Jenna Bush prepares for Texas wedding


On Saturday, first daughter Jenna Bush is set to wed Virginia native Henry Hager in Crawford, Texas, at the 1,600-acre Bush family ranch.

The weekend is filled with events -- a rehearsal dinner Friday and a barbecue lunch in addition to a wedding ceremony and reception Saturday. More than 200 friends and family are expected to attend festivities at the ranch, which sits 20 miles from major hotel chains and restaurants.

The first daughter opted out of a White House wedding but isn't alone in her decision. Only nine out of 22 presidential children who have been married chose the White House as their setting. Much like her niece, Dorothy Bush chose a private ceremony at Camp David. That wedding was so secret the press found out about it only after it happened.

Although the White House is tight-lipped about Jenna's private affair, word has leaked out about her big day.

Texas Traditions Tapped

The bride told Vogue Magazine recently that her Oscar de la Renta dress made of sheer organza with embroidery matte beading is "simple and elegant."

In lieu of bridesmaids, Jenna is sticking with Texas tradition by choosing 14 attendants to serve as members of the "House Party." The attendants will be dressed by Texas fashion designer Lela Rose.

"The color choice for the attendants' dresses are really taken from native Texas wildflowers," Rose told ABC News. "So you can really see the influence of what growing up in Texas and having those wildflowers every spring has done for the wedding."

Twin sister Barbara, the maid of honor, will also be dressed in designs by Rose but her dress will be different than the 14 attendants.

Describing the twin's floor-length dress, Rose explained, "We picked a beautiful fabric that we hand-dyed this new gem-based color, which is very complimentary to her eyes."

Commander in Chief Contributions

President Bush explained his contribution to the wedding in an exclusive interview with ABC's Robin Roberts. "My one contribution is to -- we put a giant cross made out of Texas limestone that will serve as the altar, but also serve as a landmark on our place for years to come," he said.

In recent months, the wedding has clearly been weighing on the president. He often slips wedding lines into his policy speeches to lighten up large crowds.

"I had to face some very difficult spending decisions and I've had to conduct sensitive diplomacy. That's called planning for a wedding," Bush said jokingly to a Chamber of Commerce audience in March.

The president is preparing for the big event by taking tips from comedian Steve Martin who plays the goofy dad in the "Father of the Bride" movies.

"Laura sends her very best," Bush said Tuesday, explaining that the first lady was en route to Texas for the wedding. "She left behind a DVD -- with Steve Martin. Said you might want to watch this before you head down there yourself."

Laura Bush took time to tell reporters she was thrilled to finally have a son. "It's a very interesting passage of life when you get to that time in your life when your child, first child is getting married. And we're getting, for us, our first son. So it's a thrill and we're very happy about it."

The President's New Son

Hager, the groom who turns 30 on the eve of his wedding day and graduates with a master's degree the following week, proposed at sunrise to Jenna at Acadia National Park last summer. The former aide to Karl Rove knows the White House well and met her during the 2004 re-election campaign.

The Baltimore Sun reports Hager bought a $440,000, two-story, 128-year-old row house south of downtown Baltimore.

The nearly 2,000-square-foot house is believed to have been a dry cleaners and a candy shop, has exposed brick walls, a fireplace and an attached garage.

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