White House Receiving Lines and Photo Ops

While a receiving line is usually only seen at a wedding or engagement party, we rarely had an event at the White House without one.   A receiving line consists of the host and hostess – and a guest of honor if there is one – standing at the entrance to the party to greet the guests.   And since the invention of the camera, the receiving line at the White House has taken on Cosmic Significance.  A photo with the President […]


Approaching the Glass

My first few weeks as White House Social Secretary were pretty overwhelming.  It wasn’t simply that there were so many people to meet and things to learn; there were events almost every day, and the next day, and the next week, and the next month.   It was like jumping onto a racing treadmill, catching the pace, and then speeding up as fast as the machine would go.  And, of course, there is the WH way of doing things: after decades […]


Black Tie at the White House

Last week, President and Mrs. Obama hosted a reception in honor of Ford’s Theatre, the historic theatre used for various stage performances beginning in the 1860s, and the site of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.  I’m posting some photos from the White House reception, to illustrate the level of detail that goes into the planning of a really good party.  That extra bit of ivy tucked into the flower arrangements, the careful placement of the canapés on the silver […]


The President requests the pleasure of your company…

Many people I meet seem to have an unquenchable curiosity about life in the White House.   They ask what it was really like to be around the President and First Lady, what I wore, how I learned about Protocol, how the menus were created, what the best party was – though more often than not they want to hear about the worst party.  (Who doesn’t love a good party disaster story?)   So let’s dip into the full White House experience, […]