Monday, May 12, 1 p.m. ET

Texas Sidestep: The Jenna and Henry Wedding

Jenna Bush, daughter of President George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush, exchanges wedding vows with Henry Hager in an outdoor ceremony at the Bush family's Prairie Chapel Ranch near Crawford, Texas, Saturday, May 10, 2008. Rev. Kirbyjohn Caldwell, center, performs the ceremony. Jenna's twin sister Barbara, maid of honor, watches at left. (AP Photo/The White House/Shealah Craighead)
Jenna Bush, daughter of President George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush, exchanges wedding vows with Henry Hager in an outdoor ceremony at the Bush family's Prairie Chapel Ranch near Crawford, Texas, Saturday, May 10, 2008. Rev. Kirbyjohn Caldwell, center, performs the ceremony. Jenna's twin sister Barbara, maid of honor, watches at left. (AP Photo/The White House/Shealah Craighead) (Shealah Craighead - AP)

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Amy Argetsinger and Monica Hesse
Washington Post Staff Writers
Monday, May 12, 2008; 1:00 PM

President Bush gave away his daughter Jenna in marriage Saturday night, in a private sunset ceremony under hazy skies on his 1,600-acre ranch.

Jenna, 26, exchanged vows with Richmond native Henry Hager, 30, before about 200 family members and close friends. Afterward, according to the Bush family's super-guarded plans, they were to gather for dinner and dancing under a tent at the ranch

Photo Gallery: Jenna Bush Weds Henry Hager

Washington Post staff writers Amy Argetsinger and Monica Hesse will be online Monday, May 12, at 1 p.m. ET to discuss all the known details of what went on in Crawford, Tex.

Submit your questions and comments before or during today's discussion.

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Amy Argetsinger: This online discussion goes out to everyone who is in love... or who ever has been in love.... or who just really loves weddings and CANNOT GET ENOUGH of the Jenna and Henry nuptials. Thanks to all you crazy kids for not only making the world go round but also for making our little story today the most viewed on washingtonpost.com.

(Or if you just want to vent about how you're so tired of the wedding coverage, that's cool too.)

Looking forward to your questions and comments.

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Washington, D.C.: Can you please set the record straight as to what a "house party" is? The press keeps reporting that a house party is what bridesmaids are called in Texas -- NOT TRUE. A house party is IN ADDITION to bridesmaids -- they are the second string bridesmaids; the ones who didn't make the first cut. It's unusual to have one bridesmaid and a house party of 14.

Monica Hesse: Second string. Got it. If the bridesmaids all come down with torn ligaments, the house party can step in. (Does that sports metaphor work? Kind of?)

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Rockville, Md.: I'm no fan of this administration, but Jenna Bush certainly has my respect for how she has conducted herself in recent years. Congratulations to her, and kudos for keeping her wedding simple and tasteful, especially given what she could have afforded and/or been pressured into having. With all too many bridezillas going into debt with over-the-top "special days," I hope her example ushers in an era of scaled-down, elegant weddings.

Amy Argetsinger: Aesthetically, this was definitely simple and tasteful, and I expect it could possibly end up being very influential in bridal fashion. But we actually have no idea how much this cost. It may well have been quite expensive.

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Washington, D.C.: I think the Bushies have made a gross miscalculation in not having a WH wedding, as the Nixon wedding really helped humanize him and really, Tricia's wedding was the only time I ever saw Pat Nixon smile, or him dance, so I think W missed that opportunity or maybe Jenna missed it for both of them. He can't get back to Texas fast enough for me, what's next? Locusts?

Amy Argetsinger: Interesting theory. What does anyone else think?

Some observers have argued that the Bushes were wise to have a wedding far from Washington -- that with his low approval ratings, the public would have been less than thrilled with a splashy White House affair. And do we think that the photos and various little details that have come out of this wedding have helepd on the humanizing front?

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Falls Church, Va.: Okay, I don't mean to be horrible, but the "pew bows" at the ceremony were pretty bad. And why is Barbara wearing a floral wreath like a 5-year-old flower girl would traditionally wear? Also, half low and half high centerpieces? Were they on a strict budget? I know, I am catty, but weddings are what I do. I will say that the first course looked delish and I am impressed with the chef's willingness to work with avocados like that -- since they quickly brown once cut.

Monica Hesse: Oh, be horrible. Isn't that what celebrity weddings are for? Barbara's floral halo seems to be a point of debate. Other thoughts, anyone?

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Washington, D.C. -- More Details Please!: You'll hate this, but can you please, please try to conjure up an answer:

Between Secret Service costs; the costs of secure transportation for the entire presidential extended family; administrative support provided for the event's guests under "security" requirements, and the costs of the White House press machine's involvement, how much of this was really paid for by the public?

Thanks.

Amy Argetsinger: These are good questions, and I do not have a good grasp of how all these expenses break down between personal and taxpayer dollars nor how that's determined... I will note that a lot of these crazy logistics you see with the wedding are probably not dissimilar to those required for the president's other movements around town or around the world. This may just be a drop in the bucket.

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Washington, D.C.: From the pics I have seen, it actually seems kind of nice. I like Jenna's dress but her sister's dress looks like a mall prom dress and the mother of the bride dress is too bright. Also, in one photo Barbara, the bridesmaid is wearing a halo of flowers in her head. How bizarre is that on a grown woman. Why the Renaissanse festival look or is Jenna just another bride making sure she looks waaaaay better than the maid of honor?

Monica Hesse: Another floral-halo hater. But ain't nothing wrong with a Ren Fest look.

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Washington, D.C.: Yes, the floral headpiece thing Barbara wore looks horrendous -- was she also the flower girl? Jenna's dress? I want to get married again just so I can wear a knock-off. Beautiful!

Monica Hesse: I see a parade of knock offs hitting bridal stores next season. It reminded me the teensiest bit of Tricia Nixon's wedding dress, unless I'm hallucinating. Anyone else remember?

