Though no longer in the West Wing, former President Barack Obama still considers members of his administration as family, most recently officiating the nuptials of two of his White House staffers.
The couple, former special assistant to the president Dana Remus and previous senior director for intelligence programs Brett Holmgren, married over the weekend in Washington, D.C. The politically-studded guest list of 120 included former National Security Advisor Susan Rice and former White House Counsel Bob Bauer, as well as the 44th Commander in Chief, who took to the podium to wed the pair.
“We had decided to invite him because he was such an important part of our lives,” the groom told the Washingtonian of Obama. “We asked him if he could attend the wedding. We also asked him if he could officiate, and he was intrigued with the idea.”
The scheduling ultimately worked out for all parties, and the wedding took place on January 21 at the District Winery in D.C. According to the magazine, Obama secured a temporary officiant’s license by D.C., and he signed the couple’s marriage certificate. (Talk about a family heirloom!)
WHEN OBAMA IS THE OFFICIANT!!! I had the HONOR of working with an AMAZING family the last few months planning the details of their wedding officiated by close friend and boss President Barack Obama. GAAAHH!!!!! My favorite moments with POTUS 1) rehearsing before the ceremony, 2) pinning the boutinnierre on POTUS 3) the singing of the marriage certificate (insert really funny moment on 4th Street hahaha!!!) Below is the article from today’s post on POLITICO.COM “WEEKEND WEDDING – OBAMA ALUMNI: Brett Holmgren, former special assistant to President Obama and senior director for intelligence programs, on Sunday afternoon married Dana Remus, former White House senior counsel. Holmgren is now VP for cybersecurity oversight at Capital One and Remus is general counsel for the Obama Foundation and Obama’s personal office. Pool report: “President Obama officiated and Rev. Oran Warmer of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Alexandria was the celebrant. Friends and family danced the evening away at District Winery in Navy Yards.” SPOTTED: Susan Rice, Ian Cameron, James Clapper, Anita Dunn and Bob Bauer, Lisa Monaco, Denis McDonough, Karin Hillstrom, Anita Decker Breckenridge, Russ Breckenridge, Eric Schultz, Emily Blakemore, Sean Crotty, Stuart Murphy, Nick McQuaid, Joe Paulsen, Samantha Tubman, Michael Bosworth, David Guggenheim, Jeff Zients, Mary Menell and Yohannes Abraham.” THANK YOU to this freaking amazing team of partners! 💖💖💖💖 VENUE: @districtwinery GLAM SQUAD: @jkwbeauty PHOTOS: @danielletreal FLOWERS: @lovebloomsdc BAND: @dcfusionband STATIONERY: @bellajenna CAKE: @booshey_bites AV @brucepikeproductions PLANNER @pinkboxe with my be-muse @12in12design … and makeup for yours truly @shaunehayesmakeup 💛2018 is off to an amazing start!!!!💛
The couple also alleviated the pressure by enlisting St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Reverend Oran Warder to serve as celebrant, and made sure guests did not know of Obama’s role leading the nuptials—until they saw the ceremony program.
“He complimented them both on their work, on the type of people they were, threw in a tiny bit of humor. He spoke about how their work has been a service to the people and how the two of them complement each other. Very very sincere remarks,” the groom’s mother, Mary Holmgren, told the mag. “It came from his heart.”
The Washingtonian also noted that former FLOTUS Michelle Obama was invited to attend, but she couldn’t join the party. The president, however, made a sweet gesture last week to mark his wife’s 54th birthday, sending along a beautiful bouquet and love letter to the birthday girl.
“You’re not only my wife and the mother of my children, you’re my best friend,” he expressed on Instagram on January 17. “I love your strength, your grace, and your determination. And I love you more each day. Happy Birthday, @MichelleObama.”