President Obama has been known to delay a wedding from time to time for his own amusement (literally true since it was so he could play golf), but only Stephanie and Brian Tobe have been lucky enough to have Obama hold up their nuptials not just to play golf but also to selfishly bask in the glow of how thrilled they were to meet him.
"Brian and Stephanie were SO EXCITED that he was there," wrote photographer Erin Youngren on her blog, explaining that the interaction at the Torrey Pines Golf Course in southern California came as quite a surprise. Continued Youngren,
We laughed and joked all morning... feeling honored just to be at the same location, not expecting anything more than that. When the ceremony time came...[we]learned that the President was finishing up his game soon at the 18th hole, which happens to fall right in front of the ceremony site – as in, right behind the altar. Whaaaaa??? We might get to see him!
As exciting as watching a 54-year-old man putt must've been, the whole party had to wait on him to finish. But everything went into high gear after that, "President Obama then surprised everybody and came to shake everyone’s hands. My internal fan-girl freak out had suddenly become completely external at this point." Youngren stayed in game mode, however, snagging a picture for the couple (right after a handshake for herself).
Immediately, I switched lenses and starting asking secret service agents as they shoved down the line, “Can we please get a photo with the couple??? Can we please get a photo with the couple???”
I yelled back into my earpiece, “You need to hurry or he’ll be gone!”
Brian and Stephanie burst from the hotel, Stephanie sprinting in her navy blue Nina heels and Monique Lhullier gown, their friends and family bust into cheers at seeing them, and this is what happened.
Looks like he's still got a decent short game when it comes to pressing the flesh, but the optics of this event are pure long game. Obama receives a fair amount of criticism for the amount of golf he plays,* especially when it delays a wedding, and now his weakness has become a PR weapon. It's always nice to see happy people getting a treat on their wedding day, of course, whether it be the President of the United States, a bride's father honoring her stepfather, or a whole bunch of naked people.
Just because this is a relatively innocuous story, though, doesn't mean some people won't put their political opinions on someone else's Facebook wedding album.
*After double-checking, Obama's predecessor took considerably more vacation days, but Bush stopped playing golf in 2003, saying it was inappropriate to golf while soldiers were serving abroad. It was also not that long after Bush began a round of golf with a now-infamous interview about a bus bombing in Israel, saying "I call upon all nations to do everything they can to stop these terrorist killers. Now watch this drive." So, Obama definitely plays way more golf than Bush, although Bush took (two times) more vacation days.