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Potomac, Md.: Ladies, I was wondering -- is Jenna's twin Barbara dating anyone seriously? Will there be another First Daughter wedding in the Bush years?

Amy Argetsinger: There's an on-again off-again boyfriend from college, though I have no idea if they're on-again these days -- Mysteriously, Barbara somehow manages to keep her personal life relatively under the radar in Manhattan despite hanging out with the beautiful people in the most competitive gossip climate in the world. I don't foresee a wedding before her father leaves office in January -- but hey, maybe she'll surprise us.

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Silver Spring, Md.: Amy and Monica, I didn't know Jenna Bush was her father's possession to "give away" to Henry Hager. Tnanks for highlighting the outdated view of women.

Amy Argetsinger: Walking the bride down the aisle and handing her off to the groom? It's still a pretty common practice at a lot of weddings, and "give away" is the idiom that goes along with that.

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ewwwwwww!: that dress is GAUDY!

Just goes to show you that money cannot buy you taste.

Monica Hesse: Really? Fluff-free, sequin-free, no veil attacking her head like a parastitic lace monster...I thought it was pretty understated.

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Attendants dresses: I would really like to see a picture of the 14 or so women who had a choice of colors and lengths of their gowns. Do you think that will come through eventually?

I detest her dad, but I wish Jenna much happiness. She is completely innocent of her father's transgressions.

Amy Argetsinger: I know. Dying to see photos of the attendant dresses -- we've only seen the drawings from the designer. Maybe that will come out eventually; for now it seems that the photos released of the wedding were strategically chosen to not give us any hint at the guest list.

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The Floral Halo: I think Barbara must have made Jenna mad. Jenna seriously owes her, and I hope Barbara makes Jenna wear a hideous, shellacked updo when Barbara gets married.

Monica Hesse: (I will add that the floral halo of doom appeared to have disappeared by the time other photos were taken.)

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Downtown: Barbara's maid-of-honor dress was kinda ugly. The sketches looked much more flattering. I guess Jenna was taking the right of every bride to make sure the bridal party did not outshine her (Jenna did look lovely).

Amy Argetsinger: There seems to be a fair amount of disappointment with Barbara's dress -- any defenders? Maybe it was more impressive in person. I'd argue she needed a bit more color.

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TkPk, Md.: Jenna looked really beautiful. Barbara looked like her head was on backwards. Maybe it was just that picture, maybe it was the dress.

Monica Hesse: I think she was doing the model pose thing where you keep your arm away from your body to make it look slimmer and you turn your hips three quarters and, oh there's a whole set of guidelines somewhere. Pretty sure it doesn't involve putting your head on backwards.

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Baltimore, Md.: Wow, I never thought Jenna looked that pretty until I saw her wedding pictures. Nice.

Anyway. Jenna and Henry are moving three blocks from me. I was surprised because the rowhouse they bought is on a very public, busy street. It's totally where I'd expect them to live if she 'weren't' the First Daughter -- Federal Hill is full to bursting with 20-something former party girls settling down -- but I assumed her need for privacy and security would send her someplace more woodsy or at least quiet.

What if anything should I expect in the neighborhood?

Sushi sightings? Secret Service patdowns? Does Jenna

plan to get a job here?

Amy Argetsinger: We don't know what Jenna's plans are for Baltimore -- whether she'll go back to teaching or continue on the author/advocate/public-speaking circuit that she's been on the past year.

I'm under the impression that the Secret Service guys manage to blend into the scenery pretty well -- when Jenna was living in D.C., in the Burleith neighborhood, the security was not particularly conspicuous that I've heard of.

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Washington, D.C.: I really liked what I saw from the pictures. Love that she didn't wear a veil, and that the men wore suits instead of tuxes. Simple understated elegance.

Monica Hesse: Hair was understated, too. Nice, humidity-beating 'do.

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Richmond, Va.: How did the president keep it from raining?

Amy Argetsinger: I'm wondering if he used secret NASA cloud-seeding technology to make the rain happen the night before so that it wouldn't rain on Saturday night. It was one hell of a storm on Friday. I was driving around watching the big sky darken and listening to radio reports of "hail the size of hen's eggs in Topsey and Lampasas." Riveting.

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Washington, D.C.: To the person who thought this wedding was low-key and possibly not that pricey. Think again, I promise you this wedding was close to $100,000 at least and that's not including security, etc. I have been to enough weddings to know that the tent and lighting alone and table/chair rentals cost at least $20,000 and the cake was probably another $2,000....and it just keeps adding up. (I have been a bridesmaid way too many times so I get first hand complaining from brides on costs)

Amy Argetsinger: Hey, thanks. Any other experts in bridal economics got any thoughts? Some people can tell just from eyeballing an event what it cost.

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Washington, D.C.: To Amy and Monica, are you both there in Texas? Does the WP reimburse you for your all food and lodgings?

Amy Argetsinger: I was in Texas for four days (Monica weighed in from D.C. with some invaluable phone reporting) and returned yesterday afternoon -- and yes, the Post takes care of food and lodgings, happily.

And, oh, have I mentioned? Yesterday, I was part of the press "pool" following Bush, which meant that I flew back on Air Force One. No big deal for regular White House reporters but absolutely epic for me. I'm sorry I didn't bring back enough AF1 matchbooks and M&Ms for all of you.

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Alexandria, Va.: Beautiful wedding, and personally I thought the pew bows looked fine. They looked light enough to sway with the breeze and substantial enough to stand up to the elements, and that's what you want in an outdoor wedding. Yes, her dress does look a teensy bit like Tricia Nixon's. Both young women had the taste to have simple, elegant, yet form-fitting gowns. She looked lovely.

I applaud her decision to have it away from the White House, and it was fairly small as these things go. Kudos to her and her handsome groom. I hope they have a very happy lifetime together.

