When Barbara Bush and her husband Craig Coyne first met last year, it seemed questionable as to whether or not there would even be a second date. According to Bush, 36, who wed Coyne, also 36, on Sunday, Oct. 7, their first date was awkward on a number of levels.
All the more reason for her good friend, author Emily Giffin, to excitedly post a throwback photo of that fateful first meeting. “Congratulations to @barbaritabush and Craig!!!!” Giffin captioned the photo one day after the couple’s wedding. In it, she, Bush, Coyne and Bush’s sister Jenna smile gamely for the camera. “So giddy that I have a photo from the night they met!!! I told them they needed to get a quick snapshot ‘just in case you end up getting married.’ And they DID!!! Ahhh!!! Here’s to forever!!!!”
According to Bush, the blind date was off to a rocky start because, first and foremost, she actually didn’t know what Coyne looked like. At the time, Coyne lived in Los Angeles, but happened to be in town in Atlanta when Bush and her sister Jenna were promoting their book, Sisters First. Bush invited Coyne to the hotel where she was staying for drinks—not realizing that her sister and friends would join.
Bush told People that she actually approached two different men in the lobby thinking they might be Coyne before meeting the actual man who would go on to become the love of her life.
“Luckily, a really handsome guy walked in, and I thought, ‘Please, maybe this one will be him.’ And it was him. And so that was our first date, and he rolled with it.”
The pair grabbed drinks as planned, but the experience was more of a “group first date” than an intimate time for getting to know one another. “They tried to give us our space but we were all seated at the same table,” Bush said of her sister and friends.
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That same night, Jenna invited Coyne to their book event, and the evening only got more awkward, with Giffin, who was moderating the event, telling the gathered attendees that Barbara was on a blind date.
“I thought it was hilarious,” Bush said of the situation, though she did note that she was pretty sure she and Coyne would never see each other again after the first date.
“I said to Jenna in the car, I was like, ‘I’m never going to hear from him again, but regardless, that’s a fun story to tell.’”
Bush and Coyne got married earlier this month at her family’s compound in Kennebunkport, Maine, before 20 of their closest family members, including her father, former president George W. Bush, and her grandfather, former president George Bush.
“Barbara is named for a unique and strong woman—and rightly so, because she is unique and strong,” her proud father captioned a touching image of himself walking Bush down the aisle. “@laurawbush and I are so proud of our compassionate, daring, fierce, kind, intelligent, loving daughter. And we’re thrilled to welcome Craig Coyne to our family.”