A de la Renta Gown for Jenna's Texas Wedding

By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Jenna Bush will wear a "simple and elegant" wedding gown designed by Oscar de la Renta at her May 10 wedding: organza with embroidery, matte beading and a small train -- and yet "still casual." But don't expect any pictures beforehand: Fiance and "major traditionalist" Henry Hager doesn't want to see the dress until she walks down the aisle.

In an interview in the upcoming issue of Vogue we obtained, Jenna reveals that 200 friends and family will attend the informal ceremony at the family's Crawford ranch. The festivities kick off outside at 7:30 p.m. (to beat the heat), followed by dinner and dancing underneath a tent. "I was raised in Texas and it just felt right," she said. "It means a lot to Henry and me to be outdoors. We wanted something organic and low key." She said she considered a White House wedding but decided against it: "That's not really my personality. There's a glamour to it, I know, but Henry and I are far less glamorous than the White House."

Twin Barbara is the maid of honor and technically the only bridesmaid, although 14 attendants (what Texans call a wedding "house party") will stand up for Jenna wearing short chiffon green, blue, yellow and lavender dresses by Lela Rose.

The choice of de la Renta is not entirely unexpected: The New York designer is a favorite of Laura Bush (he created her 2005 inaugural gown, the infamous red outfit worn by three other women at the 2006 Kennedy Center Honors, and the dress for Queen Elizabeth's visit last year), and Jenna and mom dropped by his showroom in February.

Singing Through a Bloody Mishap

An onstage mishap turned a musical into a bloodfest that sent a congressman's daughter to the hospital -- but Ariana Hodes never stopped singing!

The daughter of Rep. Paul Hodes (D-N.H.) was the star of American University's production of "Do I Hear a Waltz?" In the final act of Friday's performance, the junior theater major slipped in liquid that had spilled on the stage -- and gashed her leg on scenery as she fell. "The audience didn't know if it was supposed to be real, because the character was drunk at that point," said professor and director Carl Menninger. But then, "the blood started gushing. . . . God bless her, she just kept on going."

Hodes -- whom her director called "very mature, very poised" -- comes by her showbiz instincts naturally: Dad and mom shared a pre-politics career in a children's folk-music duo, Peggosus. The director also praised co-stars who improvised while Hodes was getting bandaged backstage, delaying her re-entrance. After curtain call, she went to the hospital for stitches.

"The stage was covered in blood," Menninger said. "You would have thought we were doing 'Macbeth.' "

Crowe's Casual 'G'day' for Australia's PM

After gracing our city for a month while filming "State of Play," Russell Crowe has sadly left us. While we dutifully reported most of his downtime activities here -- schmoozing maitre d's, joining favorite bands onstage, stubbornly refusing to punch anyone-- we missed a key one: his private meeting with Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd during the PM's recent visit to Washington. The Age newspaper reported the two discussed the Aussie film industry and football. But we can now divulge what the Oscar winner wore to the afternoon meeting at the ritzy Willard InterContinental Hotel with his country's new leader: a tracksuit, a messy ponytail and a scruffy beard.


ยท Donald Rumsfeld is writing a memoir for Penguin Group about his career, including his six controversial years at the Pentagon. Rumsfeld, 75, will receive no advance for the untitled book and will donate his proceeds to a not-for-profit foundation he recently established. The deal was brokered by (who else?) Washington lawyer Bob Barnett.

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