Monica Hesse: A pro-pew bow reader. Anyone else on the decor?

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Purcellville, Va.: Okay, so not one person from Crawford was invited to the wedding, and the pPresident and Mrs. Bush plan to move to Dallas after he leaves office. Just how tenuous is their tie to the community?

Monica Hesse: Kathryn Campbell, who owns the property where the rehearsal dinner was held, said that the family invited the whole staff to join them for the pre-wedding barbecue. Said they were nothing but nice, FWIW.

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washingtonpost.com: Jenna Bush Marries at Texas Ranch (Post, May 11)

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Oviedo, Fla.: Mrs. Bush looked best of all the women in her family -- the wedding dress was so-so and the maid of honor looked mall prom dress-ish. The First Lady worked that aqua and looked appropriate and very nice. Better than the daughters.

Oscar -- you've always been my favorite. This blah gown broke my heart. What happened?

Monica Hesse: But maybe you don't want your wedding dress to be haute couture? Maybe you want something classic, something you won't regret in pictures in 20 years? This is what I'm guessing.

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Maryland: Hello. In one of your articles yesterday, you mentioned that last wedding at the White House was the Nixon. Who was the last one to get married outside of the White House?

washingtonpost.com: Jenna Bush Marries at Texas Ranch (Post, May 11)

Amy Argetsinger: The last child of a sitting president to get married was Doro Bush, Jenna's aunt and the daughter of George H.W. Bush, in 1992. It was her second marriage (she had two little kids from her first), and she and Bobby Koch had a small-ish private wedding at Camp David.

We just put up a link to Saturday's story, which talks a little bit about past weddings. Reagan's daughters both got married while he was in office, which no one seems to remember.

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Arlington, Va.: Did Barbara have a date? Jay Blount?

Amy Argetsinger: If anyone knows, I hope they'll tell us. reliablesource@washpost.com. Of course, you'll have to prove to us how you know this. These young women have a pretty tight-knit, blab-resistant group of friends.

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Falls Church, Va.: Is it me or does the cake top look lopsided?

Monica Hesse: I, too, was convinced that the next photo in that sequence was going to be Henry scraping cake out of Jenna's hair after it toppled on her. Looked kind of perilous.

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Philadelphia, Pa.: I'd like to take a moment to reflect on the size of the cross behind Jenna and Henry. Sweet mother of god I can't believe that thing didn't topple over and kill the officiant. Also, if the pure gaudiness of that wasn't enough, they had to flank it with giant, ornate planters?! My eyes are burning.

Monica Hesse: Toppled cake, toppled cross...apparently, many things could have fallen during this wedding.

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Foggy Bottom, Washington, D.C.: Jenna looks beautiful! Is it just me, or has she lost a lot of weight recently? Do you know if she hired a personal trainer or chef before the wedding?

Amy Argetsinger: I don't know anything about Jenna's recent exercise regime (though she was at one point a member of Sports Club/LA at the Ritz Carlton in Foggy Bottom). She didn't look noticeably thinner than when I saw her in person last fall or in any of her recent TV appearances. It's possible that a lot of the photos you'd seen of her previously made her look rounder than she actually is.

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Simple?: 14 bridesmaids, 200 guests, and the ability and means to erect an altar and monument on the grounds doesn't equate to simple, in my humble opinion. Maybe I'm out of touch?

Monica Hesse: Now now. Remember that the 14 attendants were not actually bridesmaids, but were members of a *house party.* Which completely changes things.

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Washington, D.C.: It may all look simple, but I imagine erecting a giant limestone cross in your backyard is not an inexpensive proposition.

Amy Argetsinger: No indeed, I'm sure. On the one hand, it's a permanent structure that will remain there on the ranch. On the other hand... do you think the pressure will now be on Barbara to get married there too and help amortize the cost?

Actually, we were all glad to finally see the photos of it. We in the press corps had had a hard time envisoning the giant limestone cross we kept hearing about.

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Clifton, Va.: Amy,

Saw you on MSNBC doing a remote in a tan outfit. Wow, my pulse is still racing. You looked very hot and sexy. Why didn't they select you to replace Tucker with your own show or Bill O'Reilly's main squeeze Keith Olbermann. Would much rather watch you than Keith. And you could have Roxanne on. So tells us about the rest of your outfit.

You put the bride and her attendants to shame!

Amy Argetsinger: Thanks so much. You really think I'm cuter than Keit Olbermann? [blushes]

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vs. Tricia: Both chose all-lace dresses, but Tricia's was the typical 80's A-line. Jenna's is definitley a current mermaid sheath shape. Not very similar when you look at the profile and shape rather than the fabric.

Monica Hesse: Ah, thanks.
She was fashion-forward then, no? Because I think the Nixon wedding was in 1971.

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Dunn Loring, Va.: Who chose the minister who tied the knot? He came out the same day and said he's supporting Obama and Jenna refused to endorse McCain when asked by Larry King two weeks ago. I see a conspiracy here.

Amy Argetsinger: Actually, Kirbyjon Caldwell endorsed Obama back in January -- but no one really noticed until this weekend. As a prominent African-American minister, his friendship with Bush (he gave the benedictions at both of his inaugurals) has probably been more controversial than his support of Obama. Anyway, he says the president doesn't have a problem with the endorsement.

But yes, clearly we need to press Jenna further on who she supports...

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Rockville, Md.: The pew bows were cheap looking. There are much better things you can do, with flowers, for not a ton of money than cheesy 80s pew bows.

Monica Hesse: As a person getting married later this year, this chat is making me very concerned about pew bows.

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Floris, Va.: Hate to be a spoilsport but do you think the Bush family knew that the song was popularized when it was played over a dying Al Pacino as he slowly bled to death in the movie, Carlito's Way? What a metaphor.

Amy Argetsinger: Wait -- which song? I'll confess to not remembering much about Carlito's Way, if indeed I ever saw it.

