When Naomi Biden, President Joe Biden’s granddaughter, and Peter Neal tied the knot at the White House on November 19, 2022, their nuptials was just as lavish as a royal wedding. From the bride’s regal Ralph Lauren wedding dress to the timeless floral décor, every element of the celebration was carefully considered and chosen. After exchanging vows on the South Lawn, the couple celebrated at a luncheon reception in the State Dining Room, and one key detail from the soirée was reminiscent of royal weddings: The newlyweds served slices of their cake as wedding favors. On April 12, 2023, Naomi and Neal’s wedding planner, Bryan Rafanelli of Rafenlli Events, and their stationery designer, Christine Traulich of RedBliss Design, revealed another look at the couple’s post-ceremony party, including the favors.
According to the images, which were shot by photographer Corbin Gurkin, the newlyweds distributed slices of cake in white keepsake cake boxes, which were sealed with a sticker that featured the couple’s names, wedding date, and joint initials. “Only the prettiest details for Naomi and Peter's wedding at the White House!” the caption says. “Each piece continues the design thread that started with the wedding invitation.” The curved corners on the seal mirror those on the couple’s invitations, which Traulich noted was representative of the fan windows seen throughout the White House. Later in the post, the vendors explain that each guest received a cake box at the end of the luncheon, which is a longstanding tradition at White House weddings.
The newlyweds are in good company their choice of favor. The royals also traditionally pass out pieces of their wedding cakes as post-nuptial gifts, too. When Princess Diana and King Charles wed on July 29, 1981, they served a whopping 27 wedding cakes at their reception, but their main dessert was a five-tiered fruitcake. The royal bride and groom gifted some of that sweet treat to their guests following the celebration. Nigel Ricketts, a former employee at Windsor Castle who attended the wedding, decided to preserve a piece of the very important wedding cake after the reception. Since Ricketts died earlier in 2022, in October, Dore & Rees in the United Kingdom auctioned off the dessert and the original presentation box that featured Charles and Diana’s initials and wedding date. The bidding started at $339, but another similar slice of their cake sold for $2,000 in 2021, according to USA Today.
At Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding on April 29, 2011, the newlyweds also shared a piece of their fruitcake with some of their guests. After their reception at Buckingham Palace, special friends and family members left with a slice of their eight-tiered fruitcake decorated with sugar flowers and intricate piping inspired by the garlands on the walls of Buckingham Palace’s picture gallery, according to Britain Magazine. In November of 2022, News24 announced that a piece of the cake is being auctioned off between $454.64 to $684.29. The cream and gilt tin engraved with the couple’s wedding date is also going up for auction.
The Instagram post also features additional details from Biden and Neal’s wedding reception. The first photo shows the couple’s programs, which were engraved with the duo’s joint initials and tied with a silk ribbon. The post also captures the place settings, which included gold-rimmed floral plates with linen napkins embroidered with a floral illustration. Another image unveils the pair’s table numbers, which were die-cut and hand-calligraphed, according to the caption. “It was an honor and a joy @naomibiden and @peterneal! ❤️,” the caption concludes. “And loved making history with you @bryanrafanelli! xo”