While it can be assumed that some wedding guests will arrive at the reception with an unexpected plus one, it’s not everyday when a bride and groom’s wedding crasher is the President of the United States.
Stephanie and Brian Tobe had an unexpected surprise when President Obama strolled over to their festivities to greet the couple.
The bride and groom had been together for eight years before tying the knot at the Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego, California on Sunday, October 11. And though they knew Obama was playing golf in the area, they never expected the POTUS, secret service and all, would say hello before their ceremony.
When the couple became aware that Obama was, in fact, playing golf right outside their window, the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity could not be passed up.
“Between Stephanie getting her makeup done, she kept peeking out the window looking,” wedding photographer Jeff Youngren told ABC News. Youngren said that just before the ceremony, they learned that Obama was playing the last hole of the course.
The second photographer, Youngren’s wife Erin, stood down on the lawn while Youngren remained inside with the bride – the two communicating through ear pieces. When Erin saw the president approaching the lawn area where the ceremony was going to be held, she told Youngren to get Stephanie outside, fast.
“Erin, she was down talking on the lawn and our photographer, Jeff, was up with us in the suite.” Stephanie recalled, “And they’re talking to each other, and saying things, like ‘Oh. this might be the one chance; you’ve got to go now.’”
“Stephanie was like, ‘We’re going to go do this,’” Youngren said, and “She bolted out the door.”
“Once I heard that that there might be an opportunity to even just say hi, shake his hand or even try to take a picture, we darted,” Stephanie said. “We ran to the closest elevator, got downstairs and I picked up my huge dress and I just started running across the lawn to get over to the president.”
So THIS happened at yesterday’s wedding… 😆 The President (OMGOMGOMGOMG) was in San Diego this weekend at the venue where we were photographing a gorgeous wedding, and we CAUGHT.IT.ALL. I’m writing the full story on the blog right now, but wanted to get this posted ASAP. Stay tuned!!!!! #POTUS #kindafreakinoutrightnow #eeeeeeee! -E #theyoungrens @lodgetorreypines @mintweddings
The couple explained to a San Diego ABC News affiliate, KGTV, that the crowd went wild when they saw Stephanie running in her wedding gown. “Everyone was cheering for us as Stephanie was running,” Brian told KGTV. “It was such a pump up.” Stephanie added. “We literally ran down an aisle of friends to the president,” Brian said. Brian later told ABC News, “Right when we saw him, Stephanie got to him first. And he said congrats to Stephanie right away. And at that moment he pointed out that my foot was actually on the train or the trail of her wedding dress on the ground and he said, I don’t remember his exact words, but he’s so relaxed, and he says nope, nope you know … you can’t step on the wedding dress.” “I think it was our first marriage advice,” Brian said.
So THIS happened at yesterday’s wedding… 😆 The President (OMGOMGOMGOMG) was in San Diego this weekend at the venue where we were photographing a gorgeous wedding, and we CAUGHT.IT.ALL. I’m writing the full story on the blog right now, but wanted to get this posted ASAP. Stay tuned!!!!! #POTUS #kindafreakinoutrightnow #eeeeeeee! -E #theyoungrens @lodgetorreypines @mintweddings A photo posted by The Youngrens (@theyoungrens) on
The president took the time to chat, shake hands, and take pictures with the soon-to-be newlyweds and their guests before departing. Youngren told ABC News he was in “photographer mode” and was unable to shake the president’s hand, but cited the event as a “wonderful experience.”
“I’m actually a doctor at the V.A., and he actually talked to us long enough for me to tell him that,” Brian said. “That was actually a proud moment when he shook my hand again… after I told him that.”
“I still can’t believe it happened.” Brian added, “It was not what we expected when we woke up that morning.”
After a whirlwind wedding with the most unlikely of wedding crashers, the newlyweds plan on honeymooning in Obama’s home state of Hawaii.