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Arlington, Va.: Why was Jenna's groom Henry wearing a regular tux? Aren't enlisted members of the United States Armed Forces supposed to wear their dress uniforms while getting married as a member of the military? Oh, wait...

Amy Argetsinger: Ha ha! Oh, you naughty cynic -- you didn't even look at the photos, did you? Then you'd see that Henry was wearing a suit...

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Falls Church, Va.: I loved her dress. I really hope that it catches on with other brides. Strapless dresses look good on very few, and big fluffy skirts do justice to even fewer.

Amy Argetsinger: Thanks for writing.

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Chevy Chase, Md.: I was surprised that the marriage ceremony was not held in a church, what with Bush being so religious... are there no churces in Crawford?

And that top tier of the cake -- looks like it was ready to tumble off -- or was that an illusion? It did look good, though.

They're moving to Federal Hill? I heard it was Canton. Will the Secret Service cordon off an area during the next Federal Hill Festival so the common folks don't get too close?

Monica Hesse: Perhaps there were no churches with big enough limestone crosses.

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Agreed: Jenna looked thinner than ever before.

Amy Argetsinger: Okay.

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The river: I've never liked the lace-all-over look, very cheap. Like shells from the Dress Barn. She could have really pushed that elegant sleek look with satin rather than that ornate busy lace and doo-dad fabric. Looks like what a pole dancer would wear for her "bridal" skit.

Monica Hesse: But tell us what you really think.

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U Street, Washington, D.C.: What do you think...great presidential daughter wedding or greatest presidential daughter wedding?

Amy Argetsinger: I don't know -- it's awfully hard to compete with Nellie Grant's wedding to Algernon Charles Sartoris, or the madness that was Eleanor Wilson's nuptials with William Gibbs McAdoo.

Oh, kidding. What do I know? Let's just call it "epic" and leave it at it that.

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Rockville, Md.: I always wondered what it would have been like to have been around when Marie Antoinette said, "Let them eat cake."

Thanks to your intrepid reporting, now I know.

Amy Argetsinger: Thanks for writing.

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Ohio: The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that Laura's dress was made from the East Room Drapes so maybe the Bushes were trying to keep the costs down!

Amy Argetsinger: Ha ha ha!

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Washington, D.C.: So, Henry graduates from UVA this weekend. Does that mean the European honeymoon -- it is Europe, right? -- will take place afterward or are the honeymooners taking the cheap-o, mini-vacation approach?

Amy Argetsinger: We are still puzzling over the honeymoon question. Unclear if they're there now or if they're doing this later. In addition to Henry's biz-school graduation this coming weekend (which of course he could always skip), Jenna has some book-signing events next week.

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Washington, D.C.: I've been a fan of the "blonde twin" since that photo of her sticking her tongue at the press -- she obviously was a sassy, fun-loving girl and to me, a vast improvement over the super-serious, teetotaling, vegetarian Chelsea (not that I'm judging). Since her earlier missteps in college, Jenna has obviously matured into a thoughtful, mature woman, and her job as a teacher and UNICEF worker shows that. Can you imagine what liberals would be saying if she had chosen to work at a hedge fund like you-know-who Clinton? I wish Jenna and her husband much joy in their wedding life. And to make this relevant, I absolutely adore her beautiful dress!

Monica Hesse: Thanks for sharing.

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New England: As a woman who got married in the last year, I have to laugh at questions and comments about how surprised they are W and his staff didn't insist on having the wedding at the White House for PR purposes. I'm glad it got to be Jenna's and Henry's day.

I'm no fan of the president, but it looked like a lovely affair (floral wreath in the hair notwithstanding).

Monica Hesse: Yes. As any father of any bride knows, your wishes really become irrelevent near the beginning of the planning process.

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Downtown: What did you two do while you waited for any information about the festivities? I mean, it sounds like Crawford is not awash with activities.

Monica Hesse: Alas, I was back here in D.C. working the phones remotely. I don't know all of Amy's schedule, but I DO know that she made time to pick up a couple of commemorative Jenna and Henry mugs...

Amy Argetsinger: For all the details you're dying to know about what it's really like to be in the White House press corps, please refer to Julie Mason's comprehensive Houston Chronicle blog, "Beltway Confidential" (link to follow). There you'll see that we shopped for Jenna and Henry souvenirs and ate a lot of frozen custard. Some people went to see "Iron Man" in Waco, but I got stuck on deadline and missed it.

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Washington, D.C.: Barbara's dress might have been bad, but Henry's mom's dress... Who told her that looked good? Ugh.

Monica Hesse: Poll: were there any dresses people unanimously liked?

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Washington, D.C.:

I was impressed with the reports that the protesters took the day off to give Jenna a break from that. With that said, a White House wedding while "kids" her age are giving their lives in Iraq (and for what?) would have been in very bad taste.

Good choices all around, which makes me think Dubya had nothing to do with any of it.

Amy Argetsinger: Thanks for writing.

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Washington, D.C.: So what does the feminists from NOW have to say? That weddings and marriages are so outdated?

Amy Argetsinger: I don't know -- anyone else think to call them?

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washingtonpost.com: Beltway Confidential

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Washington, D.C.: I was so pleased with the shot of the ceremony. They looked like two young people in love and happy to be there. They looked like they couldn't take their eyes off each other. Like my husband and I at our wedding last year.

All the rest is icing. That's the important shot. You can't stage it. They looked authentic and joyful. Good for them.

Monica Hesse: Awwww. Agreed. Smiles looked genuine and sweet.

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Richmond, Va.: That sure looked like CBS's Bob Schieffer in the background of the Jenna and Henry photo with the wedding cake? I could be wrong tho... Thanks!

washingtonpost.com: Photo Gallery, see #10

Amy Argetsinger: I don't think that's Bob Schieffer. But thanks for writing. And check out the photo gallery, if you haven't already. (Who am I kidding -- anyone whose in this online discussion is pretty well familiar with that photo gallery.)

