Jenna Bush’s lush, private wedding lifts dad’s spirits(Lead)By Pat Reber

May 11th, 2008 - 2:42 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, May 11 (DPA) Presidential daughter Jenna Bush donned an Oscar de la Renta dress of embroidered and beaded organza and married her long-time boyfriend Henry Hager under the Texas stars. It was a private but lush affair Saturday night , with 200 family members and close friends.

It was also a rare moment of levity and joy for US President George W. Bush, who is bogged down in an unpopular war in Iraq, some of the lowest ratings ever for a president and a mushrooming subprime mortgage crisis that has dragged the country to the brink of recession.

What greater relief, then, to escape Washington for the weekend to the ranch in Crawford, Texas, where the wildflowers bloom in all shades of blue and purple at this time of year.

“Today is my daughter Jenna’s wedding day. This is a joyous occasion for our family, as we celebrate the happy life of her and her husband Henry,” Bush said in his weekly radio address early Saturday morning.

Jenna, 26, is the blonde twin most often linked to daddy Bush’s mischievous side.

While both she and dark-haired Barbara, who was her maid of honour, had run-ins with the law for under-age drinking, Jenna has stuck her tongue out at the press and paid the heftier fines.

While Barbara was the fifth generation Bush to attend prestigious Yale University, Jenna went to the nearby University of Texas at Austin.

With such deep roots in Texas, Jenna’s decision to get married at the ranch instead of at the White House, where the world would have watched, was logical, said mother Laura Bush last week.

“She just wanted to get married at home. She just feels a lot more comfortable there,” the first lady told reporters.

But being at home does not necessarily mean simple. To begin with, bride Jenna wore “one-of-a-kind Anthony Nak earrings” with “minted iced quartz teardrops” and diamonds set in 18-carat white gold and platinum, the White House said Saturday.

Barbara, as maid of honour, wore a “special moonstone blue silk shimmer soft long gown with a fluttered open back”, according to New York designer Lela Rose, a Texas native, quoted by the wedding blog on the Dallas News website.

The 14 wedding attendants donned varying shades of Texas wildflower colours fashioned by Lela Rose into “silk crinkle chiffon cocktail length dresses” adorned with handmade chiffon rosettes.

Only a few details about the affair escaped before Saturday. Daddy Bush let loose that it was his idea to build an outdoor altar for the religious vows.

“That’s where she’s going to get married, right in front of this Texas limestone altar with a cross on it - by our lake,” the president told ABC news recently.

The secrecy extended to the groom’s family, who booked the traditional rehearsal dinner Friday under an alias to protect the affair.

Even the owners of the Range restaurant, Dave and Katie Hermann, an hour’s drive from the Bush ranch, weren’t told the real identity of the rehearsal dinner party until 10.30 p.m. Thursday, the Dallas News reported.

Jenna is the first presidential child to take vows with dad in office since 1992. That’s when president Bush’s sister, Dorothy, married during the White House tenure of their father, George Bush.

Twenty-one other presidential children have married while their fathers were president, but the majority have chosen private affairs like Jennas’ and Dorothy’s.

Would the president be out early Sunday for his usual bike ride?

“Since he probably won’t be staying up to dance the last dance, it’ll probably be early,” Laura said last week, laughing.

Jenna and Henry, who turned 30 Friday, met in 2004, when he was working in the White House for Bush’s former political strategist, Karl Rove, USA Today reported.

The couple are to live in Maryland’s port city of Baltimore, where they have bought a 128-year-old row house for $440,000. He is to work at an energy company while Jenna is an intern for Unicef in Latin America. She has written several books, including a children’s book that she wrote with her mother.

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