Maybe, just maybe, the Secret Service agents gave it away?
Dana Remus and Brett Holmgren sprang a surprise on their wedding guests Sunday in Washington, D.C. Only close family members knew that someone who was an “important part” of the couple’s life — and an important person, to boot — was the officiant.
It was former President Barack Obama.
“Former President Barack Obama Just Officiated a Wedding That’s Officially Cooler Than Yours,” proclaimed a headline in Brides magazine.
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“We’ve heard of celebrities officiating weddings before ... but this presidential officiant certainly takes the (wedding) cake,” gushed the bridal mag.
The bride and groom know Obama well. Remus is general counsel for the Obama Foundation and Obama’s personal office. Holmgren worked with him at the White House as his special assistant and as senior director for intelligence programs on the National Security Council staff, according to The Washingtonian.
The two married in front of about 120 people at a D.C. winery.
“We had decided to invite him because he was such an important part of our lives, we asked him if he could attend the wedding,” Holmgren told the Washingtonian. “We also asked him if he could officiate, and he was intrigued with the idea.”
Obama served as a groomsman for two other Washington staffers last year.
For this wedding he secured a temporary officiant’s license from the District of Columbia and also put his signature/autograph on the marriage certificate. The Rev. Oran Warder of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Alexandria, Va., was the celebrant.
The couple swore close family members to secrecy about Obama’s participation.
Guests were flabbergasted, according to the mother of the groom.
“He complimented them both on their work, on the type of people they were, threw in a tiny bit of humor,” Mary Holmgren told the Washingtonian.
“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, it came from his heart.”
Former first lady Michelle Obama was unable to attend. Obama stayed long enough to pose for a few family photos, but then left before the dinner and dance because he did not want to detract from the newlyweds on their big day, said the groom’s mom.
“It’s no surprise the president signed on for this favor. He’s probably a sucker for love given the epic marriage he has with former First Lady Michelle Obama. The two have been married for 25 years,” wrote Brides.
People invite the Obamas to their weddings quite frequently. CNN noted last year how Obama — his office, anyway — still responds to those invitations even though he’s no longer in the Oval Office.
One woman invited the Obamas to her daughter’s wedding last year, and the daughter received a note from the former president and first lady on fine stationery.
“Congratulations on your wedding,” it read. “We hope that your marriage is blessed with love, laughter, and happiness and that your bond grows stronger with each passing year.
“This occasion marks the beginning of a lifelong partnership, and as you embark on this journey, know you have our very best for the many joys and adventures that lie ahead.”