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Washington, D.C.: Why no veil? I just don't think you look like a bride without one.

Monica Hesse: More brides are doing without these days...and in 90 degree humidity, the less you can have clawing at your head, the better.

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Washington, D.C.: I had a floral headpiece as a bride -- but it didn't look like Babs.' Mine was further back on my head. Hers made her look like some Greek goddess. And not in a good way. And that dress! What up with that? Really not flattering.

Amy Argetsinger: Thanks for writing. Do we have any votes of approval for Barbara's dress?

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Robles Junction, Ariz.: Tricia Nixon's dress was also far more covered up...I recall sleeves. And then there was that monster veil.

Amy Argetsinger: Dresses were bigger then, weren't they?

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Arlington, Va.: Any details on the guest list? Who in the administration made the cut and who stayed in D.C. for the weekend?

Amy Argetsinger: Other than Karl Rove... we don't yet know any names but hope to find them out.

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Tyson's Corner, Va.: While I am no fan of lace, I bet in person her dress was stunning. Lace doesn't translate well in photographs, methinks.

Monica Hesse: In person, we all may have also loved the floral halo.

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Falls Church, Va.: Who was the minister? What denomination was the ceremony?

Amy Argetsinger: The Bushes are Methodists; the minister was Kirbyjon Caldwell, pastor of Windsor Village United Methodist Church, a megachurch in Houston.

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Houston area:

Were the Cheney's there?

Amy Argetsinger: I should know this and I don't. Check the column tomorrow.

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Washington, D.C.: Hello Amy and Monica,

I think Jenna's thin body can be attributed to her running, smoking, and general stress/excitement about getting married. If you look at her from the college days, she is noticeably fuller in the face.

To me, the most gaudy part of the wedding was that 2-ton limestone cross. Apparently it was all George's idea and his one contribution to the planning.

Monica Hesse: Running and smoking. Health risk or Best Diet Ever?

Many people seem to think Jenna's slimmed down, at least from photos.

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Seattle, Jet City: You should go see Iron Man -- and stay for the credits.

How did the heat feel? Or have you become inured to it by this point?

Amy Argetsinger: Thursday and Friday, it was a fantastic dry heat, probably in the 80s or 90s, and I couldn't figure out why everyone complained about Waco weather. On Saturday it was hazy and supermuggy, and I began to get it. Nice enough breeze though, so not intolerable. Yesterday was bright and sunny and a lot nicer than here.

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Floris again: You Are So Beautiful by Joe Cocker. Written by Billy Preston and performed twice during the movie. Once during the seduction/sex scene and again when Pacino is bleeding to death. Too much information, I know, but you asked.

Amy Argetsinger: Interesting. Is that anyone else's association with the song? It makes me think of a TV commercial, but I can't remember which one.

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Washington, D.C.: How did they get John Hager down that grass aisle in the wheelchair? Especially after it rained the night before? Not very wheelchair friendly to your future father-in-law...

Amy Argetsinger: No idea.

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Washington, D.C.: I know it may sound strange but 200 guests isn't nearly as many as I expected. Considering all the people her parents know -- and owe favors to -- that's not bad. Hey, at least she didn't invite 600 people and then run away.

Monica Hesse: Definitely could have been way bigger.

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Washington, D.C.: Judging from what I spent on my wedding -- fewer people but similar in other ways, I could see this costing about 75-100k. There are small details that you need to know that would affect that price -- like what exactly they served, chair types, silverware, etc. Having it on the ranch saved a bunch in fees. And given the location in rural Texas those other items aren't as expensive as a D.C. wedding. Location, location, location.

Even an understated wedding can cost you $25k without too much effort.

Monica Hesse: Thanks for your expertise.

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Re: "More Details Please!": CERTAINLY no fan of the Bush administration, but as a taxpayer, I don't mind that we fork over a couple bucks (understatement, I know) to throw a nice wedding for a family who has given up so much of their privacy and sense of self-identity to 'try' (this one has failed) to do something better for the country.

The last WH wedding was in the early 70s. It's pretty unlikely we'll see Sasha and Malia get married in the WH in the next 8 years. These don't come around very often.

Monica Hesse: True -- there have only been a handful of White House weddings in history. Which is why some people might feel that presidential kids owe it to us to make the whole shebang public.

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Anonymous: Could the press corps believe they missed Friday night in Salado? Seems like every small town for miles around should have been covered.

Wow -- Henry's family's tab for everything they hosted must have been enormous. I knew they were well-connected, but didn't realize they were so wealthy.

washingtonpost.com: Texas Sidestep (Post, May 12

Amy Argetsinger: Well, we didn't MISS it -- the pool reporters who follow the president wherever he goes were there (albeit in some restaurant across the street and not in on the action) and reported back on it for the rest of us.

But it was amazing in that no one knew about this in advance. And there's no way word could have leaked out to reporters because if you read our story today, you see that the caterers and event hosts didn't even know until hours beforehand that the event they were putting on was for the First Family.

RE: the tab... Is it so unusual for a family to host 200 people at a wedding or pre-wedding event? Not saying that it's not expensive, just that it's not unusual these days.

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San Francisco, Calif.: I think Jenna looked great but that limestone cross reminds me of a giant headstone. Creepy and tasteless.

Amy Argetsinger: Thanks for writing.

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Boulder, Colo.: I've never really understood the point of pew bows...especially whey they are only on the first few pews. If they are to mark where the families sit, then what's the point of the groomsmen seating you?

Even though Jenna's dress isn't something I'd pick out for myself, I think she looked lovely. They all look very happy in the photos.

That being said, I'm with all the flower-wreath in the hair haters. Blech.

Monica Hesse: I think that back when the rules of wedding decorating were being set, someone looked around the church and said, "What else can we throw lace on?!" Thus, pew bows.

