An extremely hearty congratulations to Bill Boyce
- From: halheetlor@xxxxxxxxx
- Date: Sat, 10 May 2008 19:07:16 -0700 (PDT)
Congratulations on the wedding of your niece.
Jenna Bush's wedding is low-key affair at ranch
By DEB RIECHMANN, Associated Press Writer 7 minutes ago
CRAWFORD, Texas - Jenna Bush couldn't see herself getting married at
the White House surrounded by antique furniture and oil portraits of
presidents. She and Henry Hager said "I do" Saturday at President
Bush's ranch in Crawford where the corn is thigh-high, roads are named
Cattle Drive and the Texas flag is painted on the rooftops of barns.
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 promised the couple a "get down"
party, talked to The Associated Press earlier in the week on condition
that the information not be released before the wedding.
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 reflected 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 made 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
Jenna, 26, 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'
"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."
The media was not invited, but Jenna's wedding will be closely
scrutinized — down to the matte beading and embroidery on her white
Oscar de la Renta gown.
"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
Jenna's twin sister, Barbara, was maid of honor and 14 other women
were in her "house party." Barbara Bush wore a long, moonstone blue
dress with a low-cut back. The women in the "house party" were clad in
seven different styles of knee-length dresses in seven different
colors that match the palette 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
stood at a cross, made of beige colored Texas limestone, that was
erected near the ranch's man-made lake. The cross and altar, made of
the same stone used to construct the Bush's ranch house, will be a
landmark at the ranch for years to come. The Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell of
Windsor Village United Methodist Church in Houston officiated.
Festivities began Friday with a bridal lunch, rehearsal dinner and
post-rehearsal dinner celebration in Salado, a tiny tourist village,
which used to be a stagecoach stop. Jenna, her sister and the first
lady were in Salado, more than an hour's drive south of Crawford, all
day Friday 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.
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.
After the wedding, 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 was a big doing 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. The sign at the Coffee Station in Crawford, where Jenna
orders fried jalapenos, says "Congrats Jenna and Henry." The Peace
House, home away from home for anti-war protesters when they're in
Crawford, set up a red sign that says "Peace to the Newlyweds."
The Peace House group decided against protesting on the wedding day,
but about a dozen members of an anti-gay group out of Topeka, Kan.,
demonstrated on a road leading to the ranch.
Dick and Kathy Karmy drove 70 miles from their home in Cleburne,
Texas, to visit Crawford on wedding day. "I have a girlfriend in
Washington state and she said `You've got to go and get me a mug,'"
Kathy Karmy said.
Mary Wood of San Antonio, about a three-hour-minute drive from
Crawford, stopped at a table the Crawford Chamber of Commerce and Waco
Convention and Visitors Bureau set up outside a bank to welcome
visitors to town. Since so many people wanted to know how to drive to
Bush's Prairie Chapel Ranch, they offered a homemade map, even though
the ranch property is barricaded far from the entrance.
"I almost came during the week, but then I said it would mean more to
be here on the wedding day," said Wood, who had a camera hanging from
her neck so she could take a photo of the "Prairie Chapel Road" sign.
"It's just a big kick to say I was here."
Associated Press Writer Joe Edwards contributed to this report from
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