The bridal party's surprise is caught on camera as President Obama calls to apologize (Courtesy: Keao Photography)
File image (Courtesy Ian Scheuring)
KANEOHE, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) -
President Obama apologized to a military couple in Hawaii after his golf outing forced them to move their wedding ceremony at the last minute.
Natalie Heimel and her now-husband Edward Mallue, Jr. are Army captains who met at West Point. They got engaged nearly a year and a half ago. The couple had planned to tie the knot on the 16th green at the Kaneohe Klipper Golf Course. On their way to the rehearsal dinner the night before Sunday's wedding, however, the Schofield Barracks soldiers received an urgent phone call.
"You can't have your wedding on the 16th tee box because President Obama is golfing," recalled Mallue.
"We knew there were two things that could mess up the wedding. One was weather and the other was the president," said Heimel.
The couple said that after the initial shock, the change of plans turned out to be no big deal. They decided to get married on a lush lawn right above their original location.
"It's actually even got a better view so it was really a blessing in disguise because the location it ended up being was just as beautiful if not more," said Heimel.
20 minutes after exchanging their vows, they received a phone call from President Obama.
"Congratulations on your wedding. I feel terrible. Nobody told us," said the president during the call which was recorded on a cell phone by the groom's sister.
When Heimel told the president that they had watched him golf, he said that must have been kind of painful. President Obama joked with them that he shot an 84, but would have shot a 79 if he had skipped the 16th hole.
Mallue is also an avid golfer which is why they originally picked the spot. For fun, the couple had previously invited the president to the wedding, but received a message sending polite regrets. An administration official said that the White House staff had no idea the president's outing would disrupt the wedding.
"It was probably just miscommunication. Our wedding turned out amazing, and it turned out for the best and I couldn't have wished for a better wedding day," said Heimel.
"You guys sound like a wonderful couple. Congratulations! Sorry for the change of plans, but it sounds like you guys are going to have a great wedding and at least you'll have a good story to tell," said the president at the end of the phone call.