I dunno. Anyone got more information on the purpose of pew bows?

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Washington: "Mrs. Henry Hager"? Seriously? That's how the White House ID'ed Jenna in the post-wedding photos. Who goes by their husband's name to that extent anymore? I get changing her name. But Mrs. 'enry 'ager? Sheesh.

Amy Argetsinger: Well, she's Jenna Hager, and to the extent that she ever uses the "Mrs." title, the proper format is "Mrs. Henry Hager." To say "Mrs. Jenna Hager" is incorrect, if you want to be all etiquette-book about it.

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Honeymoon?: So where is the couple headed on their honeymoon? And I just gotta say, Jenna's dress was fabulous, her hair simple and casual but still elegant, and her expression in all the pictures is one of pure joy....no stress, nervousness, or anything else. That's what a wedding should be.

Amy Argetsinger: Thanks for writing. All we know about the honeymoon is that it might be "Europe." Don't know details and don't know for sure.

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Washington, D.C.: I am no fan of the Bushes but have avidly followed the wedding coverage. Of course, I woke up at 4 a.m. in 1981 to watch Charles and Diana get married. I give a big thumbs up to Jenna's dress because I think it fit in perfectly with the "simple" Texas wedding theme. No, it's not a dress for a fancy NYC wedding, but that is not the kind of event they were having.

Amy Argetsinger: Thanks for writing.

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Greensboro, N.C.: What's wrong with you people? From the few pictures we've seen and the tidbits of information released, everything about the wedding seems tasteful, family/friend-oriented and beautiful. Jenna looked amazing of course, but I don't think Barbara should receive such harsh criticism. Have you ever thought that Jenna might actually love both her sister and the "moonstone blue" dress... and the floral headdress? I agree, maybe Barbara needed more color than the dress offered, but it can't be classified in the same category as mall-prom. That's harsh.

The bottom line is this: if the wedding was everything Jenna dreamed of and if she married a man she truly loves, then I commend the Bushes and their staff for holding an appropriate and special wedding.

Monica Hesse: Maybe Barbara loved the floral head dress!

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Arlington, Va.: Will the secret service follow them on their honeymoon and then move in with them at their new Baltimore home? That seems very unromantic!

Amy Argetsinger: Totally. I'm sure Jenna is counting the days until she can get rid of the Secret Service.

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Honeymoon?: Heard Europe. But where? And not as much fun with the weak dollar. Maybe she can send her dad the bill for the lousy exchange rate.

Amy Argetsinger: Ha!

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Washington, D.C.: So what does Barbara do for a living? Seems all we've heard over the past few years is what Jenna is up to. Does Babs have a cool job? Loving life after Yale?

Amy Argetsinger: Barbara, so far as we know, is still working at the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum in NYC and seems to be having fun. We're really way overdue for an update on her life. Barbara, call us!

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Logan North, D.C.: I believe one of your articles stated that the minister who conducted the ceremony is an Obama supporter. Why was he chosen? In light of the president's very public religious faith, don't the Bushes have a minister with whom they have a close spiritual relationship?

Amy Argetsinger: They've been friends a long time with Kirbyjon Caldwell; presumably that's why they picked him. And apparently no one's letting the Obama thing get in the way.

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Tricia's was the typical 80's : Oops I meant 70s.

I just tend to look at the overall shape of a dress. That's what they'll ask you in the shop first: mermaid, sheath, A-line, ballerina or ballgown, then move forward from there. It's what is most dependent on your body shape. Fabic can vary depending on taste, but no way I could wear a skinny sheath dress with my body shape!

Amy Argetsinger: Thanks for writing.

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Aren't enlisted members of the United States Armed Forces supposed to wear their dress uniforms while getting married as a member of the military? Oh, wait...: Poster meant: why isn't Henry supporting the war his father and father-in-law expect others to support with military service?

Amy Argetsinger: Yeah, I got that; but thanks, it was subtle, I think some readers missed the joke.

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Hartford, Conn.: I'm so late for this chat and my friends and I really want to know where all the weddings guests stayed/hoteled near Crawford. We saw pictures of buses delivering people. Thanks.

Amy Argetsinger: We're not sure. Rumor has it that some stayed in the Salado area.

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Wedding night?: So where did they spend their wedding night? Given the dearth of hotels in the area...

Dad's house?

Amy Argetsinger: My goodness, you all flatter us if you think we know details of the wedding night. But that's a good question.

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My cube: 15 attendants. Is this a Texas and other southern states thing? Or an under-30 year old bride thing? I'm not sure I even have 15 gal pals who'd stand for me....

Monica Hesse: Well, there was that quintessentially southern Steel Magnolias scene with Julia Roberts' nine bridesmaids in Blush and Bashful...

Or maybe it's a nice person thing, when you want everyone to feel involved and you feel bad about cutting. Maybe some brides with gigantor wedding parties can ring in.

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Richmond, Va.: What does papa Hagar do now? Source of income?

Amy Argetsinger: He's chairman of the Virginia GOP.

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Grass stains?: No white carpet to walk down? Didn't the bridal gown trail in the grass?

Monica Hesse: Read somewhere recently that grass stains on your wedding dress can be a wonderful memento of the day. I am not making this up.

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Virginia: Henry is in the military? Both Jenna and Barbara will have secret serviec protection for 6 months after their father's term ends. After that, it is on their own....

Amy Argetsinger: No, not in the military -- that was a joke. Henry used to work as a Rove aide, then later in the Commerce Department until he started at UVa's Darden School two years ago. His next step is a job at Constellation Energy in Baltimore.

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Falls Church, Va.: Agreed, the cake looked crooked.

Amy Argetsinger: Thanks for writing. It also looked... delicious.

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Virginia: Good pictures posted at The White House: Jenna Bush Photo(not www.whitehouse.com). Just wondering if government funded pictures are the public's property?

