Couples Wedding Moved So Obama Can Play Golf
Army Capts. Natalie Heimel and Edward Mallue Jr. were set to tie the knot at Kaneophe Klipper Golf Course.
But on Saturday, a day before the wedding at the 16th hole, they were told by the White House advance team that they would have to get hitched elsewhere to accommodate Obama’s game.
The course, on Marine Corps Base Hawaii, is a popular weddings venue with ocean views.
The order to retreat was the second message Heimel and Mallue received from their commander in chief in one day. They had sent a tongue-in-cheek wedding invite to Obama and received his response Saturday, regrettably informing them he couldn’t make it.
“It was kind of ironic they got the letter from them, and then, within hours, they were told they had to be moved due to him,” Mallue’s sister, Jamie McCarthy, told Bloomberg News. “It was emotional, especially for her. She’s the bride, and in less than 24 hours, they had to change everything they had planned.”
Wedding planner Naile Brennan, manager of K-Bay Catering, said it’s understood on the island that all plans are subject to change when Obama is in town.
Obama, a frequent visitor, rents a vacation home in Kailua.
In the end, love won out for the couple. The base’s commanding officer, Col. Eric Schaefer, let them exchange vows outside his house, which has its own breathtaking Pacific views, and they said their “I dos” on Sunday.
“It’s a much prettier and much nicer venue unless you’re an avid golfer,” Brennan said. “It’s more secluded, and there are no golfers yelling, ‘Fore!’”
After reporters asked Obama about the incident, he took swift executive action — and called the couple directly.
“He apologized and congratulated them,” McCarthy said. “We were all there. It was perfect. [The call] made their day.”
Wedding photographer Becca Dryer snapped a shot of the couple speaking to Obama by cellphone. She posted the picture on Instagram with the caption: “No big deal. Just chatting with Barack Obama on the phone.”
It wasn’t the first time Obama’s golf game landed him in the rough. He was criticized for hitting the links in August shortly after Islamic radicals beheaded American journalist James Foley.
According to an online tally, Obama Golf Counter, Obama has hit the course 208 times during his presidency, as of Dec. 21.