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Bush Daughter to Marry at Private Texas Ceremony

U.S. President George Bush is at his Texas ranch, where his daughter Jenna is getting married in a private ceremony at the Bush home. VOA White House Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, the president noted the occasion in his weekly radio address.

The president used this week's radio address to mark Mother's Day (Sunday) and the celebration of his daughter's wedding.

"Today is my daughter Jenna's wedding day," he said. "This is a joyous occasion for our family as we celebrate the happy life ahead of her and her husband Henry. It's also a special time for Laura, who, this Mother's Day weekend, will watch a daughter we raised together walk down the aisle."

Speaking to reporters this past week, Mrs. Bush said she and her husband are staying calm amid all the media interest in the ceremony, a private affair at the family ranch before a stone cross placed near the fishing pond.

"Neither one of us are nervous. I am very, very excited. It is a very interesting passage of life when you get to that time in your life when your first child is getting married, and we are getting for us our first son," she said. "So, it's a thrill and we are very happy about it."

The president and Mrs. Bush joined more than 100 people at a rehearsal dinner Friday evening in the Texas town of Salado, where they also celebrated the groom's 30th birthday.

Wedding guests not attending the rehearsal dinner had what the first lady's Press Secretary Sally McDonough called a Texas-sized celebration at the Salado Silver Spur Theater, hosted by friends of the Bush family.

The president's 26-year-old daughter is a writer and schoolteacher, who graduated from the University of Texas. Her embroidered gown is by Oscar de la Renta, and her bridesmaid is her twin sister Barbara.

The groom, Henry Hager, is a graduate of Wake Forest University and is studying for a Masters in business at the University of Virginia. He is a former presidential campaign aide, whose father was lieutenant governor of Virginia and now head's that state's Republican party.

Mrs. Bush said this week, her daughter briefly considered a White House wedding, but chose their ranch in Texas instead.

"Well, she just wanted to get married at home," she added. "She just feels a lot more comfortable there. It will be really beautiful. This is a time when wildflowers are all blooming. I think it will be a very, very lovely wedding. It will be very like Jenna and Henry. And that's what we want. We want what she wants."

The couple will honeymoon in Europe and reside in the city of Baltimore, about 40 miles north of Washington, DC.