcade.

The rehearsal dinner for about 100 people was hosted by the parents of the groom, who turned 30 on Friday. Hager's father, John Hager, is the chairman of the Virginia Republican Party and is former lieutenant governor of Virginia and former U.S. assistant secretary of education.

The rehearsal dinner crowd, including the president, then walked down a street in Salado with the Belton High School Marching Band from Belton, Texas, to a "Texas-sized celebration" at another establishment. All the wedding guests were invited to this event. They were entertained by the five-member Duke Merrick Band from Charlottesville, Va., which performed classic Texas songs and original pieces by Merrick, a relative of the Hager family.

The groom's family also hosted a barbecue lunch Saturday in Salado ahead of the wedding.

Why did they pick the ranch?
Away from the glare of television cameras that have beamed other first family weddings into American living rooms, Jenna's outdoor wedding at the ranch reflects her family's penchant for privacy and her preference for the casual over grandiose.

Even without the prying eyes of strangers, Jenna's marriage to her longtime boyfriend Henry Hager will make presidential history. It will be remembered as an upbeat moment of Bush's two-term presidency beset by terrorism, war and the nation's current limp economy.

"This is a joyous occasion for our family, as we celebrate the happy life ahead of her and her husband, Henry," Bush said in his Saturday radio address. "It's also a special time for Laura who this Mother's Day weekend will watch a young woman we raised together walk down the aisle."

Jenna is the 22nd child of a president to get married while their father was in the Oval Office. Their ceremonies have ranged from Tricia Nixon's extravagant wedding broadcast live from the Rose Garden in 1971 to the 1992 Camp David wedding of Jenna's aunt, Dorothy Koch. That one was kept so secret that the press didn't find out about it until it was over.

"All of them are different. This one really reflects the personality of both Jenna and the George W. Bush family," said Doug Wead, a former aide to President George H.W. Bush and author of a book on presidents' kin.

"If they'd have gone on TV, the wedding would have been shown all over the world and Jenna Bush would have been an international celebrity — and she would have been a target. They're preparing the transition to private life and they're not particularly interested in seeing Jenna Bush become a huge celebrity."

Groom's story
Henry Hager met Jenna during her father's 2004 re-election campaign. He graduated from Wake Forest University and worked as an aide to Bush's former top political adviser Karl Rove. He is set to receive a master's degree in business administration later this month from the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business.

Between February 2005 and January 2006, he was an economic policy aide in the office of Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez and regularly briefed the secretary on economic data. "He was widely regarded as a super star," said Ann Marie Hauser, press secretary at Commerce.

The couple is rumored to be honeymooning in Europe, although the White House would not comment. After that, they plan to live in a two-bedroom, two-bath town house on the south side of Baltimore. She plans to return to teaching and he will work for Constellation Energy, a power supplier based in Maryland.

This is big doings for Crawford, home to about 700 central Texans. They likely will not get a glimpse of the bride and groom, but the couple's photo is plastered across coffee mugs, mouse pads, key rings and other Western White House trinkets for sale at a few stores along the main drag.

A rusty, metal sculpture of an angel, a gift to Crawford after Bush's re-election, is adorned with a veil and a bouquet of white flowers for the occasion. A white and red banner above a storefront offers congratulations to the couple.

Few if any Crawford residents have been invited, but they say they don't feel snubbed. They respect the first family's desire for privacy.

"That's exactly why she's not having it at the White House," said Jo Staton, who sells wares at The Red Bull souvenir shop and gallery.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24554488>1=43001/


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#2 lucy106

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    Posted 11 May 2008 - 08:29 AM

    That sounds perfect! Her ring sounds amazing, how awesome to have his great grandmother's ring and it sounds gorgeous. I dont blame her at all for not doing a White House wedding, good for her!

    #3 BarefootBride

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      Posted 11 May 2008 - 08:51 AM

      I want to see pictures!!!

      #4 NHPT

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        Posted 11 May 2008 - 08:52 AM

        sounds beautiful
        Destination Wedding Cabo San Lucas (3-29-07) Proud Momma to Avery (3-21-08) and Gracyn (10-12-10)

        #5 monicabrandon2008

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          Posted 11 May 2008 - 08:56 AM

          We live in Killeen and traveled to Belton on Friday evening to go camping. While on the hwy the President passed us with about 10 other security vehicles!!!! I was so excited! Of course I couldn't see him but it was still exciting. It stormed like crazy Friday evening. We were camping at Belton Lake and luckily it passed right by us. The radio was covering the storm and they talked on and on about how this storm may be ruining the rehearsal dinner. Sounds like it didn't!!

          #6 Sandra E.

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            Posted 11 May 2008 - 08:57 AM

            I love the fact she kept it out of the White House and made it her own style. I'm sure the wedding was gorgeous!

            #7 ACDCDCAC

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            Posted 11 May 2008 - 08:57 AM

            i'm gonna keep my political thoughts to myself on this one, BUT i do really like this girl. she was on ellen a while back, and she was so well spoken and sweet, i've liked her ever since :)

            i can't wait to see pics from her wedding, hopefully!

            #8 jillhiggins

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              Posted 11 May 2008 - 09:47 AM

              Originally Posted by BarefootBride
              I want to see pictures!!!
              I'm working on them - I'm working on them. Give a girl some time!

              #9 JennyK

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                Posted 11 May 2008 - 10:03 AM

                I believe pics will be released today

                #10 ErinB


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                  Posted 11 May 2008 - 11:11 AM

                  I'd love to see pictures. I'm glad she was able to have the wedding she wanted and that reflected her personal style.

                  I cannot imagine putting up with 28 attendants in the "house party" ! WTF! I'm having enough trouble with my 2 bridesmaids!

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