Amy Argetsinger: Oh, they're the same old photos you can see in our photo gallery. We want more photos! New photos! Alas, just because the president pulls a government salary doesn't mean that the wedding photos he pays for out of his pocket are accessible via Freedom of Information request.

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washingtonpost.com: Photo Gallery: Jenna Bush Weds Henry Hager

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Reston, Va.: Good for Jenna and Henry for keeping their wedding as private as possible. As much as I love hearing the details, I'm impressed with how much they were able to keep mum. I hope they had a wonderful day.

Signed,

A married feminist who took her husband's name (we do exist!)

Monica Hesse: Feel free to admire the privacy while simultaneously salivating over the details.

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Critics: Anyone who criticizes the way Jenna looks or anything about her wedding is clearly jealous of her. Even if it's not your style, it certainly is the least offensive celebrity wedding ever. No Irish castle with 500 guests, blah blah blah.

Monica Hesse: Least offensive. This is what celeb wedding compliments have been reduced to.

Amy Argetsinger: Oh, and look what just arrived here on my desk! People magazine with "exclusive photos" of "Mariah's Secret Wedding!" on the cover. Inside - many, many photos, including a shot of Nick Cannon moving in to take Mariah's garter off.

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Military Ave.: Didn't the WH Press Pool get any pics of the pres walking down the street in Salado with the band? Was there a "no photo rule?"

Amy Argetsinger: This was a real point of controversy and annoyance for the White House press corps. The general rule, as I understand it, is that the press must be allowed to follow the president whenever he's out in a public place, and they were not notified or facilitated when he walked from the dinner to the after-party WITH A HIGH SCHOOL MARCHING BAND accompanying them...

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Didn't the bridal gown trail in the grass?: I got married outdoors and the few stains I had were easily removed by drycleaner.

Monica Hesse: For those who don't see stains as mementos...

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Silver Spring, Md.: Wow, there for several days and you don't know if the Cheney's were there? What were you doing? Flying on Air Force One should be for reporters only, not receptionists finding out that Russell Crowe is at Ben's Chili Bowl. Your entire reporting of this event and this chat has been nothing but catty from the beginning and you don't even know if the Cheney's were there. For the love of God, do your job!

Amy Argetsinger: Thanks! I was wondering when these kinds of questions would start to come in. Where've you been, dawg?

Where to begin... We are limited in the amount of on-the-spot reporting we can do to respond to your live questions within the timespan of a very busy one-hour web discussion. Whether the Cheneys were there is an excellent question and one that I wish had occured to me earlier so that I could have inquired earlier -- honestly, I had no idea you cared so deeply. I do think we would have known if he were there, but I didn't want to mouth off on a point of information on which I am not 100 percent correct until I've looked into it, so I was candid with you all and said I didn't now yet and would look into it. Thank you for your interest.

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Alexandria, Va.: Word on the street is that they didn't hire a wedding planner. Is that really true?

Monica Hesse: Even without an official planner, there was probably some outside help along the way.

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Correction from Cleveland: Sheesh - The Plain Dealer said it was the BLUE room drapes. Let's get this right.

Amy Argetsinger: Okay..

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Washington, D.C.: No juice on who the best man was?

Monica Hesse: I believe it was Henry's brother, Jack. Amy?

Amy Argetsinger: Yes, Henry's older brother Jack.

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Shhhh!!: Say no more about pew-bows. please. Never speak of this again,

Monica Hesse: Pew bows? What pew bows?

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Seattle, born in Texas: Have to agree you looked smashing on TV, Amy.

But why did former fashion model Barbara let her sister do that to her? I know she's her twin sister, but there are limits to what you should do for a sibling ...

Monica Hesse: Barbara sounds like the family dog, putting up with costumes and hairpieces.

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He's chairman of the Virginia GOP: that job does not pay; it's voluntary. What is his source of income?

Amy Argetsinger: He's 71, and he retired from American Tobacco Company a decade or so ago.

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Richmond, Va.: Was Jenna Bush in a sorority?

Monica Hesse: Kappa Alpha Theta, I think. Which might explain the 14 bridesmaids/house partiers.

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Chicago: Was once in a Southern wedding with 18 bridesmaids and 10 bridal showers. Not kidding. Every detail of the bridesmaids' outfits was strictly dictated, and they didn't even serve a meal at the reception.

Monica Hesse: Whoa.

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Alexandria, Va.: Read somewhere that the cake was some sort of Southern confection, but the article didn't explain what it was. Do you know?

Amy Argetsinger: It was a tres leche cake, which is a Tex-Mex favorite, very rich, soaked in evaporated milk, condensed milk and whole milk. (Thanks, Wikipedia!)

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Arlington, Va.: I'm assuming they registered for things -- they're young and probably don't have all of those super important things that one needs (i.e., an egg slicer). But celebrities never register like us common folk -- do they just roll the dice and have all 200 go off registry? As a recent bride, that would seriously scare me.

Amy Argetsinger: Excellent questions. We haven't found a registry; I'm guessing that famous people probably register under assumed names, known only to their guests.

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Falls Church, Va..: Not sure how D.C. prices translate to Crawford prices, but the catering bill was $150 per person, I bet. So that's $30K there. Flowers were probably around $5K. Tent of that size was probably $15-20K. Band was probably $5-10K. Wasn't the limestone alter like $15K? Or am I totally making that up?

Monica Hesse: C'mon, people! Who can tell us what a run of the mill limestone alter goes for these days!?

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Registry?: I want to send a gift. What do you think? Crate and Barrel?

Amy Argetsinger: I'm sure they'd be just as happy if you just sent a nice card.

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Boulder, Colo.: Re: guest list. It was reported here in Denver that Mike Shanahan, head coach of the Broncos, and his wife were going to the wedding. Apparently his daughter was part of the "house party" -- she went to UT with Jenna. That's all I got.

Amy Argetsinger: Ah, good stuff -- thanks.

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and they didn't even serve a meal at the reception.: That is very old school southern: tea, mints, cookies: NO sit down dinner, which used to be considered crass.

Monica Hesse: Interesting, thanks.

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tres leche cake: They are VERY good. You can usually get them at Cuban restaurants.

Amy Argetsinger: All right! Dying to try some of that.

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Connecticut Ave: Isn't cousin Lauren Bush the fashion model? Did Barbara model? I wonder if Lauren was at the wedding?

Amy Argetsinger: Yes, you are correct. The chatter may have been confusing Barbara (who I don't believe has ever modeled) with Lauren; or they may have been thinking of Barbara's time interning at a fashion house.

According to some press reports, Lauren Bush was indeed there, with her boyfriend David Lauren.

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He's 71, and he retired from American Tobacco Company a decade or so ago.: I just don't get this incredible wealth they're supposed to have, I sure haven't heard of it. He's a retired executive, not Old Virginia Money.

Amy Argetsinger: I don't know that they're particularly wealthy. If we're just gleaning from the Friday night festivities -- well, a lot of people throw 100-person dinners for their son's weddings. And maybe go into debt for it. Though Salado may also be cheaper than Richmond or D.C.... I suspect the Bush family may have had a hand in the afterparty -- the reservation was made in the name of Laura Bush's personal assistant.

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Tricia's gown: Yes, Jenna's is like Tricia's, the line is the same, but Tricia's was satin and not textured. I remember at the time everyone was flabbergasted at how sophisticated it looked, given Tricia's pre-wedding attire, which as one reporter put it "made her look like an ice-cream cone" -- baby-doll blouses, puffed sleeves, neck bows, etc.

And if Jenna had opted for a WH wedding, the press would have gone gung-ho reminiscing about her previous misbehavior (and really, sending her SS agent to bail a fellow under-age drinker out of the tank was inexcusable). I myself am surprised at Jenna's good taste about her wedding. And what's with the "Giant" limestone cross? It's not that big.

Monica Hesse: Ahhh, puffed sleeves and neck bows.
I haven't seen any reminiscing of previous bad behavior lately. Everyone seems to think she's grown up nicely.

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and they didn't even serve a meal at the reception: Yeah, I had never been to a "northern" style wedding til college. You can imagine my horror as the bride walked around with a white bag to put money in! You just did not do things like that in the south pre Reagan materialistic conspicious consumption go-go 80s.

Monica Hesse: At least the bag was white and wedding-y and not, like, a Hefty bag.

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Sterling, Va.: No wedding planner? Am I supposed to believe that Jenna was calling around getting estimates for a limestone cross all be herself? Or maybe that work was delegated to the house party.

Amy Argetsinger: Apparently the limestone cross was Dad's big contribution to the wedding. Doesn't that seem like a Dad kind of thing?

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David Lauren?: As in the son of Ralph Lipschitz?

Amy Argetsinger: You got it. David Lauren of the Ralph Laurens.

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Tres lecheS cake, please!: Tres leches because it's "three milks" not "three milk." C'mon, y'all. That's the least you should know about Spanish!

Amy Argetsinger: Oh please. I don't know anything about cake genres either, that's the source of my typo.

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Washington, D.C.: Why is someone so obsessed with Hager's money? Besides, aren't the bride's parents supposed to pay for the wedding?

Amy Argetsinger: And the groom's parents for the rehearsal dinner -- that's the custom.

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Tres Leches Cake: Very popular in the local Salvadoran community too. The typical Quinceanera cake. You should be able to sample some if you wander into a baker in Mount Pleasant.

Amy Argetsinger: I plan to do that soon. Hey, what do you think? I'll get a tres leches cake and some Shiner Bock, and we can all put on some short chiffon dresses or button-down shirts, and we'll play some good old Bob Wills albums and a bit of "Superfreak" and we will reenact this whole wedding for ourselves. Shall we?

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Annapolis, Md.: To the person who thought Bush should have used the wedding as an opportunity to humanize him. I think he did that by letting his daughter have the day the way she wanted it. It was her wedding after all, not his.

Amy Argetsinger: Thanks for writing.

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Los Angeles, Calif.: Tres Leches cake also very popular here in L.A. You can buy a mix for it at the grocery store.

Amy Argetsinger: I want mine to be from scratch.

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Yes, Jenna's is like Tricia's, the line is the same: I just googled Tricia's dress: it's totally different shape. The lace fabric looks similar, but the shape is totally different.

Amy Argetsinger: Okay, okay...

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Seattle, off the beaten track: Meant the fashion house.

That said, $100,000 for a wedding isn't much -- my sister rented out The Presidio in Santa Barbara, Calif., and the wedding ran around $45,000 for a fairly small affair with a large family.

So, what kind of M and Ms on the plane? Did they have crunchy mint ones?

Amy Argetsinger: I'm told they're peanut M&Ms. Can't bear to open the box yet, though. Should I sell it on eBay? What about my Jenna and Henry mousepad? Or the hand-tooled leather Jenna and Henry coaster in the shape of Texas? I bought the last one in Crawford.

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Hagar's expenses: The family also gave a barbeque for all 200 plus guests on Saturday, according to press reports.

Monica Hesse: It was held on the same property as the rehearsal dinner in Salado. Owner there commented on the abundance of meat. Four kinds!

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Just sayin': If Lauren Bush marries David Lauren, I suggest she keep her maiden name.

Amy Argetsinger: Ha ha ha!

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Amy Argetsinger: Whew! Glad we all got that out of our system, aren't you? Can we just close the book on this wedding? No? Okay, we'll eke out a couple more details for tomorrow's Reliable Source column -- but that's IT, okay? Thanks so much for joining us, and hope we don't have to wait this long for the next First Daughter wedding...

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